I want to welcome one of my favorite writers, MG Siegler to my iPad Life interview series. He is probably best known for his great writing on TechCrunch.
Tell me a little about yourself, what do you do, where do you live?
I’m a writer for the site TechCrunch, focusing on a wide range of things, including yes, Apple. I’ve been with TechCrunch for about two years now. Before that, I was doing more or less the same thing at VentureBeat for a year and a half. I’m based in San Francisco and have been here for three years now.
Originally, I’m from Ohio and went to school at the University of Michigan.
What was your reaction when the iPad was launched?
I was extremely excited. Of course, we had all been hearing the rumors for months (and really years) of Apple doing a tablet. But I had no doubt that when they finally did it, they would do it right.
I laughed at the “big iPod touch” criticisms at the time, knowing that those people would all change their mind when they got their hands on the thing. Why? Because I really believe that touch is the future of everyday computing. We’ve all grown accustomed to desktops and laptops with mice and keyboards, but think about how ridiculous some of the learning curves are on that for a second. Then think about the iPad. As we’ve seen, babies can use it. It just makes sense.
Which model did you order and why?
64GB WiFi. The 64GB call was easy as I wanted to put a lot of media on it. The WiFi versus 3G debate was tougher, but I ultimately went with WiFi simply because of my hatred for AT&T. Living in San Francisco, it simply does not work. So I wasn’t about to pay them more money to prove their incompetence in another way.
But now that Apple and Verizon have partnered up, I’ll definitely consider a 3G version of the next iPad (assuming there’s a Verizon option). On the other hand, the Hotspot feature on the Verizon iPhone sort of makes it pointless.
How are you using the iPad on a daily basis?
It has basically become the living room computer in our house. If I’m on the couch, chances are that I’m using it to surf, read, tweet, etc. I basically only need my laptop for when I’m going to write something — I still would not use the iPad for that.
When I’m on my laptop or desktop, I usually use Instapaper to bookmark things to read later on my iPad. And that’s usually how I go to sleep at night.
Can you give me a quick run down of the apps that you use the most?
Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse, Instapaper, Reeder, ScoreCenterXL (ESPN app), Boxcar, iBooks, and, of course, Safari.
I have dozens others installed, but those are the ones I use most frequently. Also, The Daily recent joined that group, but perhaps only because it interests me right now as it just launched. We’ll see if it stays in that group.
Which app is your favorite?
It’s a tough call between Twitter and Flipboard, but I’ll go with the latter. The reason is that I love that it has been thought of from the ground-up as a way to consume social content. It’s brilliant.
Do you have any bag/stand/case recommendations for people?
I definitely do not recommend the official Apple case. I hate that thing. I’m shocked Apple even approved it. I use a simple Incase puffy sleeve thing [Editors note: I think this is the case he is talking about]. It’s ugly (lime green), but it works well. And it keeps the iPad pretty clean.
What features do you want to see in a future iPad?
The main thing I’d love is for the iPad to weigh slightly less than it does. The battery life is amazing, but I’d even take slightly less if they could cut the weight a bit.
I’d also love a retina-like display, but it doesn’t look like that will happen in iPad 2. But maybe later this year…
The other big thing I’d love to see improved about the iPad is the screen glare. I understand it’s a hard problem to solve with glass, but the iPad really is pretty impossible to use outside at the moment, I’d love that to change.
Oh, and more multi-touch gestures. But it looks like those will be coming as a part of future iOS updates too.
If you had to choose between owning your Air or the iPad, which would you choose?
That’s a very good question. For work purposes, I’d have to go with the Air. There is simply no better computer to travel with for work. And because so much of my life is work, I give it a slight edge over the iPad. Also because I know the iPad 2 is right around the corner. Very tough call though.
I want to thank MG Siegler for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share his iPad life with me. You can keep tabs on MG by following him on Twitter where he is known as @parislemon.
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