Sunday, April 25, 2010

Check out the EONs iPad Discussion Board, Boomers

I've been hanging out a little with the good folks at the iPad discussion board on EONs, a social networking site aimed at Boomers.

This is a Boomer to Boomer site,  so don't expect to find your kids or any member of the younger generation crowding around this social networking water cooler. What you get are some good, solid people who are trying out this new device just like you and me. They're smart and most of them are not techies. It's great to watch them as they handle this new toy.

The discussion board has a couple of more knowledgeable members who give technical answers when needed. Overall, it is a great laboratory for how Boomers will use this device and what the potential problems are with it. I recommend everyone go to the website and give it a read. You do have to join EONs first, but if you are interested in the pros and cons of the iPad for people our age, I definitely think you should do it.

The Boomers at EONs do a great deal with the iPad. They read books on the device, but they also are trying out all of the free apps that are available for it. One of these just happens to be for a comic book company, and users can download free comic books. One member of the group (for privacy purposes I won't name user names) finds comic books "better than on paper." He calls the graphics on the iPad screen "out of this world." That's something people really ought to know.

Streaming and viewing movies and video is also a favorite activity  reported by discussion group members. Working with a screen that is only 10 inches from your face, makes movies really come alive, they report. It's a personal, intimate, experience. Movies are downloaded through Netflix, and videos through a number of apps including YouTube. A couple of people on the board figured out how to make the iPad work with their TV without much fuss, so now they can stream movies, videos etc from the iPad onto the TV.

People here are very generous with their advice. They give lists of the best apps they've found. One of the ones mentioned is Stumbleupon, ( an app I've been meaning to discuss on this board. You can use Stumbleupon on your computer, smart phone or iPad and it does the same thing.

You select topics that are of interest to you and start stumbling though the web. My "Stumbles" have brought me to the website of the guy who does all those great chalk drawings and to pictures from someone who does unbelievable sand sculptures.

What you'll find depends on what topics you enter. This is a really fun way to surf the web and find things you never knew about.

Some of the Eons group have run into problems with their iPad: games that stall or are hard to make work after hours of playing; apps that let you download material but don't let you delete it; apps that don't look right on the iPad, clearly just brought over to the new platform directly from the iPhone; a keyboard that is clumsy to use. They've run into the device's limitations in real world scenarios. But for the most part they are an extremely enthusiastic bunch who don't believe that this will be a device that will end up on the trash heap.

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