Random Thoughts

My Review of the iPad

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Normally I don’t do reviews, but seeing as this something quite different, I would like to give my two cents.

These are just my views, however yours might differ; to each their own.

Although I received my iPad last Monday before noon, I was not able to enjoy it until later that night when I spent about two hours reading RSS feeds on it.

The next day, I kept switching between my Macbook Pro and my iPad. I couldn’t get used to the one task at a time limitation limitation. On my MBP, I usually have Mail, NetNewsWire, Things, and Tweetie running in the background. I like to multitask. If you want to multitask, this is not a device for you… at least not yet.

My iPad is the entry level one, the 16 GB version. I didn’t want to wait for the 3G version because, let’ss face it, I don’t really need another monthly bill to AT&T when I barely get any reception at home.

As the day progressed, I started to get a better sense of how I would interact with it in a much better way that ‘faked’ multitasking. Twitteriffic for the iPad has a built-in web browser as not to open Safari when one taps on a link… but it is an option to if you prefer.

Inline HTML 5 (h.264) YouTube is great. I can’t tell you how many times I have been reading an article on my iPhone and a link to youtube is tapped, sending me to the YouTube app. On the iPad that seems to be resolved for the most part. Links in Safari still direct you to the app though.

For the life of me of me, I wasn’t sure how to hold it. It took about an hour to really find a comfortable way to hold and write on the thing. While it is fairly thin, at pound and half, one grows tired of holding it with one had after a certain period of time.

I enjoy the new look of the Calendar and Contacts app. Safari is fairly familiar yet has a few new features here and there.

I have to admit, I find myself holding it a lot more in landscape (horizontal) than vertical. It just seem much more eye appealing that way. It also seems like I am not the only one, as most apps have taken advantage and set up side scrolling column when in landscape such as Mail and Notes.

One thing of genius that I have observed is 1Password. While I have various logins around the web I rarely use the same password for sites. I use the tool 1Password on the mac and have it sync to my various computers via Dropbox. It’s a plugin to almost every browser on the Mac platform. It stores and help create strong passwords. Sadly, Safari on the iPad and iPhone don’t allow third party plugins such as those like 1Password. Therefore 1Password baked Safari right into their app. Being able to load pages inside the app and letting you load your passwords like nothing.

I saw half of Spartacus on Netflix, and even quit and relaunched it to play right from where I left off. It will be a great way for me to get caught up with shows that have the watch instantly option.

Pandora is a nice app but won’t be as awesome until the fall when 4.0 is released for the iPad that will allow multitasking like playing Pandora’s audio in the background.

Music app… It’s nice, but nothing great about it. I think they could have gone with a different color instead of just the white, but that’s just me. Also, anyone else surprised that there isn’t any cover flow on there?

ABC player is nice touch but noticed I don’t watch many ABC shows. The only ABC show I do watch some of is Better of Ted, (sadly it seems like it has been canceled) and only has two episodes are up. But I do hope they start adding back catalogue. At least until the rumored Hulu app is live.

The more I used my iPad, the more I used Safari. There wasn’t really need for a lot of the apps that the iPhone has.

Facebook needs an iPhone app because their mobile site has a lot of flaws. I used lite.facebook.com but grew tired after encountering many bugs and multiple unexpected log outs. Then I switched to the regular facebook website, and it felt almost the same as that on a desktop browser. With some caveats here and there, but it’s the best option for the time being.

I used Twitter predominately on Safari. While I did try Twitteriffic for the iPad and was surprised how good it is, I wanted to prove that there really doesn’t need to be a dedicated iPad app. While I’m still on the fence on a dedicated Twitter app on the iPad, there are just two irks for me. 1) I couldn’t upload an image from my camera roll. I had to resort to emailing one to TwitPic. Not very hard but nonetheless a work around and 2) Every so often, Safari would refresh Twitter to their mobile website.

Google has updated their web app for the iPad to mimic Mail. It’s ok, but Mail does a better job. Unfortunately, Google hasn’t update Google Apps to take advantage of the iPad. Something I found weird and bothersome is that I couldn’t edit documents in Google Docs. I don’t know if it’s a Google or an Apple problem, it just needs to be fixed.

While it took a me a great time to get accustomed to many things, I’m finding it much more comfortable than reaching my laptop or even my phone for certain things. There are some quirks that I would like Apple to address:

1) Arrow pad/keys mainly when editing documents and writing with the soft keyboard

2) Better ambience lighting sensor/settings (every app had a way to change the brightness)

While surfing the web, I never felt that it was missing something. Yet that seems to be the argument of Adobe as flash does not run on the iPad. Sadly flash doesn’t run (well) on any modern mobile platform. It was expected 2H of 2009 but was pushed back to 1H of 2010 and as of a few days ago, it was announced that Flash 10.1 for mobile phones has been pushed back to 2H of 2010. In other words, Flash 10.1 has been delayed a year.

In conclusion, it’s a great first generation product. Just like its smaller cousin, the iPhone, I’m glad I was able to get one. Just as Steve Jobs said… it does fit right in between my phone and my laptop.

This is one of two blog entries written with WordPress app and on the iPad with the soft keyboard.