Adventures with my new iPad

April 5, 2010
47 Views


Ok, so I don’t really blog about hardware or gadgets, at least most of the time, but, well his time I can’t help it. I’ll try to mostly focus on the apps, since software is really what I do. I’ve now had over a day with the new device and I’m happy to say I’m very impressed and satisfied so far. Of course I’m still getting things set up and figuring out how it will figure in my workflows but so far, so good.

I picked up my 64GB iPad and the Apple fold over case yesterday from the San Francisco Apple store, I had previously reserved it and only had to wait in line for about an hour and a half. I was a little surprised at the compactness of the packaging and I guess the iPad itself is a little smaller than I imagined, even though I knew the dimensions. Not that the size is an issue at all, it feels substantial and the screen is really clear and vibrant. Set up, like all Apple devices, was very easy…just connect it to my MacBook and sync. The iTunes controls are very similar to the iPhone. I synced most of my iPhone apps to start but I’ve since worked through them and deleted unwanted or unneeded apps. Luckily some of my favorite apps now have an iPad version


Ok, so I don’t really blog about hardware or gadgets, at least most of the time, but, well his time I can’t help it. I’ll try to mostly focus on the apps, since software is really what I do. I’ve now had over a day with the new device and I’m happy to say I’m very impressed and satisfied so far. Of course I’m still getting things set up and figuring out how it will figure in my workflows but so far, so good.

I picked up my 64GB iPad and the Apple fold over case yesterday from the San Francisco Apple store, I had previously reserved it and only had to wait in line for about an hour and a half. I was a little surprised at the compactness of the packaging and I guess the iPad itself is a little smaller than I imagined, even though I knew the dimensions. Not that the size is an issue at all, it feels substantial and the screen is really clear and vibrant. Set up, like all Apple devices, was very easy…just connect it to my MacBook and sync. The iTunes controls are very similar to the iPhone. I synced most of my iPhone apps to start but I’ve since worked through them and deleted unwanted or unneeded apps. Luckily some of my favorite apps now have an iPad version, which makes a significant difference in the experience from just blowing up an iPhone app. One of the first things you’ll notice is the blazing fast speed of the device. I guess the Apple designed chip really hit the mark. The keyboard is a little cramped in portrait mode for my large hands but in landscape it’s fine. I think it’s easier to type on than the Dell mini 9 netbook I own.

Battery life seems like it will be quite good as well although I did do a bit of research to figure out the charging. It seems that it requires higher amperage for fast charging so the included charger is the most efficient, with the USB ports on the newer Mac’s a good second choice. USB ports on older Macs and most (if not all) Windows machines will only maintain a charge if the iPad is being used but will charge (although much slower) when the iPad is asleep.

So far here’s what I’m doing with my iPad and some of the apps that I ink really shine:

  • Web browsing and web research is a pleasure. There’s plenty of screen real-estate and the touch screen really adds to the experience.
  • Reading eBooks. I like the Kindle app for iPad and I prefer it to the Kindle itself. The iBook app from Apple is also quite good and like iTunes makes eBooks easy to find and buy.
  • Reading my RSS feeds. I use the free NetNewsWire by NewsGator on both my MacBook and iPhone, they work great and stay in sync through Google Reader. I decided to buy the iPad NetNewsWire app and it’s well worth the $’s. The layout really uses the screen effectively and the share / Tweet function is really good.
  • News. I like the BBC app, although the tweet feature isn’t perfect. The Bloomberg app, for those of you that want to keep an eye on the financial markets is a must have, great layout, easy to manage and free. I also like the AP news app and the FX news app for local news. The Yahoo entertainment app is visually beautiful and very functional.
  • Streaming movies and TV content. The Netflix app is near perfect, really great experience. I loaded the ABC app and the layout looks good but I keep having a problem with it “crashing”, but it is vision 1.
  • Social networks. I loaded Ultimate Facebook app and after I got used to the interface (it’s very different from the iPhone Facebook app I am using), I love it. The app automatically puts game “stuff” from your feed in a game folder and out of the newsfeed (yay!). You can build other auto folder rules as well. The newsfeed presents unread updates and hides them as you read, very clean. I loaded Tweetdeck for iPad, which is one of my favorite clients on the Mac and iPhone. I haven’t tried any others on the iPad yet, so far Tweetdeck is doing the trick although there’s something funny about links, I can’t seem to get them to open from the streams (maybe operator error but it’s annoying).
  • Productivity. I use Evernote for note taking on both my MacBook and iPhone and so of course I loaded the iPad vision as well. The client is very clean and functional. I think I like it better than the Mac client actually. I bout iWork as well. I have it on my MacBook and like it but end up using MS Office more often than not for compatibility reasons. I haven’t played with Numbers or Keynote for iPad yet but I did use Pages some yesterday and the experience is fine. The one odd thing is that the menu bar goes away in landscape mode (to save space) but since I mostly use the iPad in landscape I “lost” the menus for a bit and it took me a little while to realize all I had to do was rotate the screen to get them back. I also use Google Docs for collaboration so I tried them a little from the browser and they seem to be usable.
  • Blogging. I’m writing this post on the BlogPress app for iPad. It’s functional but I wish it had better editing tools. The integration to the iPad photos app is excellent. Maybe I’ll try writing the post on Pages and then cut and paste into this app to post.
  • Other apps. Pandora works fine but the lack of multitasking makes it not really very usable. How many times to I want to listen to the radio and do nothing else…not very often. I loaded Dragon Dictation but haven’t had much chance to test the voice to text features. I like the idea of it, but we’ll see how accurate it is. I love Wikipedia so I loaded the Wikipanion app and paid for the off line version (on line version is free, $5 to have it available off line, seems reasonable). I also loaded the free Adobe Ideas app but have yet to draw anything with it.
  • Wish I had: iPad versions of Skype, Tweetie 2, and OpenTable (although the iPhone version works ok).

I guess that’s enough for now but maybe I’ll do an update after I’ve used it more.

— Post From My iPad

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