I was reading a post on my iPad about the usefulness of the iPad and I thought I’d chip in some of my own experiences.
For me the iPad has a couple of huge advantages and several important drawbacks.
1. It’s easy to carry around due to its light weight and incredible long battery use
2. The screen is great, no retina, but still great
3. Any task that requires little input is perfect for the iPad. Playing a game, reading browsing, searching, watching a video, browsing through photos, it works great on the iPad
4. It is a social computer, unlike any other. By social I don’t mean the ‘hey I can connect to my friends online’ kind of social. I mean it is nearly impossible to use your iPad without anyone sitting next to you to see and interact with what you are doing. It replaces the TV for my kids most of the time now.
1. Entering stuff is a pain in the ass for me. Sure I can type in landscape mode. But it isn’t as good as having a physical keyboard with tactile feedback. The keyboard is a bit too small, but the lack of tactile kills it for me.
2. Selections, replacements, copying, pasting, etc. are usable, but thats about it. Not having a cursor or an alternative can make life hard. I am writing this post using the iPad and I’ve added only one link. It is just too much of a pain to accomplish the task.
3. Touch simply isn’t very accurate. There are times when I need to be accurate (click in something small) and it irritates having to zoom and then select all the time
1. Only one word: KeyNote. My initial enthusiasm “wow, this looks cool” was instantly blown to pieces when I actually tried to create a presentation with it. It blows, completely! And I mean everything. Selection is undoable, selecting multiple items impossible. Manipulation looks cool using your fingers, but it just isn’t accurate enough. Apple went a long way to hide menu options available on MacOS on the iPad, and they have done such a poor job at it with KeyNote that I find it hard to believe it got approved in the app store. So much for the “Apple approval process leading to high quality apps”. I could go on for ever here, just take my word for it. Don’t waste your money on the iPad version of KeyNote.
The iPad isn’t revolutionary in every way. It is by all means one of the best social computing devices I’ve owned in a while, apart from the Wii ;-)
But for the rest, it’s just not ready to be used professionally yet. Removing complexity, the touch interface, the lack of accuracy and the infancy the UI is in.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Apple went further than we could have imagined or asked for. But it isn’t there yet. And until we find a way to deal with the issues, the iPad will be nothing more (or less) than the perfect social computing device it is now.