Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My iPad

When we went to the Apple store to buy the iPad I was asked what I wanted it for; my answer was that I wanted to use it for all the things I did on my iPod Touch, but with the benefit of a decent sized screen. I have had the Touch almost since they were first released - mine is a 1st generation Touch, which is now becoming a bit frustrating as it is too old to run Apple's new operating system updates (no iOs4, no iBooks). It may be getting old and clunky, but I used it pretty much daily, for everything from playing music to reading my Google Reader and playing games. It could be slow, and looking at web pages in Safari was like reading with a magnifying glass, one section at a time, but often I preferred using a compact, hand-held device to the laptop. I was expecting the iPad to give me everything the Touch does, but quicker, bigger and better. It does.

So far I am mainly using the iPad for:
- Facebook (using the Friendly app - there isn't a native Facebook app for iPad yet or if there is, I haven't found it).
- Reading blogs (I access Google Reader though an app called Feeddler)
- Watching BBC iPlayer
- playing games
- catching up on the news with the BBC News app
- net surfing. Using Safari on the iPad is a great way to potter around online. The screen is big enough to make it comfortable, and the touchscreen makes it so very easy.
- playing games
- entertaining children (so intuitive even a 4 year old can use it without instruction).

There are lots of other possibilities I haven't made any real use of yet, particularly using the iPad as an eReader and for writing. I have experimented a bit with iBooks and the Kindle app and think Kindle is likely to be better if only because there are more books available to download.

Things I particularly like about the iPad are the speed and ease of use. No booting up time, and quick switching between applications. This is because is has solid state storage rather than a disc drive (I think!), and it makes a huge difference. Everything is so much more immediate than on a traditional computer. It is also much more intimate. The touchscreen makes everything more up close and pesonal. This is true of the iPod Touch and iPhone, but more so of the iPad where you are interacting with a larger screen. I love the huge variety of apps available, many free and most for only a small cost. Screen quality is great, and it is a comfortable size for watching TV snd movies. I like how comfortable it is to hold, though using it in a case loses some of the nice ergonomic feel - not enough of a problem to make me want to take it out of the case though.

The not so good bits ... No multitasking yet. The new version of the operating system that allows it is due to be released this month That will be a big plus. The iPad feels enough like a "real" computer that not having multitasking seems odd. I miss it here, while it didn't bother me on the Touch. No Flash - Flash and Apple are at odds and Apple simply omitted it from the iPad, which means some web pages and applications are not usable. The other two main UK TV catchup services - ITV Player and Channel 4 Catchup - can't be used on the iPad because they use Flash, which is a minor irritation. The iPad also allows only very limited use of Google Docs, which is a pain as I normally use Google Docs documents and spreadsheets so that I can access them from any computer.

The online keyboard is quite good, though I haven't typed on it enough to be very accurate yet. It takes a while to get used to the slightly different layout and the feel of typing on a touchscreen. If I find I want to do a lot of typing on the iPad I will probably buy either a bluetooth keyboard or a case with a build in keyboard (these look a great solution, but so far I am not typing enough to justify it).

Overall, so far so good. I'm a happy iPad user, and as Apple tweak the operating system and more web sites accommodate the iPad I will only get happier.

Written on my iPad using Blogpress.


Lori said...

Thanks for sharing. I love my iPod touch and have thought about getting the iPad. Our main purpose for the iPod is to listen to audio books. We (my boys) also love the educational games, School House Rock shows that we purchased for it, instant watch netflix movies, and watching animaniacs on Youtube. You can also get a "saint of the day" app and a daily mass readings app. (kind of fun) We won't be making the move any time soon, so I will keep an eye on how yours is working for you.

Like sunshine in the home said...

Hubs would love an iPad.

ooh my verification word is 'implies' that's the first time it's been a real word! Interesting lol.

Karen E. said...

Thanks for the up-to-the-minute review of how it's working for you. It's still on my wishlist, looking like quite awhile before it will be a reality for me. But, I love hearing about how you're using it.

Catherine said...

Thanks for this informative post. Lauren is saving her money to buy an ipad, mostly for the artistic side of it. She should have enough after Christmas. I have just pre-ordered a Nook Color (Barnes and Noble's version of the Kindle). Can't wait to get it!