iPad reflections

iPad reflections

I am writing this post from my new iPad. I’ve been waiting for this moment for some time…I have had high hopes. Here are the pros and the cons.

Pros
It’s remarkably easy to use. Any interface works well only if the symbols in use resonate deeply with the user. Apple has the advantage of many years of symbol generation in it’s favour. I’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit without having to turn to a manual.

Others have commented on how awesome it feels to interact with the web using your fingers instead of a mouse; the immediacy of it, the intimacy…it’s like meeting the web in the flesh for the first time. Intimacy like that with places and content is extremely powerful. I can’t see being satisfied with less having experienced it.

Typing is okay. It autocorrects a lot, but it has to. Most of the time it’s right. It pit all your apostrophes and capitals in, which should clean up a great dal of grammar on the Internet.

Mail is stunning. I don’t even know what makes it so beautiful, but it is. So is the calendar. I get a little shiver imaging that my activities will be documented in such an elegant way. So far I’m only viewing,so I can’t speak to it’s functionality. Apple appears to be appealing to the secret aesthete in us; the style and slickness makes you feel like you’re transcending some kind of hitherto unknown class boundary. I admire and appreciate their attempt to surround me with prettiness.

Cons
It never once occurred to me that the ipad’s web browser (safari) would struggle with google docs. Google docs is my word processor of choice, and since it’s a app, I presumed I would have no trouble at all composing docs on an iPad. But no: I can view but not edit google docs on the iPad. I’d really like to know why. Does docs rely on flash? I was under the impression that it didn’t. Is it’s functionality deliberately disabled, and by which party? My guess is that apple is responsible, not google, but this like like picking one parent over another. I’ve been a Mac user since 1997 and I become more of a google fan by the day. Why apple makes the products I’d rather spend the day with my fingers on, google makes the functionality I need. So I hope safari gets it’s act together. In the meantime I’m making do with a very slick app called Office2 HD, which is beautiful. But I believe that the future is in the mobile web, not locked away in apps. If google comes up with a rival device that ties seamlessly into it’s apps package, I may be lured away from apple products.

iBooks. The reading interface is quite lovely, but I’ve never seem a more poorly organized collection of fiction. Books for young adults are listed in the children’s section. Beyond basic author, title and rough genre, I can’t dig though the collection in any comfortable or interesting way. And the bookshelf display is far too simple for the eventual cluttered collection any book loving reader will accumulate. It looks very much slapped together with no serious thought about categorizing fiction.

Lack of flash? Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. YouTube looks fantastic embedded on a page or otherwise.

Thus I find myself partly pleased and impressed, and partly unexpectedly disappointed.

0 thoughts on “iPad reflections

  1. Yeah, I did some research into the iPad, and that was a big reason why i was holding off. It’s also my word processor of choice. I’m hopeful that Google Documents support will come soon, though. (Software Dvorak keyboard support too!)

    You can

    Sort of a side-note: I actually thought of you and your blog when I saw Steve Jobs start streaming video from the iPad to a television using that new TV thing they just invented. I saw that and my first thought was that it should be very easy to adapt that for use in the classroom. Just take out the “rent a TV show” stuff and keep the “stream content from your iPad” part. I don’t know how many times I’ve had problems trying to get students’ (and my own) presentations to work with a university’s classroom projectors.

    Just tap-tap-tap and his content was on the big screen. Much better than the “plug in-restart-hope for the best” which is standard in the classroom at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. The morning after buying my iPad, I woke in a panic. I own a Mac Pro and haven’t had a laptop in years but have always been on the verge of getting one even though I don’t *really* need one at present. So I woke in a panic because I’d bought the top of line iPad with 3G and spent all that $$ totally forgetting that it was cheaper than a laptop and that I’d never be happy with just a Macbook and therefore would have bought a Pro if I did get a portable computer and instead of spending $850, would have spent $2500ish. But I didn’t know the power of the iPad yet…

    Then I started downloading and using various apps and little by little I found that I couldn’t STOP using and playing with it! What’s amazing is that it is a TOTALLY new Apple experience as I don’t have an iPhone yet (awaiting the long awaited Verizon model). I can’t wait to finish working so I can play with my iPad. Or get in bed and play with it. I watch Netflix on it instead of my 55″ HD TV that is in the same room starring at me over my knees!

    I’m reading A LOT more too: Newsday, 2 Mac mags, ABC News daily, financial mags, etc. I’m doing all kinds of stuff I didn’t regularly do before and loving it.

    On CNBC news (on the TV) the other morning they were talking about how if Steve would split the stock then a whole new level of investor, like me, could afford to buy the stock, blah, blah, blah, and then they talked about the new AppleTV and looking to the future of people cutting their cable TV in favor of TV on demand via AppleTV at 99ยข a show, and then they said in regard to iPads how people can’t keep their hands off theirs. And it hit me how true it was. I take it with me everywhere I go. I feel naked without it, so to speak. I NEVER thought THAT would happen. When it first came out, I thought it was too big and silly. Just a big iPod Touch that no one would want to lug around. WRONG WRONG WRONG. I admin it now.

    I even can make VOIP calls with it and stream my music and videos from my Mac Pro!! It’s the best Apple purchase I’ve ever made, user experience wise. I’m having fun like I used to when I got my very first computer: a Mac SE. I, like many, sat in front of it 12 hrs a day, not to mention all the time spent at user group meetings, seminars and Mac events.

    The reviewer on that financial TV show I mentioned earlier said that Apple had raised the bar such that hardware had to “delight” the customer to succeed. So well said. And baby… I’m delighted ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I don’t have any experience with pages, so it’s hard to say. Depends what you’re trying to do, I guess. Apparently Google is going to make docs work with ipads, so I expect shortly I won’t use either.

    Lately I’d rather use simplenote or evernote for my word processing needs, frankly.

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