There are several advantages to using an iPad in the field over the conventional set-up of a laptop and mobile dongle. For a start, an iPad is smaller and thinner than most laptops and has a considerably better battery life. Weight wise, an iPad weighs far less than a standard laptop and once you add in a protective case (if you need it) and a laptop charger, you’ll quickly wish you owned something lighter after a day spent trudging your patch.
It’s worth noting that while the article refers specifically to iPad 2, there’s nothing in there that can’t run on an original iPad. Also, the purpose of the Photosync app in a world where iOS 5’s Photostream functionality automatically syncs content to your laptop isn’t made clear. Sadly Photostream doesn’t sync videos, Photosync does.
There’s a slightly more geeky and in depth (albeit a little out of date, being pre-iOS 4.2) account of a day in the life of an iPad wielding reporter here. The part about SoundNote is well worth a read.
Running SoundNotes, sitting at the opposite end of the room to the speaker, the internal microphone picked up sound well enough for clear playback (with a slight background ‘taptaptap’ from me typing on the iPad screen occasionally) and as advertised, when I got home to write the article I simply tapped the text for a salient point and got the speaker’s words verbatim.
And while we’re on using tech to make your reporting better, here’s BBC 5 Live’s Nick Garnett explaining how he used his iPhone to report live from the Manchester riots.