Dave Caolo writes today at The Unofficial Apple Weblog about how, with all the emphasis and hype and interest in multitasking, one of the coolest things he likes about it after using it for a few weeks is that it does just one thing at a time.
It’s amazing how eagerly we invite distraction upon ourselves. Consider how frequently we do two (or more) things at once. While an app launches, I check Twitter. As a Web page loads, I Command-Tab over to Mail. All the while, iTunes plays music, and I’m thinking about what else must be done today.
I became keenly aware of how infrequently I focus on one single thing when I started using my iPad. For the most part (yes, you can play music in the background), it does one thing at a time. In fact, when I’m using an app on the iPad, it becomes that app.
WeatherBug makes it a weather station. Launch Twitterrific and your iPad becomes Twitter. The New York Times turns my iPad, for all intents and purposes, into an (abridged) issue of that newspaper. There’s no beep, chirp or other electronic fidget to lure me away from simply reading a story.
Having owned an iPad now for a little over a month, I’ve found he’s right.
Over the last month, I haven’t stayed caught up on the different Google Reader RSS articles I’ve wanted to read. Like Mr. Caolo, I’m definitely an information addict. I found a very-well-reviewed new Google Reader app yesterday (also on TUAW, ironically) called Reeder, available both in iPhone and iPad flavors. Through most of yesterday evening, I just zipped through all of the back articles I wanted to check on, getting back down to zero, and the unitasking environment of the iPad helped get me through it without being distracted by Twitter, Facebook and other web pages — my iPad wasn’t any of those things at that point in time; it was just a feed reader.
Open for comment: how do you handle distractions when you’re working online?
For those who hadn’t heard yet, I have new wheels.
Pictured: my new 2009 Chevrolet Impala LTZ. Officially, the registration says “Blue” for color; while it looks very close to what GM says is Aqua Blue Metallic, it could also just as easily be Slate Metallic, too. The interior is gray leather.
Its only previous owner appears to be a Hertz rental shop in Hawaii (I’ve never been there, but apparently my car has!), and it only had about 12,800 miles on it when we bought it from Auction Direct USA in Victor, NY. Under the hood (more photos likely to come later on this) is a 3.9L V6 engine, getting 233 hp. The car is capable (see the “FLEXFUEL” badge on the tailgate) of running on E85, but considering 1) it’s not as easily available in Rochester and 2) it’s not as powerful or as efficient as gasoline, I’m likely sticking to gasoline for the time being. Features include power sliding sunroof, rear spoiler, built-in remote start and keyless entry, Bose 8-speaker sound system, heated seats and dual-zone climate control (passenger can set heating/cooling temperature independently from the driver).
Have a look through the Flickr set to see more of the car, as well as the new Empire Gold plates being issued in New York State. They’ve generated quite a lot of reaction, both good and bad, but I kinda like them.