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One Day With the iPad

Entry 1204, on 2010-07-14 at 19:36:47 (Rating 1, Computers)

I have used my new iPad (the top model with the 3G cell network and 64 G of storage) for one day now. So what are my conclusions so far? First, it's too early to tell for sure. Of course when you get a new toy it seems great to start with but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be useful long term.

My initial impressions and the general feel are great. Operation is very fast and fluid. The visual effects are beautiful and the user interface is intuitive. It's a real Apple device: carefully designed and with great attention to detail. This makes it more than just a "big iPod Touch". It's more like a totally new and different type of device.

One thing I tried to do on the iPhone was write blog entries and other text. But it just didn't work because the screen was too small and the keyboard was too unreliable (or at least my typing on it was). I'm writing this on the iPad in Pages and it is a much better experience. I can type here almost as well as I can type on my laptop using both hands and multiple fingers instead of the single finger typing I use on the iPhone. I do have to say that after a while you can enter text quite well on the phone too but I could never use it for more than just short notes.

I mentioned I am using Pages. It isn't included with the iPad so I had to buy it from the app store. In fact I have already "invested" quite a lot at the app store - including Keynote and Numbers as well as Pages. I also got the Time magazine app (which is free) and bought one issue of the magazine to test the experience reading that sort of material as well. If you buy an iPad you should set aside a budget for apps. I would suggest about 50 to 100 dollars (New Zealand).

I started by copying over all my apps for the iPhone but since then I decided to only install iPad apps. I did this for two reasons: first, because the iPhone apps don't look very good scaled up to fit on the bigger screen; and second, because I want to try out different programs which are more suited to what the iPad can do.

Of course I'm not certain what the iPad will be used for yet. I thought it would be a book reader and a web browser but Its starting to look like it might be a useful substitute for my laptop for simpler tasks. I have used Numbers to look at existing spreadsheets and Keynote to view presentations and they have both worked well. But I'm not sure how well they would work for creating new content yet.

Some of the iPhone apps work the same on the iPad, except it's not the same because the extra speed and extra screen size transforms them. One which is particularly impressive is the astronomy program "Sky Voyager". I am looking forward to having iOS 4 on the iPad though because multitasking for viewing the sky maps and taking notes would be useful for astronomy.

I will use the iPad for another week and write another blog entry then. At that time I should be able to report about how usable the book reading experience is.

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Comment 1 (2742) by Anonymous on 2010-07-20 at 09:27:44:

Thanks for sharing your first impressions. Do you have any information about cell phone plans for the iPad? Should iPad owners go with Vodafone or Telecom? Which do you use?

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Comment 2 (2743) by OJB on 2010-07-21 at 09:41:09:

I haven't got mine onto a cell network yet. Vodafone don't seem to know anything (fairly typical) and Telecom aren't doing anything with microsims until next month. I'll just let the financial stress of a $1200 device and $200 of software pass first, then look at what to do regarding 3G. I currently just use my iPhone when I'm out of wifi coverage. I'll report back here with progress.

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