Oct 16, 2010

A month with the Apple iPad ...


I got the iPad as a birthday present about a month ago. I have been using it since and I want to share my experience with you.

You would have definitely heard about or seen the iPad by now, some of you may own one too. It is a portable device sold by Apple Computers to bridge the gap between a smart phone and a computer, negating the need for a netbook.

The package contained a USB chord, a printed user manual with the iPad sitting on top. I thought it would at least come with some kind of a usable cover. It did not. You have to buy it separately, and with so much choice online, I have yet to decide on a purchase.

Unlike a computer, there is no boot up process, it is ready when you are. The iPad feels solid and sturdy and once fired up, it is easy to start using all the apps. You just know what to do, especially if you have used an iPhone before. The software is really fast and very intuitive.  The apps are what makes the iPad experience so enjoyable.

The screen is gorgeous and big enough to surf the internet like with a real computer, without going to mobile version of the websites. I like the fact that, some websites, like Gmail, give you an optimized layout for iPad users.

I mainly use the iPad to surf the net, tweet, check email, read PDFs and catch up on google reader. Here is a list of apps on my iPad. It is pretty limited, so feel free to add anything you think I should check out.

iBooks - I guess this is must if you want to read books and PDF.
iDhivehiSites -  To read websites in dhivehi, like Haveeru.
TweetDeck and Twitterrefic - TweetDeck keeps crashing on me, almost everyday.
GoodReader - Another PDF reader, but this app can read PDF on your computer via WiFi.
Marvel, DC Comics, and Comics - Comics has most of the free comics on Marvel and DC.
IMDB - An app to easily check Internet Movie Database.
Wikipanion - An app to easily read Wikipedia.
Dropbox - Store, edit and sync files in he cloud. See my post about dropbox here.
Evernote -  A note taking app with sync functionality. Very useful.
Flipboard - A visual social media links aggregator. I just installed it.

The battery life is impressive. I have not used it extendedly, but with about 3-4 hours daily, it last 3 days. Not bad at all.

That being said, the iPad is not perfect. Let me tell you my gripes.

It is a bit heavy for extensive use, your hands get tired soon, maybe because the primary purpose of the iPad is not extended narrative reading. The iPad is not as good in sunlight as the Kindle, not even close, you need some kind of shade to be able to use it. If your want to read books, I suggest you get a Kindle.

The iPad has an OKish on-screen keyboard, but if you want to do any serious writing, forget it. You cannot type like how they do in the ads. It is good to write a few sentences at most, if you want to write more, you will have to get the external bluetooth keyboard.

Some people say that the iPad is plagued by WiFi dropout problems. I have not had a single dropout yet, may be the latest software update had it fixed.

I have to admit, when the iPad first came out, I was extremely skeptical. I could not think of a reason to get one or anticipate how it would fit in to my daily life. However, now that I have been playing with it for a while, I can tell you that iPad is an extremely versatile device and a sheer joy to use.

While I have friends who are exited about the gaming ability of the iPad, I know people who use it essentially for email. I have seen photographers using it as a proofing device and I have heard about parents using the iPad to make learning fun for kids. This is not only a device, its a platform, and I think that is what makes it revolutionary.



Mohamed said...

I have an iPad as well and I think the Dodocase is the best case available. ( It's great, makes it look like moleskin book and solves the holding problem.

And for Apps I use not including what you have mentioned:
- VLC (Plays almost anything except HD mkv)
- Reeder (An app which syncs with your google reader feed and shows it in a gorgeous layout)
- Twitter for iPad
- Comic Zeal to view your custom CBR's (Comics)

I think it will get much better with firmware 4.2 ( Multi-tasking!! )

//Sub/Corpus said...

Mohamed ::
Thank you, will check out dodocase, and the apps ...
Does Comic Zeal have native CBR or CBZ support ???
I've been converting comics to PDF to read on the iPad ...
If Comic Zeal has support for these formats ... that would save a lot of time !!!

wad said...

So, people need a Netbook or iPad to fill a gap between smartphones and a computer? What is this "gap" about?

Mohamed said...

Comic Zeal coverts it to CBI format before uploading. Much better (Y)

gowithsmile said...

Bro U almost conviced me to buy an iPad but im still waiting for few more months with the outcome news!

Looking forward for more comments about more people experience!

//Sub/Corpus said...

gowithsmile ::
Good idea to wait a while, may be you will end up buying a Kindle instead ... :)

gowithsmile said...

hehe I hope i can buy both!!! but will wait for iPad!

SoE said...

I agree with gaanaga personally. If the iPad were able to replace my laptop to a reasonable degree then it'd be a worthwhile investment. However, I can see this happening for your average joe computer user.

now then....thaana keyboard for iPad anyone?

shafi said...

your review makes me very tempted to buy one. its in my Need To Buy list now!

ieccco said...

After I laid my hands on one, I really felt tempted to buy it, and I would've already bought it if I wasn't studying and had a earning job, too bad. But still hoping for it.

Anonymous said...

After about 3 months of using the iPad. I still love it as I did one week after getting it as mentioned on which I actually wrote from the iPad. It has definitely filled that "gap" between my smartphone and laptop, not that there was ever a gap, but it is useful for those times when the computer isn't already on and my iPhone's screen is just too small. I use CineXplayer and Air Video to watch my movies and videos. eBook is okay, but I already have a Sony eBook and prefer the small book size. Personally I did and still DO have the WiFi signal problem. I understand that laptops have more powerful antennas but my favorite spot on the couch only gets 1 little bar of signal versus the full signal on my laptops. Sitting next to the wireless router doesn't help much either. Hopefully tomorrows iOS 4 update will change that. Don't forget the screen orientation lock will because a mute switch after this update!

Dean said...

I am having an iPad for the past six months, just after a month of time I stopped carrying my laptop. I use ipad for all activities I was doing on my laptop. I use my iPad for
Business use, such as e-mail, proposal making, presentation, meeting minutes or notes, etc...
Educational use, read books, teach my kids in a more exciting manner,online anytime anywhere, etc..
Entertainment, gaming, watching my favorite movies, listening to my favorite songs on and so forth.

The only thing I had to look for a pc or laptop is when I need to write in dhivehi, but I hear a thaana keyboard is released. I am gonna try it son and will post if my iPad is complete for me.

PS: I use iworks as alternative of ms office, good reader which is the best app I have seen to handle documents, penultimate as notebook, iBooks, wired, readers digest and zinio for e-books and magazines,Skype and air msn for chatting, and others include vlc, scrabble, idhivehi sites and other stuff.
I also got VGA cable for projector and istroke pen for writing most cases. I like the on screen keyboard so I did not buy a bluetooth keyboard

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