No doubt you heard all the hype leading up to the recent release of the latest iPad 3, but what does this mean for speech-language pathologists wondering whether it’s time to make the plunge into the world of app facilitated speech therapy? Let’s review why you might still be waiting.
iPads are expensive. We sometimes hear this from SLP’s at conferences, but if you look at the prices of the newest iPads, they’re holding pretty steady. In fact the price structure is nearly identical to the first iPad line launched almost two years ago. But today’s iPad is noticeably improved. Of course, if you already noticed this, then you may be thinking about the next reason to wait.
The next iPad will be “better.” This is true. Apple seems programmed to release newer, better iPads about every 12 months, but waiting for the next generation device will cost you in the time you’ll lose in your professional, technological proficiency. Let’s face it. iPads are here to stay, and if you’re not on the “tablet bus” by now, you’re cheating your professional development. http://blog.flurry.com/?Tag=Usage%20Statistics Besides, did you really want to wait until your students have to train you how to use the device?
Android tablets will be cheaper and take over iPads, just like PC’s overwhelmed Mac’s. REALLY? Have you looked at an Android tablet like a Samsung Galaxy or Kindle Fire next to an iPad? There’s just no comparison. Just look at any two platform devices, side-by-side and you’ll see the difference immediately, but you be the judge. You can also see what other’s think by checking out this recent tablet/e-reader review in “Wired.” http://www.wired.com/reviews/2011/12/the-year-in-tablets/ But if you think a tablet-is-a-tablet, think about the apps available for them. Which brings us to our next point.
What speech therapy apps should I buy? Darn good question, especially if you are looking for Android apps. The fact of the matter is, that at this stage of the tablet revolution, IOS (or iPad/iPhone apps) have an enormous advantage, both in number and quality of available speech therapy titles. Apple sets a high bar for quality and usability for all the apps it accepts into the App Store. The Android market has no such control. Anybody can post anything at anytime, which may explain why the vast majority of Android apps “purchased” to date have been free. Unbiased reference sites are hard to find, but here is a link to a resource at Easter Seals of Houston, which is helpful. http://www.bridgingapps.org
So, are you still waiting? Consider this. Analysts expect Apple will sell 60 million iPads by the end of 2012. http://goo.gl/A8Zls That’s about 250 in the time it took you to read this blog.