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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

iPad - conclusions so far....

The thing about an iPad is, once you've held it in your hand for 2 minutes and opened up a couple of web pages or better yet, looked at your twitter feed via Flipboard, you are hooked.  It is that simple.  iPhone users will be familiar with this concept already, because it works in the same way.  I've been lucky enough to finally get my hands on one and foolishly, I put it down for 2 minutes.  I fear I may have lost it to my Daughter or her friend both of whom instantly immersed themselves in their Facebook pages as if holding the internet in their hands was the most natural thing in the world.

I know that the guys at Apple were using that line in their advertising and marketing spiel "Holding the Internet in your hand", but it really does feel like that. It's the strangest and most normal thing all at the same time. Very clever stuff.

I've justified it's acquisition by saying it's for the family to use. Replacing a laptop or phone that are often used in front of the TV,  for following twitter, or looking up those faces that make you go "Oooo, What was he in??" or "Wasn't she so-and-so's wife in that thing on BBC2?" or "How much is that book then?" as seems to happen fairly constantly in our house. I think in the longer term, they'll all want their own, because it's very difficult to put it down once you've picked it up and that's not because they've got superglue on their fingers.  There are too many positives to list, so I've enlisted the help of my Editor (Ed), to see if we can find the negatives.

First of all, if you've got an iPhone, then you've got a very small iPad.  So there's a negative.... 

Why buy and iPad if you've got an iPhone (or an iPod touch for that matter) ? -Ed

The differences in basic functionality are minimal.  Well, on an iPhone, so is the display. Beautifully crafted and highly resolutioned, it may be, but there's no getting away from the fact that you do find yourself "peering" at an iPhone display as opposed to looking at it. In that respect, the iPad lends itself to reading perfectly.  (Hang on... that's a negative for the iPhone then??) -Ed..  D'oh!

What about the price of Apps?  Everyone says they're really expensive on the iPad. -Ed  

Errmmm.... actually. They're not.  Where else can you get an entire office suite of the calibre of iWork for 15 quid??   Scrabble for 6 quid??  That's expensive isn't it?  Nope. Not when you consider the cheapest version of scrabble retails at around 12 quid in most toy shops. You've just got to put it in perspective.  There's plenty of free apps still and some of them are seriously not to be missed. Top of that list is Flipboard, but I'll write more about that elsewhere.

Alright, so not expensive apps then, but it doesn't have a camera...  Ah ha...  got you there.... -Ed

Correct. It doesn't have a camera.  And your point is?   Why would you want it to be a camera??  Surely you wouldn't want to try and take pictures with something that big would you?  OK, so you might want a front facing camera to be able to video chat with people. Fair point, but if anything that'll be in a later release of the device. Facetime is barely taking off yet. If it ever actually goes mainstream, then I'd support your criticism of a lack of front facing camera, 100%.

It's expensive. -Ed

I won't argue with you on that point. Even £430 for the lowest priced model is in my opinion too much, but this isn't because the product isn't worth the money, it's that you and I both know the components used to build it are not 430 quids worth.  For me, the price issue is more about my antagonism towards the level of profiteering. But this is something we see in all consumer products in all walks of life. If everyone charged cost + 5% for every single product in the world, I suspect, we'd moan like hell about the price of milk going up, but we'd be overjoyed at the reduction in the cost of housing. Or maybe not... (Interesting subject for another day)

I can't expand the storage. -Ed

Another truth. Well done you. I do worry though if you think your photo collection will be safe on an iPad, or an iPhone, or a memory stick, or a single hard drive for that matter.  Think about it.  This device is a connected device. It's supposed to be connected to the Internet or you're personal network (for those of a rightly paranoid disposition). So that is where you keep your photos. or your documents, or anything else for that matter. 16Gb may not seem like a lot, but it's a goodly size for most people. For example in the last 12 months I've taken just over 5000 photographs. That's 4.1Gb, so the best part of 12 left still.  I suspect in the future you'll be more concerned about the speed of your connection than you will the amount of local storage.  The cost of storage will come down of course, but that doesn't mean you don't want your precious media backed up someplace safe rather than in your pocket.

It doesn't multitask, -Ed

Until next month, when a new (free) release of iOS specifically for the iPad means that it will multitask and wirelessly print to name but two changes to bring it inline with the iPhone 4.

I've already got a PC, so I don't need one. -Ed

If you've got a PC, you do need one, but I'm not rising to the PC vs Mac argument. That's been done to death already.  In shorthand, how long does your PC take to boot up??  'nuff said.

It's cool to use, but you look a bit of dick when you're using it. -Ed

Mmm.... You might have me there. Or do I detect a note of jealousy ??  ;-) And since when did I care what you think I look like?  I'm a Geek... or a Nerd.... or something....  and I'm kicking your harris at Scrabble as we speak.

So there we have it for now.  I'm very pleased with my purchase - but it does mean that I wont be giving any more cash to Mr Jobs' team for a few months now. I was going to upgrade my Apple TV, but I'm not made of money Steve and the current one functions perfectly well for the time being.  

Next job is to try out some of the more technical tasks without the aid of a mouse or proper keyboard and see how that works out.  

Take care.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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