To celebrate the launch of our new blog, we are starting a monthly iPad interview series with an interview with Paul Boag. Paul runs a web design podcast and blog at http://boagworld.com/ which is for everybody involved with designing, developing and running websites on daily basis. His Podcast is arguably one of the longest running and most listened to web design podcasts out there. In addition to that Paul runs a web design agency called Headscape.
Paul was one of those early adopters of iPad so we wanted to find out what his experience has been so far, what are his favourite apps and finally we asked his views on the impact iPad will have on web design.
Listen to the full interview (the transcript below has the links to all the apps Paul mentions):[audio:http://ipadappcafe.com/audio/paul-boag-ipad-interview.mp3]
iPadAppCafe: You were one of the first to buy the iPad even before it was available in UK. What made you want it so badly?
Paul Boag: Because I like anything that is new and shinny… chuckles … No. I saw a place for it in my life which I think a lot of the people struggled with, how the iPad fitted in with what they did. What appealed to me is obviously as a web designer I spend my whole day in front of a laptop, it’s a work machine. Also when you work for yourself and from home, your personal and work life gets mixed up, so I was very keen to separate those two things and with iPad I saw an opportunity to do that. What I want to do outside work is to read books, watch videos, listen to music. iPad was good way of separating the two mentally for me. Work was my laptop and my iPad was my home stuff. Now hasn’t worked out exactly like that, I still find myself checking emails on iPad which is very naughty of me. But that was the principle and that was why I was so keen to get a hold of it and I managed to smuggle one early using my contact in US.
iPadAppCafe: Do you use your iPad for business at all?
Paul Boag: There are a couple of things I use it for business. There is one program that I absolutely adore. It’s called AudioNote. What’s so impressive about audio note is that it is an application for meetings, so when in a meeting you start recording all the meeting but you can also take notes as you are recording. What’s great about it is that after the meeting if you can’t remember something you can double tap on any of your notes and it will play the audio at that particular time when you took the note. I was also going to use if for my presentations when I go away on conferences but actually I have been a little disappointed with Keynote. You are limited to their set of fonts which is a bit of constraint for me and I am also finding that the presentation view is pretty sub standard. In other words it doesn’t show my presenter notes as I am presenting, which it basically rules it out from my point of view. Which is a really shame because I very much would prefer to carry small light device with such a long batter life, but you never know they might update the software and make it more powerful in the future.
The other thing I do a lot on my iPad is to read my RSS feeds. Although I can’t really work out if it is work or home thing, my RSS feeds are such a mix of web and gadget and SiFi stuff so it is a mix of everything. I use an excellent piece of software for that that I highly recommend which is caller Reeder, really nice piece of software, beautifully designed and really sorts things through very well. Before I was using NewsRack but I didn’t like the forward and back button there which wasn’t were I would naturally expect. With reader it is that type of details that they got it right. Pulse is another one which looks quite stunning but it has limitation as to how many feeds you can add. I think the max is 20. They also have a lot of images associated which makes it look very attractive.
iPadAppCafe: iPad doesn’t support flash, from a designer point of view what impact do you think this is going to have on the future of web design?
Paul Boag: In itself I wouldn’t say a massive impact. I don’t think one device on it’s own even one as prominent as the iPad is going to make or break a technology that is as deep rooted as flash. That said we are not just talking about the iPad and iPhone. What we are talking about is a general move that is happening away from flash. Numerous big names are these days backing HTML 5 which now supports video very well. This means that a device like iPad can still take video perfectly happily without having to rely on Flash. But there are some things that flash does still very well. It’s very good for complex games. It’s good for certain type of video that is much more interactive. So I think there is still very much a market place for flash and it will be around for a while. However, I think people are thinking twice because so far flash hasn’t had a very good implementation on any mobile device. It was recently launched on Android but it had a lot of problems.
iPadAppCafe: In your opinion do you think iPad is a game changer or a short lived hype?
Paul Boag: Chuckles…. it’s not a short lived hype. I mean like everything when the media gets hold of any new device then its either one or the other, but I actually think it’s neither of those. It’s something new, it’s something different, it’s something that we haven’t seen before. I don’t think it is going to replace laptops. I don’t think it is going to replace your desktop computer. I think it introduces a new type of device that for many people will be perfectly adequate. I think what it will do is to decimate the Netbook market. For somebody like my mom who basically wants to surf the web, check emails and watch video and photos, I think it is the perfect device. It’s certainly is going to have a significant impact, but whether it is a game changer or not I am not sure.
iPadAppCafe: Apart from the ones you mentioned already do you have any other favourite apps that you can share with us?
Paul Boag: ooo yes, there are so many. Let’s have a look though here. I mean I am a great getting things done fan and I use something called Omni Focus. Now unfortunately OminFocus is not out yet on the iPad but it will be within the next few days and certainly by the end of this month. So How can I recommend something that is not out yet? I have been using the iPhone version on the iPad and even that is a great pleasure to use so I dare to think what the local version is going to be like. There is another one which I use a lot which is called Evernote which is a note taking app. I use to to dump bits and pieces of information. The great thing about Evernote is that it syncs with the web and you can access your notes from every device.
The one app that I can highly recommend although I don’t have on my iPad for a very good reason is an app called Plant vs Zambies, which is a game. The reason I don’t have plant vs Zambies on my iPad is because if I did I would never see it again, because my wife is completely obsessed by the game. I highly recommend trying that out. Sucks days out of your life.
What else. I use WordPress, BBC iPlayer… ohh actually there are three other application I want to mention before we finish. The first is Instapaper , you go to a webpage and want to read that article later this can be on your PC or iPad, there is a little bookmark it will add it to your instapaper account. Then you go to your iPad, open up this special application and there is your article, all the rubbish stripped out, just the nice plain article beautifully presented, so I recommend that if you are reading a lot online. The other one is something called DropBox, which is a great way of storing your files on the internet. And the final one I wanted to mention is the Amazon Kindle, which is brilliant, I mean I read loads of books on the iPad and the Amazon Kindle is a great application. It is not quite as slick as the iBooks but it has far more books available to you. So there you go there is a big chunk of recommendations.
iPadAppCafe: Any apps on your wish list?
Paul Boag: The one that I really want is SlingPlayer. SlingBox is basically a piece of hardware that I bought which you plug into your TV and then you can stream it to basically a variety of devices such as you laptop or iPhone. Now the Sling player which I have on my iPhone means I can watch my TV’s on iPhone and I can’t wait for it to be available on iPad so that I can watch full screen iPad TV. The app that I use most of all when it comes to video is an app called Air Video. Absolutely brilliant, definitely get a hold of it. I have in my lounge a Mac Mini which is connected to my TV and that has on it my entire video collection and they are all in my iTunes library. That’s all great and wonderful but if I wanted to for example sync an episode of say IT crowd I would have to remember to sync that across to my iPad in order for me to be able to watch it. Now what Air Video does is that it also sits on my Mac mini downstairs and can view all my videos that I have stored on my external hard drive and basically it streams them across my home network onto my iPad and I can view it full screen. Absolutely brilliant.
iPadAppCafe: I think I am going now to download a few new apps
Paul Boag: yes there are so many great apps out there and there are more coming up all the time. It just cost a fortune. It’s that one click order and low value of them makes it so easy to click on Buy.
iPadAppCafe: Paul it was great talking to you. Thanks for joining us for a chat and I look forward touching base with you very soon.
Paul Boag: It was good to talk about it. I always get excited about my Apple Gadgets and gismos. Thanks very much for having me.
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