I admit it, I like gadgets. I like gizmos. I like cool little useful toys. I recently picked up what I think will be just that. After wanting one for quite some time, I picked up an iPad 2.
I've used an iPhone for a few years now, and have since wondered how I got by without such a device. So now I have an iPad, I am left thinking this little gizmo can replace my laptop computer for a vast majority of what I use it for: Internet, email, social networking. Heck, I'm using it to write this update…
I anticipate the iPad will be a great little boat computer. The model I purchased is a 32 gigabyte wifi + Verizon 3G. The 3G versions have built in gps, which turn the iPad into a nice little chart plotter.
Right out of the box I was downloading apps, looking for the best marine charting programs. I actually downloaded both iNavx and Navionics HD, because they both appear to have useful features. After using both under way, they both work well and have their own advantages.
Recently, the FAA began allowing pilots to use the iPad as a replacement for paper charts. I'm not going to be taking my charts off the boat anytime soon, but I can see how this device will be a great tool, and the paper charts may get a little dusty.
The iPad rests securely in a RAM mount near the helm for easy viewing and access. Not only is it a handy aid for navigation, but it also connects to the boat's stereo system via Bluetooth for music and movies!