Ipad gives versitlity to live event coverage

I remember when I first started seeing commercials for the iPad on television.

It was so sleek and cool. However, given my current income, I decided pretty early on that I would never own one.

However, after Ann Arbor Journal Managing Editor Michelle Rogers was named as a contributor to JRC’s ideaLab, I figured I would have a chance to mess around with some of the new toys, including the iPad.

I was right.

I’ve spent most of the past two weeks using the iPad to help me cover sports in Ann Arbor.

In some cases, it’s limited, but in others, it really allows for some cool things.

Last Saturday, I attended the “Big Chill at the Big House,” an outdoor hockey game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State.

This event was very pro-iPad. From the confines of the press box, I was able to use the iPad to take game notes, do a live blog tweet updates to my followers on Twitter and host a live chat with the Cover It Live app. Multitasking is the name of the game for the iPad. It allows you to do so much from one place. One particular instance that was really cool can be seen on my Big Chill blog. During the game, on the big screen at Michigan Stadium, organizers played clips from the “Top Michigan Hockey Plays.”

One of the plays was a really, really impressive goal by former Wolverine Mike Legg. So, right after they played the clip on the big screen, I opened the iPad’s YouTube app and found the clip. With just a couple of finger strokes, I embedded the clip into my blog. So, within seconds of people watching the clip at the Big House, people following at home could see, too.

However, the iPad does have it’s drawbacks. The main one being that without WiFi, it just becomes a really fancy note pad with iTunes. So giving live coverage to high school games is a challenge, as most schools aren’t broadcasting WiFi.

Another drawback to the iPad that I have discovered is that I can’t figure out a way to upload photos from the device. I can put photos on it from my camera, but when I try to upload them to websites like Flickr or even to my blog, the “browse photo”  button is always grayed out. Perhaps I just haven’t figured out how to use it yet.

Overall, though, the iPad is a stunning piece of technology, and when combined with a WiFi connection, it is quickly becoming an invaluable resource.

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2 Comments on “Ipad gives versitlity to live event coverage”

  1. Burrill Says:

    “…without WiFi, it just becomes a really fancy note pad with iTunes.”

    That just means they gave you the wrong model. If you get an iPad set up to work with AT&T or Verizon, you get internet wherever you get cell reception, exactly like a smartphone. That entails an extra monthly cost — which is likely why they didn’t give you one of those models — but it also invalidates the above complaint.

  2. I’ve also had the chance to use the iPad, as well as the HP netbook we’ve all been sharing.
    I have an iPhone, and am hopelessly devoted to it, so needless to say I was excited to try out the iPad.
    However, when it came time to do actual work, I found myself longing for a traditional keyboard, which I now know Apple sells as an option.
    Add that to not having an Internet connection, and it really kind of felt like an inflated iPod at times.
    I know service providers offer plans for web service, which would help, but it also doesn’t have a camera, a tool I often use on my iPhone.
    I suppose, as a writer, my primary concern is with the typing functionality, but can see where editors would enjoy the visual possibilities associated with the iPad and it’s substantial screen, as it relates to layout.
    I’ve seen some pretty impressive apps for taking in media content designed specifically for the iPad, but wonder if it can hold its own in terms of generating good looking Web pages when compaired to a traditional computer.
    Are there iPad apps out there that are more efficient for generating content, I wonder?
    If so, I haven’t seen them.
    I suppose what I’m geting at is whether there is a benifit to the iPad beyond its portability. I also wonder if we should be testing other Apple products such as their notebook computers. Do they offer similar software as what is on the iPad, or anything that is better suited to our business?
    I guess if everyone eventually has a tablet for taking in their news and entertaiment, there is an obvious benifit to editors and journalists in being savvy about them, but as I’ve tried to use the iPad for work, I have habitually found myself going back to my computer.
    For me, the netbook has been a better combo of usefulness and portability. The keyboard is a bit small, but not too difficult to get used to.
    Even my iPhone has been more of a productive work-related tool, mostly because of its camera and related jpeg and pdf-friendly apps.

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