Apple IPad & IPhone in Thailand – My Firsthand Experience

There was a time when I had the latest gadgets. All of them. Now I pride myself on being one of the last adopters of new technology. I just don’t need most of it.

Visiting with my wife’s tech savvy family I got to play with the iPhone 4 and two of the new iPads.

The iPhone was first. Her 17 year old cousin has one. The thing is nice. The screen is exceptionally clear. I do know what people are talking about now when I hear them say they are reading ebooks on their iPhones. I get it. I wouldn’t do it – it’s still too damn small for my eyes – but I get that people would do it. I might someday too if I don’t buy a Kindle.

The iPhone is very responsive. Very intuitive. Very fast. Very solid. Very well made.

I couldn’t find any fault with it except the price. The phone I have – a 2 year old Nokia Xpress Music 5800 does 90% of what the iPhone does – minus apps. I don’t think I have a need for any apps on the iPhone. The kid had over 200 installed. I didn’t see any that would help me do anything except the PDF reader app that made it more user-friendly.

Would I ever buy an iPhone 4? Nah. Just no point in spending that kind of money for a  nice screen and fun to play with touch screen that is responsive as hell. What for? I’m not playing games. I’m not 15.

Switch to the iPad. If the iPhone 4 was brilliant – this thing is PURE magic. It’s ultra responsive, and user friendly in a way you’ve never seen an electronic device get “right”. They are amazing.

I played with some cool apps. They were fun… I’d never play them again – they are games basically. I’ve got no time for games.

As an ereader – it will work. However, the weight of the beast was too much. The Kindle is much lighter and the words much easier to read in normal light – any light – except no light.

Would I ever buy an IPad? Nope. Even less reason for that than the iPhone.

So, Apple makes nice devices. They are smooth and fun… but I think for kids and others that don’t need to do anything serious with them. I’ll stick to my notebook computer.

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

3 thoughts on “Apple IPad & IPhone in Thailand – My Firsthand Experience”

  1. Another thing re notes etc … Select , copy paste is excellent. Easy to grab something from an SMS and drop it into an email , or vice versa.

    SMS system is excellent too … Threaded in speech balloons grey for incoming, green for outgoing , each with time date visible over the bubble ( no need to look up a menu for details). Very editable … Can delete entire thread , or any individual SMS.

    Another thing I often do with iPhone … See a bit of interesting online info, select, copy , switch to email , press the “new” icon … Address to self.. Paste ! Then send. Later can print or copy to a word doc and keep.

  2. Yep , good summary, iPad is great for web browsing in a lounge chair, battery lasts all day, wireless connection is instant… But not too great for typing (as I’m currently trying to do!).. I sometimes drag the laptop into the lounge, but it’s too heavy, too hot, and usually runs out of battery before you want it to.

    iPhone apps I do find useful. Oanda currency converter. Works just as I want it to. Downloads forex rates whenever it (ie, theapp) is online ( wireless or 3G), then keeps those and uses them until it next gets a connection. I use it a lot, (I travel a lot).

    BC Reader … A business card reader… Photograph the card ( with the app) OCR then reads it and simply sacks it straight into your iPhone contacts, usually with everything in the correct fields ( success depends primarily on lighting and photo clarity , and secondarily on card layout. It’s ability to correctly categorize is amazing.

    FMC … A menstrual calendar! Absolutely brilliant. Simply mark the first day of menstruation, etc…. after the second month it starts averaging, calculating and predicting. ( my wife will even phone when I am OS to check up on herself! … And yes, I bought her an iPhone specifically for this purpose… She still fails to get it right!)

    If you are a sailor. A tidal app Tidesplan … Will show the tides for any date almost anywhere in the world. Brilliant

    Various translator apps. Don’t use as much as I expected. But good to have.

    And I find the standard mail app really handy. i use a gmail account, when I have a wireless connection I connect and update. … And the app keeps the last 75 mails on the iPhone… Really handy for hotel bookings flights etc you have not had time to print off.

    And best of all is the integrated Skype, when I have a wireless connection , I can easily call anyone in my iPhone contacts list. ( skypeout … Costs about $1 for 30 min voice call to Australia ) supposed to work on 3G , Ive never had much success and anyway, you pay for the 3G data too.

    One other essential for me, the standard Notes app on the iPhone… Names., notes, books, ideas, jot em down , keep em there and/or email em to yourself.

    Search is excellent too… Type a name, get all contact details, any emails, any notes pertaining to the search request.

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