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Using your iPad outdoors

Yes, you can use your iPad outdoors. Well, kind'a. I listen to music and audiobooks in my backyard while I'm doing my workout, and it's great. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.

• Don't leave it in the sun. An iPad is a mini-computer, and it will only operate correctly if it doesn't overheat. No, you won't ruin it if it overheats, it will just stop working for a while until it has a chance to cool down. My backyard is mostly shady, as you can see, but I keep an eye on it, if it gets hit by the sun, I move it.

• Don't try to watch movies in daylight. That's not a criticism of the iPad, that's just the way LCD screens are. I find that I'm comfortable doing little stuff, like hitting the play and pause button, and even checking to see if I have emails, but not much more. A screen like this was never designed to show up in daylight, so you can't expect it to.

• Learn where the speaker is, and point it in your direction. An iPad is a personal device, never intended as a loudspeaker, so even at the loudest setting, it's not going to be loud enough to be heard all over the yard, nor will your neighbors start complaining. I'm not *rocking my neighborhood*, I'm just listening to an audiobook. Works fine for that.

The best thing I did was to buy an inexpensive sleeve for it. It's made of a soft material that wraps around the back, and it does make it easier to carry around. Without that, it was like carrying a slippery cookie sheet. I looked into getting a super-dooper cover for it, but it's not really necessary. I just like being able to grip it better with my fingers.

Oh yeah, and I just realized, don't wander off and leave it outside, while you go and write a blog post or something. I'm inside, on my iMac, and realized that I had done just that. So I went out and brought it back in.