So it has been 7 days since buying an iPad. Has it been the life changing event promised by all the pre-launch advertising?
In my case I don’t think my life has changed but it has been enhanced by having one. In a similar way that the iPhone made many on the go tasks easier and in a lot of cases fun the iPad has made other tasks more engaging and fun. I wanted an eReader that would allow me to read technical books while on the go and was willing to pay for that facility. The iPad delivers. Reading is a pleasure and since I already had a nice collection of books from the pragmatic programmers who offer multiple formats for each of their books my bookshelf is nicely full. For other publications in PDF Calibri does a reasonable conversion.
Other things that I really appreciate:
* bulk email operations – but i am looking forward to the unified inbox and multiple exchange account.
* watching TED videos through iTunes
* reading tweets. The UI is just made for scanning and absorbing lists of data.
And just generally how the device has made a place for itself in my life. An idea pops into my head and I can capture it or dig deeper without bringing out the laptop.
There are some quirks to the way the apple bluetooth keyboard works with the iPad. Most of the keys work as you might expect and the pairing system works just fine. There is no real way to navigate around applications and the system that I have found using the a keyboard though so I find myself switching back and forth between screen and keyboard.
The dock is quite vertical which can make the screen position a little off if your are tall and working on a normal desk and chair.
This setup is not what the designers were originally thinking when they created the device but for typing blogs, email etc with my large hands using a keyboard is a lot quicker and easier.
Today I took my new iPad for a day at work:
A colleague had a 3G card for his laptop and shared the connection. Strangely this caused the iPad to pause quite often as if it were trying to connect to something on the net. The connection seemed to drop quite frequently and I was asked to reconnect quite often.
In a meeting I took notes using Pages. On the whole that was successful but downlighting from the ceiling was a little distracting. I was using the iPad with the apple case which inclines the iPad at an angle that makes the keyboard easier to use.
I still can’t touch type but I am getting closer.
There has been a lot of hype around the iPad and I have to confess that after watching the original advertisement I was hooked. But was all the hype justified?
On first use if you are an iPhone user there are few surprises. The larger touch screen is truly superb as an interface and the apps load quickly. I was disappointed that the iBook application was not installed by default and it took me a while to realize I had to download it from the app store.
Generally the zoom feature for iPhone apps works well but I am sure that iPad versions will be out for the few that are not available In that form yet.
Pages and keynote especially work well on the iPad. But apple were not kidding when they said that email, calendar and addressbook were fantastic. For me having all my calendar entries laid out on a touch screen makes a lot of sense. As well as being great to look at.
The keyboard will take a little getting used to and I am not sure if I will be able to touch type on it. My hands are just too big.
One disappointment is the small docking station is not compatible with the protective sleeve. I don’t want to keep taking the iPad out of the sleeve so I suspect that the dock will find little use for me unless I pair it with my wireless keyboard.
Overall I am really impresses there are some UI querks that take a little getting used to but the form factor and UI in general more than make up for it.
Tomorrow will be the first day of iPad in a meeting – makes going to meetings much more fun