So when I sat down to write a blog about the iPad I thought, should I write it on my iPad? In a word: no.
This is not to say I haven't enjoyed the iPad immensely. It's a great device, and it does live up to Steve Jobs' promise of doing key things better, namely web browsing, email, photos and ebooks. But on the other hand, for actual work, my advice is: stick to your laptop.
Curiously, but perhaps not surprisingly, Apple thinks different. For an extra $30 one can opt to purchase the completely redesigned iWork Suite, think Apple's version of Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Pages, Keynote and Numbers can be purchased for $10 each, but are they worth it?
As with most Apple products, the demos will woo you, I mean who are we kidding? Nobody sells technology better than Jobs. But in reality, the iPad still has a 9.7 inch screen and for all intents and purposes, no keyboard. For writing a quick email and casual typing, the on-screen keyboard will suffice, but when it comes to actual word processing it fails. It obviously lacks physical response, and in most cases numbers are only displayed horizontally (typing in postal codes can seem like a chore). In Pages many of the features that normally appear on a toolbar are hidden; it takes 3 clicks to change font size for example. When typing in landscape mode you're left with the screen space of about two iPhones - not enough if you'd like to read a paragraph of this size. And lastly, one of my major gripes with typing on the iPad, and iPhone for that matter, is not being able to move through the text with forward and back arrows; instead you are forced to drag a magnifying glass to the exact point where you wish to type.
So what's cool about the iPad?
• Books! Although as of when this blog was published, the iBooks store is strictly public domain books (meaning free). Hopefully the true iBooks store will be coming to Canada soon; in the meantime there is the Kindle store and app which, although lacking in a few cosmetic features found in iBooks, does a sufficient job.
• Browsing: I can honestly say that I do not miss the absence of Flash. I haven't run into a video that I haven't been able to watch, and most players now have an html5 option.
• Email: The client is easy to set up, and it's a refreshing way to read through your inbox.
• Photos: It's the world's most beautiful picture frame and it's a great way to share albums with friends and family.
• Speed: It's faster than your iPhone 3GS; boot time is about 20 seconds and an app like Pages loads in about 5.
• Apps: There is a lot more screen space to play with, so the future looks bright for developers and iPad owners alike.
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