Happy 5th Birthday to the iPad

Cast your mind back to January 27th 2010 – it was the day the late great Steve Jobs announced the advent of the iPad. Back then, we found it hard to think what would be the benefit of this small slim device with a touch screen, but in fact once you have an iPad, you realise just how great it is for all sorts of uses that you’d never considered.

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A cooking assistant

The smart people have an iPad permanently installed in the kitchen to display cooking apps, show videos of celebrity chefs and for online recipes and even online ingredient ordering – now who would have thought of that one a few years ago?

Watching television

Well, actually, watching the programmes rather than being stuck in front of the main TV, as we use iPad for watching catch up TV, or for commenting on TV programmes on social media (again, who would have thought that would be so important to some of us?). We even use it as a remote for the Sky box.

Entertaining and educating the children

There are so many apps out there with genuinely good educational content it is amazing, and if you can get around their little fingers making in app purchases (ouch!) and ensure you make good use of the parental controls (which are actually very effective on this gadget), your iPad can provide good clean fun for the kids, who will actually be learning something as they play.

Oh, and if you’re technically competent, you can add a webcam and use the iPad as a baby monitor as well.

Playing instruments

Have you tried the Apple GarageBand app? It’s incredible, as you can play live music and it really is music, not a hint of those squeaky mini keyboards, this app really reproduces the feel and sound of playing an instrument.

It’s not the only app in town – there are many more apps out there with incredible properties which range from real-life recording software to make your iPad into a mini-studio, to virtual instruments, wow.

Taking pictures

OK, you look a bit of a nerd waving an iPad about, and they’re a nuisance in concerts when people hold them up in front of your face, but they really do take decent quality photographs which are easy to view and share.

Making pictures

Artists have discovered the iPad as an aid to displaying resource material while they produce their artworks (my husband and his artist friends use the iPad in exactly this way). The high resolution screen and the ability to zoom in on one portion of the picture at a time, plus a handy tripod device to hold it make the iPad the artist’s friend. Have you seen ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ with Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell? The iPad (or the iPhone) was the gadget to have in the last 2 year’s heats and finals.


Drones have been in the news a lot lately, for all the wrong reasons, but there’s no doubt that an iPad is a great tool for flying one, as you can not only view the images from the camera on the drone but also see the on-screen controls to enable you to fly it.

Pilot’s friend

An iPad is a great replacement for the bulky books and documents that a pilot needs to have about his or her person in order to safely get us from A to B by air. If it’s written on paper, it can be replaced by an iPad.

Playing music

If you used to buy CDs, once you have an iPad you download the music and either play it on your iPad or send it to your speakers or Apple TV – sorry recording artists, and CD makers, we’ve done you out of your revenue, but we’ve made music cheaper for ourselves.

Online everything

Everything you may (or may not) have done on a desktop you can do on an iPad from shopping, banking, reading books, newspapers and magazines, buying tickets for travel and entertainment.

Well, you get the picture, and with an iPad you can take the picture anywhere with you.

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