Imran's personal blog

April 4, 2010

My iPad review

Filed under: Uncategorized — ipeerbhai @ 7:49 pm

So, I recently got a brand new iPad. This is my review of the first day. I’ll break this review down into three sections, followed by a verdict on if you should buy one. Section 1– the hardware — this section will give you an overview of how I feel about the iPad hardware. Section 2 — the software — this will focus on the few apps I have used on it. Section 3 — the use cases — this section will focus on certain uses I did with the iPad.

The Hardware

the iPad is a beautiful screen. Typing on the on-screen keyboard is pretty good. I’m writing this review on the screen right now! I can type at about 75% of my normal typing speed on it. What slows me down is that the numbers and symbols require cycling through different software keyboards. The main keyboard has no numbers and few symbols. My error rate is much higher than a real keyboard, but the built-in spell corrector is working well. Sound quality is good. But the lack of multi-tasking is noticeable. For example, I want to listen to music, but didn’t start the iPod app. I have to close safari and lose my post if I wanted to do that now. Overall, the iPad hardware is adequate, but the iPad OS needs some updates. Screen touch accuracy is good. Screen gets dirty VERY easily.

software

I’ve used Pages, notes, iBooks, and padnotes on the iPad. The software is ok, but I would say the normal versions are better. Pages on the Mac is wonderful! But on the iPad, it’s missing many features i loved on the Mac. For examples, the notebook feature is missing. This was my primary way of organizing thoughts before writing something, and without it, Pages feels naked to me. Plus it was written to be used in portrait mode, but the screen keyboard works best in landscape mode. As a result, you’re constantly rotating the pad, which is bad for productivity. It works, but not well. The built-in notes app is crap. Really, you could use it to type a few things but you can’t draw. The iPad gives you all this screen room, and the killer feature is left out. It’s just like the iPhone notes app — which is a dissapointment for the iPhone. Even Pages doesn’t support this, and it should! Padnotes is ok. It let’s you draw and type — but it has many bugs. Type some text, then try to edit the text and it cuts off the top line of text. Can’t scale drawings easily. Too much a copy of one-note. IBooks is great! Gutenberg integration means many books are there. Reads well in both rotations.

common scenarios

this is where I use the iPad to do things, like write this review. I’ve found a big issue in using the iPad–many dialog boxes don’t bring up the on screen keyboard on the web. For example, this review couldn’t be written in joomla, since the joomla control doesn’t bring up the keyboard, and you can’t force one to come up. WordPress didn’t work in the main mode, either. I had to write this in pure HTML, since only the HTML editor worked. Very sucky. No flash is a bit of a bother. Many sites don’t work at all.
Writing each section heading takes hunting through 3 keypads. Very sucky. Browsing is good. Hotmail works well.

verdict

this is a tough one. On one hand, I love the iPad. On the other, it feels incomplete. The screen rocks. For it’s size, very usable device. But the apps aren’t very good. Even apple apps are ok at best, and third party apps pretty sucky. The experience is hit or miss on the web. Some things work well, some poorly, and some not at all. My verdict–wait. The iPad is a revolutionary device, but the kinks aren’t worked out yet. If you’re buying it as a book reader, well the Sony product is probably better. If you’re buying it as a media tablet, well, without flash, too much of the web is missing, and HTML 5 isn’t widely deployed yet. If you’re buying it as a big ipod, great. If you’re buying it as a note taking homework machine, which is why i got it, the software isn’t there yet. The iPad will be great — in about 3-6 months. Apple needs to fix a few things. One, a way to force the on screen keyboard to appear in safari. Two, pages needs to work better in landscape mode. Three, flash is needed on this device. We’re an OS update and a few month of app development experience away right now.

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8 Comments »

  1. Updates. Adobe ideas rocks. So simple, but so useful. And it’s free! Portrait mode usability isn’t too bad either. Single touch hunt and peck is faster than I thought on the software keyboard. My use case — homework and notes — still not there, but artists will love it. My verdict — if you’re an artist, get the iPad now. It’ll work well for you, if you’re a blogger, wait. If you’re a student, 50/50 — you can get it now or wait. But one thing is for sure–this is the future of computing, I expect the mouse and normal pc to die over the next decade… Touchscreens will become the new normal.

    Comment by ipeerbhai — April 4, 2010 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  2. More updates. Battery life rocks. I’ve been listening to iTunes, browsing, doing homework, typing, etc since noon. That’s like 4 hours ago. I’ve used only 25% of the battery so far. It’ll easily last 8 hours or more, with wifi on. Probably make it to 10. That rocks!

    Comment by ipeerbhai — April 4, 2010 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

  3. The one thing the iPad really needs is a my documents area. I have a PDF online I want to import into pad notes, but can’t. A document manager is needed for this form factor. Add one to my list if “apple needs to add…”

    Comment by ipeerbhai — April 4, 2010 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  4. Replying to mail in Hotmail causes safari to crash. There’s no way to “stop” safari when it becomes unresponsive. Pretty big bug. PadNotes PDF is a nice feature, but PadNotes still kinda sucky. Really need a better note-taking app.

    Comment by Imran — April 6, 2010 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

  5. Can you see the screen clearly while you’re out in the sun?

    Comment by Amy — April 6, 2010 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  6. Did you get the WiFi 3G one?

    Comment by Amy — April 6, 2010 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  7. Wifi — lowest model. I don’t know about sun, since Seattle doesn’t really get a lot of sunlight.

    Comment by ipeerbhai — April 6, 2010 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  8. we should get it out to be tested with bright light. tanning bed??

    Comment by evia — April 7, 2010 @ 10:19 pm | Reply


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