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iPad update

2010-04-13 23:50:02.246717+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Okay, so I now have an iPad. It is, indeed, a big iPhone on which you can't make calls either, but it does have some cool features. It also falls short in many ways.

Audio: Out speakers in the bottom. Great, except how do you watch video? In landscape mode. So all the audio comes out one side. "No problem", you say, "I'll just wear headphones", except that the whole thing that makes this device compelling is its use in social situations. Are the three of you looking at the device going to wear headphones? Also, the sound changes dramatically if it's held up versus when it's lying on a desk.

A number of people have been justifying Apple's smackdown on Adobe and Flash by saying it's good if people are forced to develop directly to the iPhone platform because they'll make their apps feel native to the device. Yes, the iPad has a gazillion FarmVille rip-offs and variants, and it has Flight Control, but many of the subtlest and most maddening games exist in the Flash world, and there doesn't seem to be a Taberinos for the iPad.

Light Table 2 gives an interesting view of what multi-touch can do, the idea of "Oh, I can't multi-select to drag, but I do have 10 fingers" is kinda cool. Unfortunately, it's not terribly stable, and the only output is sending a bitmap. How about exporting the metadata so that we could do something useful?

Which brings me to: I've only got the 16 gig version, but with more memory it could make a really really cool digital picture frame if I could get my entire photo library on there and organized in some way so that I could take it to family gatherings and say "here's our trip to...". Unfortunately, WiFi isn't universal, so it has to be stored on the device, and... well... maybe an opportunity is making a good full-featured photo album. If that doesn't step on Apple's iPhoto domain too heavily...

I haven't tried to read an ebook on it yet, although I have browsed The Elements from Touch Press, and it's clearly the sort of book this thing was built for: A multimedia coffee table experience.

Star Walk isn't quite that, but with the compass and the accelerometers it gives the experience of a star map that my iPhone 3G didn't, but the 3GS probably does.

Others have noted that the case suffers from the same "too slick" issue of the iPhone, and that glass screen scares me silly.

I still think it's a big shift in how people will relate to computers and computing, and I'll be happy to develop for it, but I'm also looking forward to the wePad, Google's rumoured Android device, and whatever else comes out. This is a harbinger of things to come, but it's not the "holy crap" revolution I was expecting.


Oh, and when is Apple going to either let a real browser on this device or fix mobile Safari?

[ related topics: Apple Computer Books Music Games Space & Astronomy Sociology Video iPhone ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-04-14 18:23:40.368366+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the "Apple's keeping Flash off it to keep app quality high", had the following exchange on Twitter:

JaimeyWB: @danlyke Apple doesn't want cheap Flash apps, but they're OK with pull my finger and fart apps?

danlyke: .@JaimeyWB, I think it's about ensuring high quality pull-my-finger and fart apps that feel native to the platform. Snerk.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-04-14 16:41:18.892989+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... Love Opera, and browsing basic text sites is way faster with it, but it falls down on the JavaScript stuff too.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-04-14 15:28:09.507821+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Aha! Thank you, I knew they'd been having trouble getting it approved back in the day, now to see if it uses a different rendering engine.

[Edit: not iPad yet, but it looks way way faster than Safari (probably due to them doing pre-processing on their servers), so I'm installing it on my iPhone now]

#Comment Re: made: 2010-04-14 03:33:01.538201+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Is Opera Mini a real browser? There's an app for that!