Another Day, Another iPad

Creative Commons License photo credit: powerbooktrance

Okay, okay.   I’m weak – I admit it!  I lasted nearly a week before I finally caved in, went down to Best Buy, and picked up an iPad which I now have been playing with for about 12 hours.   So of course, I now have a few observations and because the world hasn’t had nearly enough iPad opinion pieces, I’m going to share with you!

First – the device and it’s potential really are amazing. Despite all the hype and the nonsense and even a few drawbacks, I’m really impressed with this thing.  Although I’m generally a fan of many of the things Apple has done, I wasn’t expecting this to be nearly as unique as it’s proving to be.  I do think that, despite the big sales so far, I think there will be a sort of ramp-up time while people figure out what this device can be used for. Ultimately, however, I think this form factor is going to be hugely successful – for Apple and/or some of the up and coming Android-based devices coming out.

Second – the iPad version of Mail is really clumsy. I get a lot of automated messages that either need to be auto-filtered or deleted. Mail doesn’t really offer any filtering and because of the preview feature it’s actually slower to delete large numbers of mail items than it used to be on the iPhone. Does anyone know if this can be turned off in a control panel somewhere? I haven’t found it yet.

Third – iBooks is a great reading app but the store selection sucks! I’m using the new Kindle version and I love it. the iPad makes for a great Kindle! The product selection in iBooks will improve over time, but Amazon’s selection is already really good. I need more technical books and non-fiction reference books though, not just NYT bestselling titles!

Fourth – I use a program called NewsRack as my RSS/Google reader. I really liked it on my iPhone a lot but I’m not as crazy about the iPad version. My problem, similar to my difficulties with Mail, is that this version is actually clumsier than the iPhone version. I’m open to suggestions for a better reader!

Fifth – I love the new version of the game Flight Control.  This was a great game on the iPhone and iPod touch and they actually managed to make it even better without screwing up what made it so cool in the first place!

Sixth – Why is it that no Apple version of YouTube supports groups? And how come I can delete a subscription but I can not add one?

Seventh – how come Apple didn’t include all the same language support that is in the iPhone and iPod Touch? Did they run out of time or was it a deliberate omission? now there are foreign characters I need that I have to work around because I can’t just switch keyboards and type them. Boo – for not including them! And boo – for not disclosing that!

Eighth – Good reader for iPad is really nice and even big ugly PDF files render nicely and quickly. I’m loving PDF viewing on this thing! And bless them for also supporting the iTunes doc sync mechanism! Cisco documentation is much less painful this way! OK it’s still painful but easier to view!

Lastly – I want this thing to print!   Yes I can transfer documents to my desktop first, but I really want to print directly to my wireless printer!   It didn’t matter so much from my iPhone, but I’m actually able to get work done on this, and now I want to print!

So, as you can see, I’m slowly getting up to speed on this device – as are a number of folk here at Gear Diary and the rest of the world. A new device, new software versions, and even a new OS to look forward to in the fall!  Multitasking, folders, and Bluetooth keyboards – oh my!

So tell me – what are your iPad observations now that we’ve made it through the first week?

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10 replies

  1. RT @GearDiarySite: Another Day, Another iPad

  2. haha Chris! Congrats on your iPad purchase! I haven’t had the chance to go to the Apple store to get any hands on experience with the iPad, but from what I hear the Kindle app is amazing I look forward to more reviews on the iPad! I can only imagine the things developers are working on for this baby portability is so essential now a days and this Apple’s tablet looks great :)

  3. Chris- surprised by your take on mail and newsrack. For me both are homeruns. I am enjoying dealing with email on the iPad tremendously and I love using newsrack. Truth be told I am much happier checking my rss feeds on my ipad than I am on my iPhone or mac.

    Posted from my iPad.

  4. I found myself a little surprised as well. Both apps are definitely bigger and more feature rich but like I said, the preview in mail causes slowdowns when you have to select lots of items because you get a slight lag as the message is displayed. in the iPhone version simply selecting the message doesn’t open it in e background so the lag doesn’t exist. The feature is nice unless you have to do big selections /deletions like I do! if I could turn that preview off it would make my life easier.

    In news rack the difficulty is that the original app was very clear – you always went from your folders, to individual feeds, to the story you wanted. in the iPad version this isn’t as clean and you often start farther down in the structure forcing you to backtrack to get to the folder level. If they offered a feature to force it to always start at the folders (feeds) – that would make it more consistent and cleaner, but as it is it sometimes takes a little longer to read my feeds because I have to back out of whatever story I left it in last time. Again, I should point out that the program has a lot of neatbnew features, but it’s not necessarily as clean or intuitive as the original. It’s a little less straighforward and I think that it’s lost a little something in the transition.

  5. Another Day, Another iPad | Gear Diary: A new device, new software versions, and even a new OS to look forward to …

  6. Does the Kindle app allow you to choose justification, or is it like it is on the iPhone, where you get full justification with no way to modify it?

  7. I haven’t found anything to change the justification settings, but the higher res makes that less of a problem than it was on the iPhone. It would still be nice to have that though.