Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 18, 2017
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Epitaph for the smart phone?

Confession time: I have both an iPhone and an iPad. Not only that, I bought each device on the day they come out — in the States. That's right, I was so prepped by Steve Jobs' launch extravaganzas of the Apple gadget that I drove 290 kilometres to be among the first 300,000 people to get my hands on the iPad on April 3.

What this means is that I've had both devices for over seven months. They've changed my life — and not always in ways you might expect. Initially people said the iPad was nothing more than a big iTouch. When the second generation iPad added G3 cell phone capacity no one suggested it was just a big iPhone. That's, perhaps, because they'd been in use for a few months.

The bond I formed with my iPad is quite different than the one I have with my phone. The phone is, essentially, a business tool, the iPad enhances my personal life. Screen size, the built in speakers, the 10-hour plus battery life and the quick upload speed mean that I use it as an entertainment system, music, movies and browser combined.

Though I still take photos with my iPhone — my iPad doesn't have a camera — I display them on the iPad. Once you've used it, you just don't want to go back to that tiny phone screen. iTune apps are more fun — and medical apps are easier to use — on the big screen. News apps for The Globe and Mail, and most major papers around the world, CBC, CTV, BBC and NPR in the US are a touch away. And there's so much more.

Thousands of podcasts on any subject you can name can be listened to while you're in the kitchen, car, bed, bath or anywhere else. You can read eBooks either through Apple store or other eBook suppliers including downloads from Google or directly from Amazon's Kindle which has an iPad app.

I'm hooked, but what about my phone? Lately I find I use it mostly as a phone. I've even considered getting rid of my iPhone altogether and replacing it with a basic model that does little more than make calls.

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