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iPad again

2010-05-09 21:14:21.831613+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Widely linked: Sorry, But the iPad is Not 'Killing' Netbook Sales:

And IDC is now forecasting that "mininotebook" (i.e. netbooks and sub-12-inch machines) will sell 45.6 million units in 2011 and 60.3 million in 2013. If I remember the numbers from 2009, they were 10 percent of all PCs, or about 30 million units. Explain again how the iPad will beat that. Please. Even the craziest iPad sales predictions are a small percentage of that.

I've had one for a couple of weeks now. Sometimes I'll grab it to go hang out on the couch and read stuff while Charlene's working on things. Almost always that lasts less than half an hour 'til I run across a page that's just not workable on the iPad, or I decide I want to type something in. I thought this form factor was going to be very cool, but the thing isn't any more comfortable to read either sitting down or lying down with my head up on a pillow than a regular laptop, the text entry is worse, for me, than on an iPhone, the browser is painfully slow.

So if I want to hang out and just read something, the iPhone wins. If I end up interacting with that, the laptop wins. For general reading, most often on the computer I'm reading technical docs, and often I want to make notes or try something out, and we're back to the laptop.

And I've tried playing with the idea that it's something that multiple people can interact with, but I'm just not finding that yet and, frankly, I doubt I will until it gets an SD slot or some way for me to put a lot of images on it so I can use it as the enhanced picture frame it so wants to be.

All this is the gut feel that I'm going into some product planning meetings tomorrow on...

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Work, productivity and environment Community iPhone ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-05-10 16:08:05.344306+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the "enhanced picture frame", I haven't figured out the toolchain yet that makes it work really well with that. I probably need to muck around with iPhoto a bit more, both for organization, see if it can put things in some form that's navigable and usable on the photo app on the iPad, and to cut down resolution so that I can actually store a reasonable amount of photo info on the iPad.

So far, though, for showing pictures to people when I'm out of town I'd rather have something with a big-ass hard drive in it rather than the gazillion hour battery life so that I don't have to think "damn, I forgot to bring...".

On the "VGA adapter" issue: Yep. I bought my Mac as a lease return, so I got it without a case, and mentioned this. They grabbed an adapter dongle out of a big ol' box of them and tossed it to me and I thought I was all hunky dory, but nooooo, they managed yet another freakin' dongle.

And having a USB host or an SD card slot on the iPad help assuage my photo issues.

I think if you view it as an oversized iPod and are tuned in to the whole iTunes experience, it's a decent media consumption device, but my "this'll change the world" optimism has worn off in spades.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-05-10 11:32:16.479659+00 by: DaveP

I'm considering getting one so I can use it as an enhanced picture frame, because it does shine at that. But I still haven't reached the tipping point of coolness that will actually have me plunking down money yet.

The one other main thing that's appealing about it is that there are some apps on my phone that, because of my aging and myopic eyes, are just plain hard to read. I'd really like a pixel-doubled version of those apps running on the pad so the text ended up being a legible size. But the developers will probably release new versions that "use the expanded real estate" and end up keeping the text tiny. Grumph.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-05-10 04:34:36.726001+00 by: ebradway

My friend, Peter Batty, carted his iPad up to IgniteSpatial on Friday. He used it to review his ignite presentation - although I think the final version was run on a Windows box shared by all the presenters. I suspect that connecting an iPad to a projector is even harder than a Mac (one of the most common tweets I seen at conferences is "Anyone have a Mac to VGA dongle they can bring to XXXX room?"

#Comment Re: made: 2010-05-10 00:23:21.843196+00 by: Dan Lyke

Handed it to Charlene, she played with it for about 15 minutes, I got a good insight into some user interface paradigms, but after that time she handed it back and said "I don't get it". That's about as much non-nerdism as I've gotten, and we were really late adopters on the whole iPhone thing, so it's hard to say.

We aren't much in the way of media consumers, so it might play differently if you're dialed into the iTunes experience.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-05-09 23:40:37.989791+00 by: John Anderson

I've seen exactly one in the wild, and I didn't get a chance to play with it (not that I tried that hard), so I don't have any personal experience with one, but the thing I'm wondering, reading about your experience: have you tried to figure out how it's going to play with "normal" (i.e., non-geeky) people?

#Comment Re: made: 2010-05-09 21:32:47.935369+00 by: Dan Lyke

So I should probably document the shortcomings of the browser. A few things immediately:

  1. The canvas element apparently doesn't implement a lot of stuff, and where it does, it and the JavaScript are ungodly slow. So even without Flash, much of the dynamic web is unusable.
  2. Trying to look at the Boston.com "big picture" look at the flooding in Nashville it only loaded a few of the pictures, and there was no way to individually load the ones that hadn't loaded. A few "reload roulette"s later and I was back to the laptop.
  3. Trying to find the address of the house across the street from Charlene's parents. Google maps redirects to the map app. No street view, missing other capabilities of the web version. Back to the laptop.

I haven't done tests to back this up, but I think that I can type faster on the iPhone than I can on the iPad, but, of course, both are less than a real keyboard.