Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking: Andy Burns’ Pick For Gadget Story Of 2010

Everyone has their own pop culture story of the year. Something that completely resonated with their way of life. Unless you don’t live in the pop culture world which, if that’s the case, you just might be in the wrong place.

Maybe it was the release of a big budget film you’d been waiting to see. Perhaps a novel by your favorite author. For the tv junkies, maybe it was the end of <bLost or 24 that hit home hard for you. Comic books had Brightest Day and Siege for fans to sink their teeth into. The music world had new releases from Kanye and Taylor to crank up.

Then there were the gadgets. Or in the case of 2010, it was one gadget that would be my story of the year. And that’s the iPad.

You know what the iPad is so I don’t need to go into any sort of longwinded description of the specifics. What I will tell you is how the iPad has pretty much changed the way I digest not only my online content, but the way I digest physical content as well.

Reading Magazines: I grew up on Rolling Stone Magazine I have boxes of them scattered thronging both my mom’s house and our own. If you ever collected magazines, you know exactly how much space they can take up. So a few months ago I purchased a year-long subscription to Rolling Stone via an app by Zinio, a company that works with magazines to digitally cone them. The subscription was slightly more than $10 Canadian, an awesome price, roughly the equivalent to two printed issues. I get an email notifying me when the latest issue is out and as son as I open the app, the content downloads to my iPad. When I’m done reading I can either keep it in my library or delete the issue, always with the option of redownloading it when I want another read. I’m saving space, I’m saving trees and I’m reading a magazine I’ve always enjoyed for a fantastic price. And, in the case of The Playlist Issue from November, I also got to experience real time music chosen by the artists featured. Interactively cool.

Reading Comics: This is where the iPad has been virtually indispensable. My comic book collecting has drastically changed this year. Partially, it’s because I really haven’t been enjoying the main storylines in the Marvel Universe, my universe of preference. It’s also been my own determination to scale back for both financial and spacing purchases. However, because of both the Marvel and DC apps available, I’ve been able to try out comics I wouldn’t necessarily pick up in the first place for reasonable prices. This meant saving at least $20 dollars and the shelf space to read the critically acclaimed Green Lantern Blackest Night mini-series. It was well worth the price. I do think that both major comic companies need to reconsider their price points and consider day and date titles cost $2.99 rather than a dollar more, but I do understand the fear of bastardizing the printed page.

Downloading Music: While there’s always going to be physical CDs that I go out and buy, because of the portability of the iPad I’m far more inclined to purchase digital tracks off of iTunes these days. Because of the speaker built in, I’m not required to use headphones with it and with the AirPlay connectivity with AppleTV I can stream my music to various speakers if necessary. The only way this music experience could be better on the iPad would be if you could download iTunes LP or read a digital booklet on it. Something for the next operating system, I’m hoping.

That’s just the way the iPad has changed my life as a physical consumer. As a web browsing device, it really is at good as it gets. At the end of the day, it really was the gadget story of the year for me and proof that Gene Roddenberry really was a visionary. As for 2011’s big story, lots of people are prediction the iPad 2 to arrive. Sadly, I have been strict orders to not purchase said device should it appear.

However, I’m in the clear for the iPad 3! See you in 2013,

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