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Author Topic: iPad - 48 hours in  (Read 3247 times)

Offline Jonathan

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iPad - 48 hours in
« on: June 02, 2010, 12:49:30 PM »
[For some reason reviews of Apple products make people quite angry.  Let me state now that I don't care. I'm not trying to evangelise and I really don't mind if you’re a Fanboi or AppleHater.  I've used Apple products for a while and in general I like them.]

So on Monday more or less on a whim, I bought an iPad.  I'd always planned to buy one since the keynote the whim bit was the timing.  Recently I realised I needed a dedicated fashion portfolio and worked out printing would cost me £200 and would need redoing every 3 months plus maybe £1 - 200 for a nice binder.  For this alone the iPad seems a no brainer.

I haven't read a lot about the iPad and there isn't even a manual for me to ignore so it's possible I'm missing something obvious.

Things I don't like:

1. I'm not overwhelmed by the interface - it's very very good but not (as some people call it) life changing.  Mainly I've seen it.  I've been using it for 18 months on the iPhone.  Possibly the people who treat it with awe have been using Blackberries.  Best interface I've ever used but no better than I expected.

2. While we're on the interface, the icon layout on the home page is pretty ugly.  And the screen picks up fingerprints a LOT.

3. Syncing stuff is OK as long as you want to play Apple's way (seriously - opening iTUNES to sync PICTURES???).  It's impossible to sync it to more than one computer so if it's synced to the MacPro and I want to get a single snap from my laptop I'm stuffed.  (I'm using a 3rd party app called iCase which is OK but has some major downsides)

4. I get the impression it's better in the US than UK.  On The Register's advice I installed Kindle reader (apparently better than iBooks).  Not only are the books priced in $ and have UK Vat added...I can't buy most of them.  Even Amazon's personal recommendations for me aren't available.  US bias runs pretty deep in most things from, well, any US manufacturer...

5. The price.  Yeah it's an Apple so it's expensive (and during the Keynote I was braced for £1,000 for what they promised) but really it absolutely does not cost an extra £100 to put 3G in.  (I can buy a subsidised 3G dongle for my laptop for £20...) - so an extra £100 for 3G PLUS SIM (probably free) PLUS "special" data plan.  No thanks.  I'll suffer with WiFi and if necessary get a Mifi.

6. Minor niggles.  I like the 3 finger swipe on my laptop but it's not supported on the iPad.  Sky TV listings don't work on the iPad because their click drag interface interferes with the iPad's drag interface.  I'd love a dedicated mute button - I like to turn keyclick off sometimes.

Things that make me go "meh"

1. No Flash support.  Oh well.

2. No USB.  I suppose I would like to plug a hard drive in but that's kind of missing the point.  I expect somebody will have a hack using the camera connector within 3 months anyway.  I can live without USB on the iPad.

Things I like.

1. The screen.  Oh.  My.  God.  The screen.  Best screen I've seen on any device ever.  Seriously I would put up with a lot to show pictures that look that good.

2. It works. Really it does.  After 30 mins (I needed a new copy of iTunes) it was up an running and synced with my iPhone apps, diary, email and calendar.  15 mins later I have a selection of pics and music on it.  But I'm a long time Fanboi so that doesn't surprise me at all.

3. Battery life seems great.  Didn't charge it when I got it and it worked all day.  Recharged for an hour or two and it was good to go for another day.

4. The wow factor.  I showed some pics on it to a client this morning for the first time.  Their jaw pretty much dropped.  That will fade but for me it makes it worth the money and the pain of early adoption - because iPad 2 will be amazing.


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Offline anglefire

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 01:24:08 PM »
Nice review. And pretty much what I expected. Does lots of things very well. Almost boringly so!

I like the comment about the interface. Nothing new, but then did we expect anything else - it works very well on the iPhone, so why change it?


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Offline hevans

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 01:30:41 PM »
Interesting run down from a fanboi.  ;)

What about syncing/displaying content from the camera for the customer to view in-situ? Is there a SD or CF interface? Or is this not something that people would want to do, i.e. view photos just taken on a big screen, rather than the little one on the back of the camera)?

I would have thought the lack of USB would be more of a problem, rather than a "Meh" response. I'm sure the reason they've not included it was to prevent people from adding 3G dongles directly. With the WiFi, can you mount network disks, or must it all go through iTunes and a web browser (is there another option other than safari)?

As a long time AppleCorp disliker (products are ok, I really liked the apple ][ and Lisa, I just can't stand the vertical, no other option integration policies of the AppleCorp, c.f. flash, new app policies, iTunes only, replace when battery defunct, etc.) I'm not convinced.

I do tend to use my android for web browsing more than the laptop now (the convenience of a quick start up, rather than booting the laptop), so I can see how the bigger screen of the tablet would fit into my own life-flow (like work flow, only more enjoyable...mostly). So, it would be amusing to have a tablet, but well...too many limitations at this point (I would want the USB I/F, to connect an external keyboard, sync the phone, add a HDD, connect to NMEA i/f on boat, etc - I hate typing on a screen).

In the end, it's all about how well integrated it is with the other toys and how flexible it is, and if you have to go through iTunes, then it's not for iMe.

H.


Offline ABERS

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 02:28:15 PM »
Oh well, having read the review I suppose I'll have to plod along without one if I can't get a dongle for my USB interface. A quick Google and now I know what a 'Fanboi' is. Every day in every way etc. etc. etc. :tup:

"Fanbois typically spend most of their free time telling anyone who will listen how perfect thier console of choice is, and how inferior all other products are. fanbois will not stop annoying other people until everyone they know is converted to their way of thinking." ::)

Offline Jonathan

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 02:56:24 PM »
Quote
What about syncing/displaying content from the camera for the customer to view in-situ? Is there a SD or CF interface?

There is a "camera connection kit" (currently on 3 week wait....).  This adds an SD reader and allows you to connect a camera via USB.  You can transfer jpegs directly to the iPad for viewing on the gorgeous screen.  Apparently the iPad can work with an Eye-Fi card too.  Which is kind of cool.  All the medium format junkies were upset that the spec doesn't allow firewire.  No real option to shoot tethered to it though for small cameras the Eye-Fi would be a good compromise.  And very cool.

Quote
I would have thought the lack of USB would be more of a problem, rather than a "Meh" response.

I suppose my real response is that I'm prepared to live with the compromises this brings while understanding the reasons.  Macs run pretty stable because the system is fairly closed.  iPhones run fairly fast (considering) because they single task.  Allowing you to attach arbitrary USB devices opens up the system to more problems than it solves.  I have a laptop for that (best summary I've seen - laptop = content creation/ iPad = content consumption)

Quote
can you mount network disks

Using Good Reader (a 59p app) I can connect to any WebDav or FTP server plus iDisk, Dropbox etc.  Not quite as good as connecting to a network disk directly but pretty close.  (OS X ships with Apache installed and you can set up WebDAV in that if you want - I bet PCs could do something similar.)

AFAIK you can only use Safari as your browser.  FWIW Safari on the iPad looks to be the best browser I've used (apart from, you know, Flash....)

You can of course attach a keyboard to the iPad - Bluetooth keyboards are supported.  I suspect NMEA isn't possible.  Oh and of course it will sync with your phone.  As long as it's an iPhone ;)

@Abers - you can't imagine how surprised I am that you're not tempted.
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Offline hevans

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 03:12:14 PM »
Hi Jonathan,

I can understand the reason when considering arbitrary USB devices, but for some quite well established standards (HDD, mouse, kbd, etc.) it wouldn't really have hurt too much. As for bluetooth...sigh, I've tried to use it since my first Ipaq, and have only met with moderate success with the headset for the HTC (best integration was the headset with the old nokia, though). Generally, connecting bluetooth devices is more hassle than just plugging something in (at least with the versions I've used where there is always a bit of faff trying to get them to finally sync - reminiscent of the old space shuttle engines). Trying to get any phone to sync via bluetooth was a pain, but always worked well with the cable.

I'm sure the real reason they've not gone for the USB/HDD option it to stop people from getting the 16Gb version, and using an external disk/USB stick with it...more $$$ for Apple if they recognize the limitations from the start and plump for the 64 Gb version instead.

So, the big advantage: the screen.

I think the summary is apt: iPad = content consumption.

I think I can wait.

Let us know how you get on with its use as a iPortfolio. For that it could make good business sense (plus you can discount its depreciation).


BTW: you do know that you can store your iTunes directory on a network disc and then access the same files from a multitude of machines? At least you can on a PC.

H.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 03:14:19 PM by hevans »

Offline Jonathan

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010, 04:33:47 PM »
Generally, connecting bluetooth devices is more hassle than just plugging something in (at least with the versions I've used where there is always a bit of faff trying to get them to finally sync - reminiscent of the old space shuttle engines).

Let me guess.  You use PCs...... :)

Quote
you do know that you can store your iTunes directory on a network disc and then access the same files from a multitude of machines?

Yep works perfectly.  But for some bizarre reason you can't do this in iPhoto for pictures.  3 Macs, iPhone and iPad - you'd think they would be great at sharing pictures.  But no.....
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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 04:38:09 PM »
Had a play with one yesterday afternoon (the wifi only version).

For a photographer wishing to show clients the pictures taken for the assignment - i do not think you get get a more favourable medium that will present the pictures at their best.
Probably very good at carrying a host of information around that would be needed to assist with prospective or current clients.
If i were a pro or semi pro i might make a bid for one - but i'm not so i won't. I don't have  need as yet.

Great piece of kit produced to the usual Apple build and thinking - but not for every one...

As for viewing pictures on the fly - i do not see why this can not be done via a wirelessly tethered set up. All you need is the software to let you view them and the wireless connection - which for my 5DMkII is about £600.
That £600 is more needed for a second body or one more lens at the moment.

Offline anglefire

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2010, 07:40:53 PM »
I have bluetooth in my car - so the phone (Both iPhone and Nokia E71) connect to the car - one at a time, last in first to connect. And since I had it reset by the dealer it works very well.

IMHO it is the only way to use a phone in a car- all voice controlled, apart from flicking a switch on the steering wheel to activate the voice listening. And it understands my accent. Mind you I'm a brummie and it was built down the road :)

But again, bluetooth is something that I think Apple have got right. Though to be honest I can't think of anything that apple don't install and get it right.

And no I'm not a fanboi - I use both PC's and Apple Macbook. And iPhone.

Apple have a huge advantage - its a closed system. You play by their rules or you don't play. Result is everything works reliably.

But PC's have a huge advantage. Its an open system. Anyone can do anything they want and as long as they play by the rules, everything works. And thats the rub. Sometimes, the rules aren't followed and things break. Not today perhaps, but down the line, you put something else on and you are knackered.
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Offline Eileen

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Re: iPad - 48 hours in
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 08:02:50 PM »
Interesting review Jonathan.

Like H I get a lot of value from my Android phone and use it to browse the web and check emails in the evenings when I don't want to boot up the PC. I think I'd use a tablet a great deal and have to say that I wanted an iPad as soon as I heard about them. As well as home use, having a device for travelling that could store pictures I'd taken and display them well, surf the net and act as a e-reader so I didn't have to pack books, is very appealing.

I'm currently spending my spare cash on patching up bits of my house before they fall off so won't be buying one in the near future. :'( I'm intrigued to see how other manufacturers respond to the challenge and it may be that by the time I can afford one I'll end up with an iPad 2 or even an Android version that gets round some of the connectivity and other problems you mention.

 

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