IPad Thoughts – 4 days in

iPad hello

Time for a few early iPad thoughts (it arrived on Thursday, ahead of schedule!) Will try not to be too gushing and also to avoid topics I've seen discussed most frequently elsewhere. In no particular order:

  • Its not a big iPod Touch- the relationship is the other way round. That device acts as a satellite to this one, a little outpost for the concept and technology. At times it almost feels like a little cute imitation, a knitted memento of its bigger brother.
  • A pleasant unanticipated benefit has been that my iPhone battery lasts way longer. The time I used to spend fiddling with apps on the train has been displaced by eBooks and Wired magazine, leaving more juice in the most vital organ.

  • Having picked up a case today, it makes a big difference to the usability- especially if you get one which can tilt the screen at an angle (as per the official Apple offering.)
  • Uploading documents to iWork.com from the 'MS Office' style apps seems a handy inclusion as anyone with mobile web access can bring up the site without having to open a laptop etc.
  • The Wired app is nice but somehow less satisfying than its paper equivalent. Maybe its because pages are so small or because you cant really bother with any of the audio/video when you're on a crowded train without earphones in?
  • A fair few iPhone games work fine with pixel-doubling enabled but straight apps and utilities are ugly to near unusability- including Spotify. Presumably they're waiting for 4.0 and multitasking before making a big splash with new UI and extensions.
  • The keyboard is brilliant in horizontal mode, as long as you're comfortable touch tapping instead of touch-typing. Can definitely imagine getting work done on the train without having to get the laptop out.

So, in short, I like it but I kinda always knew what I was in for. But lets see how the experience evolves as time goes on and especially once Google release their inevitable ChromePad…

- Max Tatton-Brown

May 30th, 2010