i had a chance to play with the iPad for few days & here’s what i found:
THE GOOD: in a nutshell it is a large iPhone / iPod touch XXL, but …that’s a good thing! XXL size and plenty of improvements to iPhone’s OS … fixes most of the annoyances (eg. you can actually edit, delete & move bookmarks on iPad’s safari). But overall, it is amazing to use; most of the webpages, video & email do look really good on it & the “fingering” around is very intuitive & pleasant. Surprisingly, none of my regular daily pages and blogs where affected by lack of flash. Finally, reading in a direct sunlight – no problem!
THE BAD: it is NOT as fast, as apple advertises (surprise, surprise). browsing pages with lots of images is noticeably slower then on a macbook / pc. also, simple tasks, like installing multiple application just takes too long (partially due to unnecessary, repetitive number of steps it takes). while you browse long pages with lots of images (eg. engadget) the annoying, “Checkered” Screen Problem, while loading webpages … is back. And … yes it crashes: iPod app just stopped playing music few times [update: reboot fixed this] and safari crashed every time, when loading same page mentioned above. Later ABC [still crashes occasionally] and The Weather Channel apps crashed, but rebooting the iPad fixed it.
- when connecting iPad for the first time, it allows you to “restore from iPhone backup” – do it, it will basically sync all info you already have on an iPhone. but … not all apps will sync there (directtv, …). be ready to spend an hour to do so
- battery life – 10h is fantastic in a 1.5 lb device
- connect your bluetooth keyboard & vu a la – you can type 80/wpm again. further on-screen keyboard doesn’t display when bluethooth one is connected. btw, on-screen keyboard is much better to use on the bigger screen … even while typing with two hands
- you can use your iphone’s charger on iPad, but it takes 6h + to fully recharge
- tip: Facebook iPhone App is only good for uploading pixs. but, facebook.com works great for all else on iPad
- iBooks … are NOT installed by default (ok?), but the good news is, you can get 30,000 free books (here’s top 100 list)
- finding free apps is not intuitive [here's the link] – you have to go to: app store, “top charts” on the bottom, it’s on the right
- few old iPhone apps aren’t designed to switch to landscape (TUAW, eBuddy, yelp, etc). but as the “HD” versions keep coming, it will be fixed shortly
- safari still reloads web pages every time (no off line cache)
- iPod playlists sorts differently then iPhone (“.” lists before “a”)
- [update: see pic below] can’t tether of your iPhone … sadly i couldn’t wifi of my mac either [update: but there is a hack for that – [that works] :)
- can’t play quicktime movies linked on some websites – “download failed. safari can not download this file”
- iTunes prompts you for the password … 100 times a day
- wifi – yes, the signal is weaker, but I have not experienced any problems per say (using time capsule)
- podcasting sux – UI is inconsistent. syncs all, but if you wana browse for new … you have to jump between app store & iPod apps. Once you start watching a podcast (any video for that matter), how do you go back from play screen? well, you have to go home, out of “videos” app & back to app store app – 2 more steps, really apple? can’t watch immediately, but once you start downloading & close the app, download will continue. but then no notification when it’s finished …
- ABC app fail – why would ABC disable the lock orientation button???
FINAL VERDICT / SUMMARY – it’s great for consuming, but so so for creating:
- it’s more of a toy then productivity device. reading articles, news, etc / watching video (as long as the app doesn’t crash or it’s a flash vid) / using email and playing games is great. but every day tasks, like blogging or viewing picture heavy websites like flickr just takes longer then on the macbook / pc.
- it’s too expensive. 16gb for $500??? i’d recommend to WAIT until iPad alternatives come out & apple is forced to lower the 32gb to $300
- it is light, portable & has great battery life. much better then carrring work laptop for the weekend / vacation trip, “just in case”
[UPDATE: when you're out and about with your iPhone and no wifi available for iPad, it becomes crystal clear that iPad 3G is the way to go]
[update 2: as apple annouced iphone os 4 today, (folders, multitasking) ... why reinvent the wheel - i know - rushed this to market to beat competition, but in the end. it will run mac os. real mac os, not iphoniphied. ]