The Apple Ipad is a really nifty lightweight gadget. Rather than just a gadget, I can almost call it a third-hand of mine ever since receiving mine that I just I had to have. Despite what some critics say, it is much more than just a smartphone or Another iPhone. It has pretty much all the features of the iPhone plus applications specifically built for the larger screen like Pages. Certain applications need the width and height of the iPad to function well, hence why I don’t think word processing has a future on the iPhone but it does on iPad. Surprisingly, the touch-toned keyboard is very responsive and efficient – much more so than the iPhones and a Bluetooth keyboard is easy to connect. Though due to the Os setup there is no bluetooth mouse connectivity so that kind of defeats the use of the keyboards in my opinion. The whole gist of the iPad is in how well the Os is setup for touch interface-use however in the sense you can do everything from quickly moving the cursor between letters by holding down a point to getting rid of entire URL entries by clicking an x that is much easier to navigate than with the iPhone.
The thing that sets the iPad apart from the standard desktops for me is the portability of the device which includes it’s lightness and the ability to put it between your arms while walking – thus having your hands free – and the fun or slickness of it. The $40, iPad case is really a must though and makes the experience much better. Besides protecting the shell and screen, it allows the iPad to independently stand upright in front of the user like a monitor instead of having to hold it like a book.
The battery life is incredible and in my book one of it’s selling points to both iPhone-heavy users and laptop-heavy users – both probably hassled by having a power source nearby and their charger cables on hand. The iPad will pretty much go whole day without having to be charged and that includes in a night or dark lighting.
Some of the downsides – which are often blogged about and mentioned on tech websites – are the competitive software restrictive practices of apple. For instance Adobe Flash is inaccessible despite the fact many websites rely on it for content or are based off Flash. However Apple does have a point in terms of the battery drainage and processing power bottlenecks that result from many Flash applications and websites. Many apps, like Farmville, also have their own AppStore versions that can downloaded for free off iTunes, or for some small change, and run much more efficient than the official flash-web variants. ITunes is very easy to use and prices are just right in my opinion especially compared to Windows-based applications or software you have for notebooks (including netbooks).
Another downside is the integration of some apps like trying to add attachments to e-mails is difficult -although I heard there are some apps for this on iTunes – or wanting to add files off the iPad to websites through browse selections. The lack of USB ports is another shortcoming.
Despite some downsides the iPad really made web browsing fun again and took away most of the hassle away associated with portable computing. Besides the already-mentioned shortcomings of laptop-devices not having to scroll with a notebook scroller or have to carry a mouse on you, is another thing to think about in terms of comfort and portability. I even use mine standing up in Starbucks restroom lines for instance without any discomfort or heaviness of the device.
Integration of various applications needs some fine tuning but it is not bad at all with some patience and practice. For example I wrote an early version of all three of the first blogs in one long iWord document and copy and pasted parts of each – including a block of text between two others with the drag commands. I pasted these blogs, or block a of text, onto each post here on WordPress that I also downloaded from the App store free.
I have also recently added my blue tooth keyboard from my iMac to the ipad and it is a nifty little addition despite the fact I was trying to find a mouse with my right hand at the same time. It just seems as second nature and it would be a cool addition of Apple gave you the option to use it in addition to the touch interface. However I understand the limitations and that the main draw for the iPad is obviously its portability.
One thing I also want to mention is how I love the fact portrait and landscape modes offer such different experiences to users and tailor to people who want different things out of their iPads as each offers advantages and disadvantages in typing and visibility.
I suggest for anyone that does a lot of web surfing or on-the-go computing to try one out, and look what the iPad really has to offer before dismissing it as another smartphone or netbook. As I’m typing right now competitors are emerging that include the infamous Samsung Galaxy, but Apple clearly set the tone in this market and brought tablet-computing on the map as an alternative to the notebook.