The much-anticipated release of Apple’s new tablet device, the iPad, attracted crowds around Apple stores and more than 300,000 sales on the first day alone, the company announced Monday. By midnight on Saturday, iPad users had already downloaded more than 1 million applications from Apple’s App Store and more than 250,000 e-books from its iBookstore.

It didn’t take long for bloggers in the real estate industry to weigh in. Broker and real estate speaker and trainer Brian Copeland gave his take on his iPad experience after 24 hours of use. He tested the iPad with his speaker system for listing and broker presentations and pronounced it "glorious" and "a marvelous professional presentation platform."

After playing with it throughout the day, the battery life "only went down to 86 percent" — Apple advertises the battery life at up to 10 hours. While the device doesn’t let users see Flash video or graphics, he didn’t seem too upset: "YouTube has most of the videos online, and Facebook video can be viewed with an iPad app for $2.99 called Facebook Video Viewer for iPad."

Speaker and technologist Max Pigman also gave his own 24-hours-later review. He lamented the device’s lack of Flash and webcam, but predicted those two features would show up in later versions — Flash, especially, as he expected advertisers to demand it.

Pigman also recommended waiting for the 3G mobile phone network version of the device scheduled for release later this month for greater mobility — the just-released version works only over wireless Internet. Indeed, there have been some complaints among users that the device’s Wi-Fi capability is problematic.

He stated that he is also looking forward to the upcoming release of a USB adapter that will allow the iPad to connect to USB devices and insert SD (memory) cards that would allow him to upload photos. Reviews of the iPad have also found fault with the scalability of iPhone applications used on the device.

Nonetheless, Pigman stressed that overall he enjoys using the device and foresees that it could be a very useful real estate tool. …CONTINUED

"I can absolutely see this as the mobile information and media device that an agent uses throughout the day for catching up on e-mail, checking in on their social networks, blogging, grabbing some quick info from the (multiple listing service) while out in the field, meeting with sellers, and giving an impressive listing presentation and even writing up contracts," he said.

"Then throw in the access to tools like the Realtor.com app (even its current iPhone version is very usable on the iPad) and online access to tons of data from county records to (geographic information system) data to everything the Web has to offer (as long as it’s not Flash) and this device appears to have a bright future in the real estate business."

For those hoping to get a look at the device, Pigman’s blog post also features a video of him using the iPad.

In a popularly retweeted article, AOL Real Estate news portal Housing Watch writer Charles Feldman pronounced the iPad’s large touch screen "perfectly suited for real estate apps."

Examples of real estate-related iPad apps include those released by property search and valuation site Zillow and national brokerage ZipRealty. In addition, the technology blog TechCrunch recommends Loopt Pulse, which uses location-aware capabilities to show you events going on around you; TweetDeck for iPad, which allows you to organize your social networking feeds; and Fwix, a hyperlocal news app.

For those ready to jump in, Utah Realtor Chris Nichols tweeted a link to "10 Essential iPad Tips and Tricks" from Fast Company. These include such uses as turning your iPad into a digital picture frame and taking giant screenshots.

For an out-of-the-box use of an iPad — or if hype over the device has got you hating the thing — check out social media guide Mashable’s videos of iPad destruction.

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