It was around this time last year, when I had confirmed that I'd be attending Britmums blogging conference, that we finally decided to buy a tablet PC. My persuasive argument to Mr. TBaM at the time was that it would be an incredibly useful thing to have for the blogging conference because I could blog and tweet the information gained at the event, use it to take photos and edit them instantly. It would also be useful for the train journey with The Boy as we could upload his favourite films to it, and he could use it to play games on. An all round entertainment package in a ten inch long metal box, what more could we ask for?!
To be honest, he didn't need convincing.
However, one year on I find myself wondering about the influence of the tablet PC in our home, and therefore in other families. Does having a tablet pc make life easier?
We use our tablet PC daily, and more so, frequently and naturally throughout the day; it has become a way of life for us. 30% of those who own a tablet PC use it daily, so we are definitely within that statistic.
But how do we use it?
I use it to blog, tweet, access Facebook and Instagram, all the usual social media actions. However, more than that I also use it to take photographs, choosing it over my dSLR in some situtions, because it is more responsive to indoor lighting than my phone or my dSLR. I can also edit the photo straight away and upload it to wherever I need it. I use it to read news websites and books, play music through, set the Sky+ box, watch catch-up television (we have one television in our house), and for accessing recipes online when cooking. In the Summer, it's a radio or easy way of using the Internet outside in the garden, without having to lug the laptop outside. It's not just a source of communication and entertainment, it's a reference device for me. And it's convenient.
When it comes to The Boy, 80% of the apps on our tablet PC are his; all with an educational slant to them. He practises letter formation and recognition on it, counts and performs simple sums, and is a real whizz at problem-solving games like Cut The Rope or Angry Birds. His understanding is innate and natural. For Mr. TBaM, like 54% of other tablet PC users, he downloads or livestreams the latest film while conquering the ironing pile. Ok, the ironing pile may not be true for them.
Several months ago I wrote about the Xperia™ Tablet and all the amazing functions that it had; the ability to be used a remote control for the television, Sky box and a home entertainment system has got to be a serious draw for any tablet user. And it's not about being lazy and not wanting to get out of your seat, more about minimilisation; why have three remote controls and a tablet PC when you can just have a tablet PC which does all of that.
Bearing in mind that there is the Xperia™ Tablet which can interact with other household appliances, where do developers see the tablet PC's direction going?
Personally I already use the supermarket app to order my food shopping, easily done while standing in front of the fridge and the cupboards. However, I'd love to see technology develop that there's a way of the fridge automatically knowing which foods it has run out of and sending that to the app on the tablet to order when needed.
Tablet PCs can do so much already, what would you like them to do to make your life easier?