A friend named Jennifer says she finally “drank the Kool-Aid” and embraced the Apple iPad. She was a PC user both personally and professionally during her career in the IT department at Regal Cinemas. Having fallen in love with her iPad, she was anxious to demonstrate it for my wife and me. We met her for lunch at Panera Bread because of their excellent WiFi service.
Several of the websites we visited had empty black boxes where the Flash animation was supposed to be. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Flash-heavy websites, but I thought it was incredibly lame that iPads can’t handle those sites.
I had read that Panera’s WiFi signal is getting much more use due to the proliferation of tablets and smartphones. To save on exorbitant data charges from their wireless carriers, smartphone owners switch their devices to WiFi mode when at Panera or other retailers that offer free WiFi. Panera’s WiFi kicked us off after a while, just as the article said it would. An on-screen message said we had exceeded our usage time. We were able to reconnect a bit later. It was as if we had been put in “time out.”
During the WiFi downtime, Jennifer showed us her Android smartphone. She had no worries about data usage because she gets unlimited voice, text and data for less than $50 a month. Rather than pay a cell phone company, she has a no-contract prepaid plan from Walmart.
When the time comes for me to finally get a smartphone, I will want it to also replace my old 8 megapixel point-and-shoot camera. The phones I saw at Walmart had cameras with less than 5 megapixels. I may have to lower my standards.