The iPad – my personal IFE

I am writing this post sitting in flight UA220 from San Francisco (SFO) to Washington Dulles (IAD) and am writing this using the WordPress App on my brand spanking new iPad. Attached is a picture of this article in the WordPress App, as I am typing.

This was my first transcon since I got my iPad and flights in both directions were on the old 757 aircraft. What is old about the aircraft is their ‘In Flight Entertainment’ (IFE) system. They have the old ‘hanging from the ceiling monitors and not the new personal systems that are available on most modern aircraft. United too has the new IFE’s on their upgraded 767, 747 and some 777s.

So, having the iPad was a great alternate IFE. I watched a movie, read a couple of chapters of a book and wrote two posts for my blog. Of course, had my own music playing all the while when I was reading or writing. At SFO airport I even hopped on to the free WiFi to check my emails. Beats the fuzzy image on the ancient monitors any day. It beats lugging and carrying a large laptop in-flight too.

The only downside was that we were on the Tarmac, waiting a good 20+ minutes for clearance to take off, I could not read. As I pointed out in my article on things to do while waiting on the Tarmac, using eReaders is not permitted.

Based on my experience, would suggest that getting a screen protector and a case is a must. I have a case with a stand. Makes watching movies much more enjoyable and better for the neck. I am able to type pretty fast on the touch screen keyboard, but other may prefer a BlueTooth one.

I am thinking of what other apps I should get to use in-flight. Any suggestions? Please leave a comment below.

The devices’ usefulness will of course multiply significantly when in-flight WiFi becomes pervasive.

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