A long time ago, I used to say that the magazine wouldn’t be truly dead until we could read a computer in the bath.
It was funnier back then, because we were still largely in the CRT era, and the idea of lugging a huge TV-like thing into the bathroom was more like the cartoon idea of suicide than it was anything practical.
Time passed, as it does, and the world changed. We got flat screens, and laptops, and finally the iPad ushered us into the tablet era.
But I still wasn’t reading magazines in the bath. What sort of an idiot would take hundreds of pounds worth of electronics, and sit with it in a tub full of water?
When John Lewis sent me a waterproof case for the iPad to review from their pretty wide selection of iPad accessories, I couldn’t help but laugh. (I normally say “no” to these kinds of things, but, y’know, John Lewis.) Time to read the web in the bath?
Now, I’m not a frequent bather. I shower every day, but parenthood and consulting don’t leave a lot of time to lay around reading in the bath – but I got some time over the festive period. I’m not a fool either. It looked pretty safe, but my precious (oh, so precious) iPad wasn’t going into that thing straight away. Let’s try it with something cheaper like, ooh, my Kindle Fire:
Lovely little device, the Kindle Fire. Responsive, fast, a pleasure to read on. A real enhancement to a long leisurely soak with a book. And much, much cheaper to replace than my iPad if this all went wrong. Two or three times in the tub with not trace of moisture getting into the bag, and I was ready for the big one:
Now, it’s not perfect. The responsiveness of the touch screen is noticeably reduced by the giant waterproof sheath you’ve put around that iPad of yours. The headphone socket can be a little fiddly, but works fine. These are all quibbles, though. It does exactly what you want it to do – allows you to use an iPad safely and comfortably in a water-drenched environment.
Apple’s latest adverts have shown people using iPads in all sorts of environments. Funny how it’s a nice, sunny day in most of those images, isn’t it? Leaving aside the bathtub use case, this actually turns the iPad into a device you can take into all sorts of environments with you safely – and extends its range as a journalistic tool, as a result.
And, my testing proves that you can now, indeed, read a magazine in the bath on your iPad.
Print is doomed, I tell you, doomed.