Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I've had my iPad for 7 days now, so I thought it was time to share my impressions of it.

Everyone assumed that I would have the iPad on day one, but I resisted the urge to pre-order one. I'd already committed to a triathlon camp in June and felt that dropping an equivalent amount on another computing device was just not justified. I have two work-issued laptops, a personal desktop, a work desktop, and two iPhones. What would I need another computer for.

I even asked my 5-year old son if he was interested in the iPad and he said 'it's too iphoney'.

He knew because I did go as far as to go to Best Buy the day they came out and check one out with the family, all three of us taking turns on the iPad. I was impressed, but I walked out without one.

That wasn't easy. Apple didn't win me over that first day, but it was mostly about the cost and not about the features. The truth was, I thought it was pretty cool, and I certainly think keyboard-less computers are the wave of the future. It had just the right feel, just the right weight and heft in your hand, just the right richness of texture as you held it one hand and manipulated it with the other. The screen was brilliant, the apps were clean and crisp.

If you have an iPhone your first response after using an iPad is 'how am I ever going to go back to the iPhone...'

Instead of buying one I used my connections with one of our vendors to get one on what is basically a perpetual free demo.

It came on a Friday morning. I unpacked it, plugged it right into my MacBook Pro, decided against setting it up with same apps I have on my phone and in about 10 minutes fro the time I'd opened the box, I was configuring the wireless network and setting up my .Me email. This is the great genius of the iPanything that Apple sells. I'd read reviews that knocked the iPad for not being a stand-alone device. Consider me among those who prefer the instant on, media available, easily configured and managed Apple-eco system centered around the computer to be an advantage.

My computer isn't going anywhere and even if I'd bought an iPad it would not have been to replace my computer but to augment it.

At lunch I went to Best Buy and bought an open-box Apple iPad case for 33% off. A lot of people don't like the case, but I love it. I never take the iPad out any more except to show it to people. What's great is that it's thin. You can hold the iPad while it's in the case- major win.

I started hunting for apps right after lunch and one of the first ones I installed was Color&Draw from Tipitap Apps. I then started looking for apps that had iPad versions, like Weather Bug, because an iPhone app at 2x is not equal, in most cases, to an iPad native app.

If there's one piece of advice I can give, it's that. Focus on adding iPad native apps to your iPad. The difference is tremendous, especially when apps are in landscape mode.

Case in point- Twitterffic. While twitterrific is a great iPhone app, the iPad app version takes advantage of the extra real estate to deliver a superior experience.

Even Apple's Mail App makes great use of landscape mode to provide a mac-like experience for your mail that allows message list and message reading- at the same time. How can you beat that- it's the biggest shortcoming of the iPhone app solved.

The real test of the iPad was going into Starbuck's after work with my son. I don't even tell him when I install apps on my iPhone or iPad. he's perfectly capable of finding new apps on his own, and after about thirty seconds, he'd found, opened and was using Color&Draw. Now, when he has a choice between the iPhone and the iPad he almost always takes the iPad- and that's the real test. watching him on it, I knew right then, Apple gotten it right.


I'll be posting what apps I've added and my impression of some of the best of them in another blog entry.

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