Sunday, June 3, 2012

TECH: How a Review of a Verizon Wireless iPad turned me into a Tech Evangelist

My review of the Verizon iPad turned into a lot more than just a blog post
Technology is not always intuitive and having someone to guide you with knowledge gained from experience can be a wallet saver....

I love that I am a blogger. Because I have a blog, I get to try out lots of products and give my opinion of how they worked (or didn't work) for me.  Thanks to my relationship with Verizon Wireless. I have had the opportunity of review a slew of smartphones, hotspots and tablets. Because I get to try out all these products and write about my experience, I sometimes forget that the average person only knows about technology from the little that they see in the traditional media and integrating technology into our lives in not as initiative as I first believed.

A few months ago, Verizon Wireless allowed me to review one of their Apple iPads.  Although I have reviewed six android tablets (Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Verizon Motorola Xoom 10.1, Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0,  HTC Flyer,  Kindle Fire and the HTC Evo View 4G) this was my first time using an Apple tablet and I was overall very impressed.

But this post is not really about my Verizon iPad experience as much as it is about how important it is for companies to let average people (like me) review products and then let us educate others on what we have learned.

Can an iPad be a waste of money?
About the time that I finished my review of the Verizon iPad, I was talking with my friend Bev about her new iPad that she received as a gift from her husband for Christmas.  Bev shared with me how her kids were getting more use out of the iPad than she did. Actually the kids were keeping the iPad in their toy box since Bev did not use it. Bev felt the iPad purchase had been a waste of her family's money. I was a little shocked because I really believed people would just intuitively integrate an iPad into their lives. But what I learned from speaking with Bev is my assumption is not the case for the average person who has never used a tablet and who does not read about technology like I do.

Having reviewed lots of Verizon Android tablets and then the Verizon Apple iPad, I knew how apps running on these devices could really help with all aspects of life. So I started asking Bev about her life and how she had hoped to use her iPad.

Bev shared with me how she needed a lot more than just the ability to play games.  She wanted to use the iPad for work to read reports, do word processing, and review presentations.  She needed to take notes during meetings and capture her thoughts for "to do" lists. Bev also had a very old laptop and USB modem that she was using to log into work to file reports and she wanted to get rid of that laptop and use her iPad instead. Bev also loves to shop and wanted to use the iPad for online shopping and finding bargains.

I'm a Tech Evangelist thanks to Verizon Wireless...
From all the technology reviews that I had done courtesy of Verizon Wireless, I knew of lots of apps and accessories that Bev could use to get her iPad to meet her needs.

The Zaggfolio can allow your iPad to used for business
Putting the iPad to work...
Bev hated typing on the iPad screen, so I told her about the Zaggfolio which is a very fashionable case and keyboard for the iPad.  Bev immediately loved the fashionable Zaggfolio from the minute she saw it on the Zagg website and this one accessory has changed the way that she interacts with her iPad. Since she can easily type on the iPad, she is now able to use the iPad to do work as part of her job. And because the Zaggfolio is so fashionable, Bev now loves carrying her iPad around.

I told Bev about Pages, the word processor for iPad, and that $10 purchase has enabled her to read and create reports on her iPad.  I also told Bev about Dropbox and Skydrive, the FREE apps that enables her to keep her files in the cloud and easily access them from home and work computers and also from her iPad.

Bev needed to capture her thoughts for "to do" lists so I told her about the FREE Dragon Dictation app for iPad which allows her to speak her thoughts and capture them in notes for later.  She loves using this app in situations where she does not feel like typing.

Bev works so much that she does not have time to read the newspaper so I told her about the FREE Detroit Free Press app and now she keeps up with all the current news in Detroit right on her iPad.

After Bev started confidently using the iPad for work, she wanted to get rid of her old work laptop that she was using mainly to login to her employer to submit reports.  She knew she could use the iPad to log in, but her employer was paying for her USB modem and she knew she could not use the modem with her iPad.

I have reviewed many Verizon mifi's and they are great for sharing data connections
4G to the rescue...
Because I had done reviews of Verizon mifi hotspots, I told Bev how mifi hotspots could be used for all types of devices from computers to tablets and how up to to 5 devices can share the Internet connection. I also told her how blazingly fast 4G hotspots are and how at times I could not tell that I was using a hotspot and not my Comcast data connection at home.

Even though Bev was paying for a 3G data connection from AT&T on her iPad, she did not use it because it was slow during the day. So Bev did some research and she was able to trade in her USB modem for a 4G hotspot which she loves because it is super fast.  She was then able to get rid of her AT&T monthly bill on her iPad and just use the 4G hotspot that her employer pays for. Bev is very happy that her new 4G mifi is now saving her money.

Target app for iPad is one of the best apps I have tried
Bargain Shopping on the iPad...
Bev is very fashionable and loves to shop, but she also loves a good bargain.  So I showed her how she can use her iPad for bargain shopping.  The first app that I told Bev about was the FREE Target app which allows her to read the Target weekly ad on her iPad and it looks just like the ad booklet that you get in the store.  This app is a must have for all Target lovers that have an iPad.

Amazon WindowShop allows browsing using only photos of the items
For Amazon shopping, Bev installed Amazon WindowShop which allows her to browse the items on in picture format. Just click on a photo and you get all the product details and product reviews. You can also view items to your cart and buy them right inside this app.

eBay app for iPad brings a great experience to the user
I believe there is no better bargain shopping than on eBay and the FREE eBay app brings all that great bargain shopping right to the iPad. I have used eBay for over 10 years and I really believe the eBay app for iPad gives a better and easier experience to the the user than using eBay on the computer.

Thanks to Verizon Wireless, Bev's iPad is out of the Toy Box....
With all the new apps, Zaggfolio case and the 4G Hotspot, Bev is now a very happy iPad owner.  She is now using technology to make her work and home life easier.  She is also now a very educated technology consumer who is using her new found knowledge to help others.

It is situations like this where the importance of product reviews hit home for me.  If companies like Verizon Wireless did not let average people like me review their products, there would be more people using trial and error for large technology purchases which causes wasted money and stress. Technology is not always intuitive and having someone to guide you with knowledge gained from experience can be a wallet saver.

Because of my review of the Verizon iPad, I bought my own iPad
Because of my experience reviewing the Verizon Wireless iPad, I bought an iPad of my own since I knew first hand how I could use it to make my life easier.  And I was able to get a real deal on my iPad purchase by using another app that I told Bev about called Slickdeals.

So thanks to all the companies that understand the importance of product reviews.  Both Bev and I applaud you and our wallets thank you too.


Disclosure: Verizon Wireless loaned me an Apple iPad for review.  I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
Follow FREEISMYLIFE on Facebook
blog comments powered by Disqus