Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My love-hate relationship with the iPad

I have had the iPad for over 6 months now and have given it sufficient time to get over any preconceived notions.  I really had some pretty strong feelings about the iPad after I had used it for about 24 hours. I have used it a lot more since then, and here I some impressions:

Top 5 things I love about the iPad

  1. It is the perfect size to watch Ted Talks while walking on the treadmill.  
  2. Its instant start and screen size make it perfect to check (and READ) e-mail or Facebook - the pinch/zoom function helps for small print
  3. Its brightness makes it easy to read an e-book or catch up on the news at night without a night light
  4. Don't have to worry about finding a movie that both my wife and I would like.  She can watch one on the TV and I can watch one on NetFlix (with ear plugs) on the iPad sitting side by side!
  5. When turned off, the super reflective screen serves a double purpose as a mirror.  Of course that assumes you wiped off your grimy fingerprints first.  But if it is squeaky clean, it will cause blinding reflections from every light source.  So you have to learn to get it just right!
Top 5 things I hate about the iPad
  1. The on screen keyboard does make typing a pain.  This is particularly a problem when writing a lot of text e.g. OK for Twitter but not for blogs.  Also having to put the device so it is comfortable to type with both hands means you have to crane your neck to read what you are typing - definitely not ergonomic.
  2. The lack of support for multiple user accounts makes it difficult to share the device.  Typing in passwords into multiple sites is a pain especially if you use complex passwords.  So you would set the iPad to remember your passwords.  You would set the device to prompt you for a password on start up.  So if a friend wants to play with your iPad you have to wipe out all your passwords.  
  3. The lack of flash support is a disaster - recently watching the state of the union address, I wanted to check out the viewer reactions to the speech in realtime on CNN.  Had to use my laptop as the CNN polling app is Flash.  Wanted to check Google analytics - I could not change the date range or view the graphs as that is in Flash.  Wanted to use Scottrade - same problem. 
  4. The failure to provide any SD card or USB ports is a mistake - does not need any explanation. 
  5. The lack of a built in handwriting/stylus tool and handwriting recognition.  The device is perfect for jotting down notes with some diagrams, for brainstorming, for thinking "aloud".  Need a OneNote for the iPad and stylus support.