The Apple iPad opens new horizons, namely activities in bed that are better than you’ve ever had it with a MacBook. Here’s how to make out nicely with your iPad - and still coexist with your partner.
The first challenge is getting it on with the Internet. You probably have fairly good access in your den — and maybe some other rooms nearby. But the bedroom in some houses, far away on a second floor, may not have such great Wi-Fi reception. One way to solve that is to use an Apple AirPort Express to extend the range of your wireless network.
Just be sure to note that, in a darkened bedroom, the green LED on the AirPort Express stands out like an brilliant green Airport beacon, so place a piece of tape over it before your partner even notices the little white device.
Because the iPad has a 10 hour battery life, you won’t need a power adapter, and so the need to have a wire snaking into your bed — as with a MacBook — is gone. So are the tingly sensations if a loose power cord has an unexpected encounter with a leaky hot water bottle.
If you’ve been using a Bluetooth keyboard, go to Settings ->General -> Bluetooth and turn it off to extend your battery life. As a reminder, do this right after you brush your teeth.
I recommend one of the small portfolio leather cases for the iPad. That makes it look like a leather-bound Day Planner, and so it’ll be more innocent looking as you set it on the night stand as you prepare to retire. It’ll also protect the iPad if, in the middle of the night, you have a Eureka moment for your next great novel, and you fumble finger your glass of water next to the iPad.
Before you take the iPad into the bedroom, make sure you’ve cranked the brightness way down. If perchance your partner is facing you, the bright LED backlit iPad could cause him/her to suddenly wake up, wondering where all that light is coming from. This makes partners very irritable. If the portfolio case has a cover that opens like a book, all the better — if your partner is on your left side.
For short term use, always use the iPad in landscape mode in bed and hold it with one thumb always hovering over the Home button. That way, if your partner wakes up while you’re perusing some soft porn, you can quickly tap the Home button to return to the home screen. This simulates the emergency spreadsheet program in the workplace that people use when the boss comes walking by. It’ll also help to have a dark home screen, such as planet Earth as opposed to, say, the palm trees in the desert, which is rather bright.
You’ll want to have a pair of earbuds handy as well. That way you can listen to Mac Geek Gab without the iPad’s built-in speaker waking up your partner. Or, if your partner is still awake, the earbuds will help suppress the sounds of any heavy breathing next to you.
Holding the iPad for an extended period of time, light as it is, will still put a strain on your arm. The Apple cover, and some others, allow you to rest the iPad upright on your lap. Alternatively, you can bend your legs to create a place on your lap to lean the iPad against. This will leave both hands relaxed and ready to touch the iPad when necessary. Or go for that Home button fast.
When in bed with your iPad and a partner, try to get out of the habit of “shake to clear.”
You’ll want to keep your iPad screen clean. Low light conditions and a darkened room will bring out the smudges you’ve created by repeatedly touching the screen. Squirt some iKlear on the iPad’s face and rub gently (with a lint free cloth, of course).
Following the above advice will make for a much more pleasurable experience when you take your iPad to bed with you.