Mossberg’s Mailbox

Using the iPad for School and Updating the Droid Incredible

Published on June 9, 2010
by Walt Mossberg

Q:

We have two daughters, ages 14 and 13. Both are big users of our sole family computer to watch TV shows on the Web as well as to do their school work. Could an iPad serve as their school/recreation computer?

A:

It obviously depends on the nature of their homework and other activities.

The iPad is great for video watching and note taking. And Apple does sell a $30 add-on office suite on which they could write papers or prepare presentations. Other such suites are, or will soon be, available.

But there are downsides. For instance, there’s no built-in printing. As for TV, ABC has a gorgeous iPad app and Apple will sell you TV shows from iTunes that play beautifully. But many websites present video in the Flash format, which the iPad doesn’t support.

Q:

I am considering purchasing the Droid Incredible as my next smartphone but am concerned about the HTC Sense user interface and the Android operating system working together on a single device.

As more Android updates are released over the next few years, do you think the Sense UI will continue to work in harmony with Android?

A:

Since I can’t predict the future, I can’t say for sure. But HTC insists that its Sense software, which provides added graphical and functional features to Android, won’t impede future releases. The company also notes that a user can turn off all the Sense widgets and other features.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online for free at the All Things Digital website, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

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