Wednesday, July 20, 2011

iPad experiences

I love my iPad! What a wonderful gadget it is! When we got it (with a newspaper subscription) I was wondering: Is it really worth it? I have an iPhone and a laptop, what do I need an iPad for then?

But, again I experienced that using is believing.The iPad (- I have the iPad1) fits perfectly between the iPhone and laptop. In lots of cases it takes over usage time from the iPhone and laptop.

For instance, reading email is great on the iPhone and the iPad. Instant-on is a killer. Even my wife hardly fires up the (Windows) laptop to process email. Although typing longer emails is still done on the iPad, most emails can be processed by a quick and short reply using the iPad.

Reading news and feeds is wonderful on the iPad as well. Apps like Flipboard are mindblowing. I'm amazed by how quickly I can go through feeds, tweets, etc. using Flipboard, compared to Google Reader or Twitter itself. And I love the way news is presented. It feels and looks right. And I'm sure we haven't seen the end of iPad app development yet. That's one of the things that really strikes me. The real app development for the iPad has only just started. There are some cool and innovative apps, but we're still figuring out what its real potential is.

I mentioned my wife. I must also mention my kids (2 and 4 years old). They love the iPad! They watch videos, play games and read interactive books on it. The user-interaction seems to be made for them. Flipping through pictures is completely obvious to them, for instance.

The size and weight are ideal. We took the iPad along on our trip to the US. Using a laptop in the car or on a plane is OK, not great. The iPad fits there perfectly. And it kept the kids satisfied the whole way... 

Reading on the iPad is great as well. For example, I've been reading Wired on the iPad for some time. Every Wired issue shows what the iPad means for publishing. I really like the way they are playing with the magazine navigation, interactive articles and infographics, etc.
My newspaper (NRC) is a strange one. They have a website optimized for mobile devices, especially the iPad. But the newspaper itself is currently not much more than an interactive pdf.

In short, the iPad is great for browsing, reading, processing and typing short notes/emails.

We haven't even seen 1% of the potential of the iPad, I think. (Just compare the number of iPhone apps that don't have an iPad counterpart yet...) Some things I'd like to see:
  • It would be great if you could search through your iPad content. Most apps are closed and walled. Even within apps search is often poor. For instance, why can't I search through all my Wired magazines, as I can on the web?
  • Adding notes, highlighting and underlining content, etc. could be easier. Sometimes you can type comments, but that's not as easy as scribbling some notes with a pen. I think we need something like a pen. This is definitely the case when using the iPad in business environments, I think. Or will voice control do the trick here?
  • Sharing content from many apps is horrible. Again, I hope the walled feeling to the iPad and the apps will go away. Why can't I share a Wired article right from the app, like I can do on the web? Just to give one example. 
Does this relate to your iPad experiences? I'd love to hear them. Please, leave a comment or share a link to your post(s) about your experiences.
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