My impressions of the iPad … continued!

I always wanted to write a follow-up to my initial thoughts on the iPad. Now with the arrival of the second wave of the iPads, it’s just about time to finally do so:

I love it, some don’t!

By now I absolutely love the iPad. As I guessed, it serves as a convenient device resting on the couch table. Brilliant for a quick Google Search, a lookup for the train schedule, a game or simply the weather. Admittingly you do not NEED that, but by now I would miss that kind of convenience.
Many people argue (some even very emotionally), that I could use a laptop for that as well.
I could. But the iPad does not boot and for simple tasks it’s way faster. But if you don’t want to use the iPad, don’t use it and noone gets hurt.

But there are some drawbacks still:

Flash

I occasionally miss Flash. Not for the random Flash-Rubbish. If some web-guy doesn’t know  HTML5, then (90% of the time) I do not really need that page.
No, I miss the Myspace and Facebook Audio-Players. I still love to see something comparable to the youtube-app.

No tethering

By now I still cannot tether with my iPhone. iOS 4.3 might be the solution. But since I only own a 3GS, I might be unlucky.

iPad2

Now with the advent of the iPad2, I keep asking myself, if I should get it right away ;) But though I couldn’t get my hands on one by now, I suppose I won’t buy one. It definitely looks sexy, the covers are brilliant and speed is always nice. But all in all it doesn’t outshine my device. More memory would have been nice. Perhaps I’ll change my mind when I see one ;)

My first impressions of the iPad

Not before arriving from the JAX-conference, I unwrapped my new 16 Gig WiFi iPad. Did I mention that my hands were shaking ;)

Setup

Just after connecting to my PC, iTunes took me through the installation process already known from the iPhone. Shortly after some synchronization tasks, iTunes asked to me register the device. I thought nevermind, Apple already knows the size of my iPadHomeScreenshoes. I got I little confused when it told me, that it would provide me with a new AppleID. Wait I alread got one! Tap on back, to look if I missed something, but I cannot get past the license agreement. Hmmm tap on cancel and the process is quit. So… where can I start over!? Seemingly nowhere. Closing iTunes and replugging. No, no registration in sight. Perhaps I can just drag and drop my already bought apps onto the iPad icon. No, I can’t! Click on the App Tab in the iPad section. Ah, there I can select the apps and synchronize. So the plumbing has worked out somehow. So let’s just fill it with some apps.

WiFi

That seems to work for now. Now I want to enable WiFi. I remember this was a little tricky, when I enabled it for my iPhone. Same goes here, but I thinSafari worksk you cannot blame Apple for that. I setup my WLAN using a rather long WPA2 key. Typing is not an option. So what to do. I decided to shortly change my key to a typable key, so that I can transfer the keyfile via Dropbox. I cannot just drag-and-drop Textfiles from my PC on the pad, can I? While this disconnects my PC (WLAN key handling is a little tricky using Windows Vista), the actual WiFi setup on the iPad is rather trivial: Tap on WiFi under Preferences. Select your WiFi box and enter your key. As easy as that, but iPhone folks should have guessed this already. I open Safari and it just works. Sweet! The critics seem to be right, the internet experience is awesone. Holding the web in your hands! Definitely more fun than on the iPhone. So on to Dropbox to get my key. But wait Dropbox is down… naaaah! Email is the second best option, even more laborious but hey, let’s give google my WiFi key. Next step is copying the key by long tapping on the email content. Switching back router and Windows PC to my recent WiFi settings and pasting the key into the iPad WiFI password dialogue does the trick then. Inconvinient, but hey it works.

App Store

Curiously I tap on the App Store icon as is shows one item to update. But it seems to be down for us germans for now. I hope this had nothing to do with the screwed up registration. AppStoreClosed Let’s wait and see. Little inconvenience, I cannot install apps from within the iPad. But as sketched, the synching from iTunes works.

Power Supply

As you can see on the above pictures, the iPad show „Lädt nicht“/“Does not charge“. While taking these pictures (using the same sequence than on the iPhUS Power Supplyone; holding the home button and shortly tapping on the off-switch) the iPad is connected to the USB-port of my PC. Apparently it does not charge when it is connected this way. The solution is to switch it off/hibernate it. Or use the bundeled AC-plug. There i noticed, of course this is an US-device ;)
IPhone charger to the rescue!

Video

While I visited the JAX I missed an episode of my current favorite tv series „Flash Forward“. So took the opportunity and browsed the iTunes Store on the Pad for this episode.
FlashForward Btw. iTunes works perfect in contrast to the Appstore. I actually found the episode as HD and I spent the rather hefty 2,99 €. After waiting for the 1,2 Gig Download and starting the video, it just blew me away. The quality is amazing, which you can only guess from the image. And it feels great to carry this kind of quality just with you, and watch it whereever you like. Great!

Gaming

I cannot say much about this, as I only tried a few games on the iPad.  IPhone Games are a lot less fun when taken to the big screen: Ridiculously small in iPhone mode, fuzzy in zoom mode.
I liked the HD version of plants vs. zombies!  It is kind of pricy though. Looks great nonetheless.

Apps

You probably have seen pictures of the refurbished standard apps right now. Mail/Calendar/Safari all work a lot better on the IPad compared to the IPhone. Third Party Apps have to catch up a little. My Windows and iPhone favourite Tweetdeck looks impressive, but now and then has some serious issues while sorting tweets. Newsrack is even nicer than on the iPhone. Evernote and Dropbox did not leave any good or bad impression, they are just bigger ;) I am missing an HD Facebook though.

Combining with iPhone

What can I say, none ;) Would be nice if the iPad could leverage the iPhone for tethering purposes. But Steve says: No!

Conclusion

I think I follow the guys from heise.de. I am fascinated by the sheer presence and the possibilites of the iPad. But there are quite some big limitations. HD movies and probably games do rock, but for every day use, the iPhone clearly is no competition. Even if my iPad had 3G I certainly wouldn’t carry it with me on the train, or perhaps I did just to show off a little ;). But yes WiFi only maybe limiting.  The size is just fine for my home, where it outshines the iPhone. Now I am waiting for shiny apps to arrive, and they will come!
But after all I think the iPad is, even more than the iPhone, something you certainly don’t need, but if you have there will be a use case for it.

To be continued!

Apple Gadget++

Visiting this years JAX-conference was great. My insights on this might be the topic of another post. But despite the fact I learned a lot my personal highlight definitly was:

I WON AN IPAD!

Yes I won an iPadThanks to Actuate for picking me and my colleague Sebastian for saving it, as I didn’t attend the drawing. Who would have though that I would actually win ;)

Yes I am quite psyched now!

I’d like to use yet another post to tell anyone who might care, what my first experiences are.