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iPad dealbreakers

So, I have had an iPad for a few days now.  Since there are SO many reviews on the interwebz about the iPad I thought I would take a bit of a different approach.  So far I love love the iPad (even though it has a terrible name…who the heck came up with that name, sheesh!), but in my daily usage of it there are some issues that I’ve uncovered.

I have actually been using the iPad for a couple of different things.  The first is a media consumption device.  For this it’s terrific.  News, TV Shows, movies, Netflix streaming, ABC (although I will say the show on ABC cut off halfway and I had to watch a ton of commercials to get back to where I was), it’s all good.  Frankly, and I can’t explain it, but Netflix streaming blows my mind.  It’s so fast and so pretty.  I, and I’m not joking here, watched Iron Eagle on Saturday over Netflix!  An 80’s military flying movie staring Lou Gossett Jr, what’s not to love!??!?

More importantly though, I have been using it to try to be productive at work.  This is where it gets a bit dicey.  I use a few tools to get around at the office.  The first is email.  The second is Evernote.  Email is terrific, it shows the email list on the left side of the screen with the full email message as if it’s the preview pane in Microsoft Office.  It’s really nice.  I used to have an iPhone, and the OS is really familiar to me.  But let’s be honest, the iPhone mail client isn’t perfect.  For example, sending a message with a weak signal is a huge pain.  I also have encountered a bug a few times where the email keeps getting sent over and over but still remains in my inbox.  That bug has almost got me killed a couple of times!

But my bigger issue is that the keyboard simply isn’t forgiving enough.  If I’m super-focused on what I’m typing it’s terrific, but the second I start to pay attention to something else (like a person talking in a meeting) my accuracy rate gets really (really) low.  In other cases I’m accidentally touching the message area of the screen which moves the cursor and I start typing in different places, which is pretty frustrating.  Also, I still haven’t figured out how to correct errors after the fact.  This one is my fault, but if I see a misspelling, I touch it and a new word comes up.  Why doesn’t touching the word bubble change the misspelled word???  I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

Evernote is OK, but for some reason I’m getting a weird error that won’t let me sync.  I need to figure that one out, but why couldn’t it just work??  I won’t complain too much about that.

Another dealbreaker is the lack of a video conferencing camera.  I had an argument, and I’m not joking here, about the camera.  Somebody told me, ‘well, if Apple didn’t put it on the iPad, maybe we don’t need it.’  REALLY?!?  Apple doesn’t give you food…  do you need that?  Apple doesn’t give you a car to drive to work… do you need that???

Seriously though, how hard would it have been to put a freaking video camera in this thing for Skype?  That would have made it truly a device from the future.  Oh well, iPad 2 I guess.

My last gripe about the iPad is the lack of multitasking.  I know the iPhone doesn’t have it, but you know what, it’s a phone.  I personally have a Droid which has multitasking but I can understand why Apple made the decision to not allow it.  Whatever.  But if the iPad is going to be a netbook/laptop replacement for me then it’s going to really need multitasking.  I need to be able to copy and paste text from an email into a note, or copy a picture from a website into an email.  If I have to start an app each time I try to do anything then it becomes a huge pain for me (and undoable in a lot of cases).

So that’s it for me.  I have a few more days on this thing before I give my final recommendation on whether people should buy this or not.  I will say, if you decide to jump in, get the Apple case for it.  It’s brilliant.  It folds out perfectly so you can type at a great angle while in meetings.  Plus you can stand it up so you can watch shows while the iPad is facing you without you needing to hold it.  It’s an amazing case and worth the extra money.

If you have any questions about the iPad, just ask!

Robert.

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