Wednesday, May 26, 2010

10 things about my iPad

As some of you may have noticed I recently took a break from the blog to go on a vacation with my wife and three-year-old daughter. The night before we left on that vacation, I got it in my head that I was going to get an iPad to take with us. So I did. (It’s a 64 gig wi-fi model, for the record.)

So in the tradition of this blog I want to share my initial impressions of this pretty incredible device: 5 good things, and 5 not so good.

Before I start in, though, let me just be clear about something: I like Apple products in general, but I’m not a crazy superfan, and I am far from a technologist. My review is based on my use of the iPad thusfar, and does not represent an in-depth, technical analysis. I should also note that I don’t have an iPhone, so some of these comments may seem unremarkable to those of you who figured this stuff out when you got an iPhone. That said, let’s dig in.

* Even a 3-year-old gets it.
Within a couple days my daughter understood what buttons to push and how to use many of the multi-touch capabilities.

* iBooks are pretty nice. (Sorry book designers.)
This may sound silly, but one thing I really like is being able to read in bed without a light on.

* Free in-flight wi-fi is awesome.
We placed a Fresh-Direct grocery order during our flight home. The future is now.

* The Netflix app kicks ass.
I was pretty skeptical that streaming a movie over a wi-fi connection to the iPad would work well. I was wrong. And watching videos in general is effing nice on this thing.

* I’ve only scratched the surface.
I’d be content to only ever use the features and apps I’ve used thusfar, but I’m pretty stoked to figure out what else this thing can do. It really feels right to use a computer this way, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the future. For now.

* A handle might be nice.
I realize that sounds kinda dumb, but it’s actually not that easy to hold at the edges, especially when you hold it horizontally. The inclination instead is to cradle it like a book, but because it’s flat, rigid, and heavy-ish, it always feels like it’s about to slip out of your hand. Having something to slip your hand into on the back would help stabilize it. If not the iPad itself, then it should be standard on all skins and cases.

* Multiple users?
Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems the device is designed to have only one dedicated user. But it ain’t an iPod. Seems fairly obvious to me that it should allow multiple members of a household to use it separately.

* Dual usage might be nice.
When my daughter was busy with her stickers app, or watching Sid the Science Kid, I found myself wishing the screen could split and allow me to check my email or twitter account or whatever. Similarly, with a second headphone jack, I could have listened to music while she was listening to her show.

* Why does iPhoto have to open every time I sync it?
I’ve saved kid art and screen grabs to the Photos library on the iPad. That doesn’t mean I want all that stuff in iPhoto.

* The app store isn’t smart enough.
This is somewhat true of iTunes in general, I think. By way of contrast, Netflix figured out that part of what made renting videos work was going to the store and browsing thru the shelves, so they emulated that with their recommendation feature. The iTunes and App store have yet to get up to speed in that regard. Most of my purchases were things I sought out, and I’m hardly well-informed, so my searches are limited by my own guesses at what might exist. Instead, the store should be recommending things, and making me marvel at how it knew what I wanted all along.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, ooh, I can help with the iPhoto non-sense. When your iPad is connected to your computer, open Image Capture. When you select your iPad from the "Devices" menu, an options submenu appears at the bottom of the screen. Choose "No Application" from the "Connecting this iPad opens:" submenu. Voila!

    It worked perfectly on my iPod touch.

    It's a strange process, which is not Apple's usual M.O,