Thoughts on the iPad

I’m typing this on my iPad. I pre-ordered it and it came yesterday. I spent a fair bit of time playing with it last night.

I don’t know where the complaints about typing come from. Compared to the iPhone, I find typing on the iPad to be much easier.

I also find it much easier to read on this device than the iPhone. The bigger screen size makes a huge difference, at least on my middle aged eyes. I downloaded the Kindle app and love the fact that the Gotham Gal and I can now read the same book at the same time on multiple devices. That’s been possible with Kindle and iPhone for a while now but reading books on the iPhone never interested me.

I showed the Gotham Gal several books she has just read on the Kindle displayed on the iPad. She grabbed the iPad and immediately said “this thing is way too heavy.” I guess I will be reading on the iPad and she’ll be reading on the Kindle. I agree that the iPad is heavy. I’ve been holding it for about five mintues so far while typing this and can feel the strain in my left forearm. The Kindle never feels that way even after hours of reading with it.

Reading (and watching some video) is how I will use the iPad. It is just not that good for much else. I sat in the family room and watched the Duke Butler game with the Gotham Gal and my son last night. Even though I downloaded a beautiful version of Tweetdeck onto the iPad, I was not the least bit tempted to use the iPad to be my Twitter dashboard during the game. My MacBook is still vastly superior as a computing device and it’s not much bigger or bulkier.

You give up a lot with the iPad and you don’t get much in return. You lose multi-tasking which is a huge deal for me. I can’t listen to music while I write this. That alone is a showstopper for me. Plus it’s slow as a computer. The apps run slow and so is the browser. That could be my wifi but my MacBook runs on the same wifi network and there’s a noticeable difference in the speed of browsing between them.

The selection of apps is still poor. There’s no Facebook app that I could find. None of my favorite web music services have iPad apps yet and I won’t even get into the no flash thing other than to say it totally bums me out.

I think the iPad is stuck in a difficult place between the smartphone and the laptop and it’s not nearly as convenient as a phone or as powerful as a laptop. That’s based on all of four hours playing with it. The device will get more powerful and lighter and less expensive. Over time it may turn into a mainstream computing platform but I don’t think it is there yet and I don’t think Apple has the kind of hit on its hands that it had with the iPhone.

All that said, I am excited to put two Velcro strips on the back of this thing and mount it to my elliptical trainer. It’s perfect for that application and my blog reading and occasional posting from the elliptical will benefit mightily from the iPad.