Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How the iPad changed our vacation

After moving to Germany in 2008, our family vacation this Summer was finally (see here why not sooner) in San Jose and San Francisco. The kids were able to use "their" playgrounds of the past, see their preschool and take a look at the school our older son was a student at. What was interesting for all of us was to watch how mobile technology, here the iPad, changes lifes. Note that I am a frequent traveler myself (and sometimes could be one of the cases described below...), but below is what stuck out to the rest of the family.

  • While in the past, breakfast rooms were dominated by big screen TVs and the usual morning news, now many people are eating and "smartphoning" or "iPadding" at the same time, occasionally turning heads towards the TV.
  • While walking in San Francisco (not much walking in San Jose) special care needs to be taken of people walking and talking. When someone is yelling next to you, the person on the other end of the phone is usually meant. At first this was irritating to the kids.
  • iPads are the new "pocket cameras". People are taking pictures using "big screens"...
  • Beware of people holding an iPad in front of them and trying to navigate the streets. It was kind of funny and disturbing to see that lamp poles are not on the maps... (and this was before iOS 6 ;-).
  • On crowded buses (e.g. line 30) we noticed people trying to locate the position using an iPad to decide when and where to get off.
After noticing both lots of iPad adverts around Union Square where we stayed and then the iPads in use, the focus naturally was on them. This was fueled by the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung trial and the updates in the morning news. Thus, even without owning an iPad (only a Lenovo IdeaPad A1) our family vacation was changed by the iPad...