Yes, I already own a laptop and a smartphone. Why on earth would I need a tablet of any kind? Before I got my iPad last December I asked myself the same question…until friends and family members started buying them and I tried it out and fell in love instantly.
As a website designer, having the iPad has come in handy for a number of things. I can administer my WordPress-designed websites through the WordPress App. Latest tech news comes in through the Flipboard App by way of RSS feeds. I get my tweets out through the Twitter App, and write blog posts (like this one) on my PlainText App that is linked with my Dropbox Account (which also has an App). Next month I will be marketing myself at a local health fair and my iPad will be in tow, in the hopes of showing off my websites to prospective clients. It’s light, it’s portable, it’s quick, and still has that “wow factor” even though it has been on the market for over a year.
One of the biggest benefits of having the iPad is how it is making me more keenly aware of how my sites are viewed on mobile platforms. I recently dissuaded a client from including a Flash animation feature on his new site because it wouldn’t be viewable on the iPad and iPhone. I also now make sure that link buttons are big enough to be navigated with fingers and not just a click from a mouse. Doing cross-checks across various browsers during development always includes Safari on the iPad to make sure all of my bases are covered.
It’ll be quite some time before I ever give up the vast capabilities of my laptop and I certainly cannot design without it nowadays, but having the iPad makes many of the other aspects of my work easier and should be part of the arsenal of any good website designer if it isn’t already.
If anyone knows of other Apps that would be helpful to website designers, please let me know by leaving a comment. Thanks!