iPad optimize

10 things about the iPad that don't suck

Sometimes it takes more than a quick test drive to warm up to a new device. See why Deb Shinder has decided the iPad has a few things going for it after all.

Back in January, shortly after the specs for Apple's iPad were released, I wrote an article giving 10 reasons why I didn't plan to line up outside the Apple Store to be one of the first to buy one. The lack of a physical keyboard, SD card slot and USB ports, the size and weight (just a little too big and a little too heavy), the phone OS, the high price, and the AT&T network were all factors that made me less than enthusiastic about Steve Jobs' "magical and revolutionary" new device.

So why did I end up trekking to two Apple stores in a vain search for the thing and then ordering it online and enduring a two-week wait while it sat (according to the tracking Web site) in Hong Kong? Mostly to silence all those iPad fans who told me that I didn't have the right to criticize it based just on playing with the demo models at the Apple Store -- that I needed to actually live with it for a week or two to appreciate its magic.

Never one to pass up a challenge, I shelled out $540.17 for the least expensive model, the 16GB device with Wi-Fi only. It arrived two weeks ago, and I've gotten pretty well acquainted with it. While I can't say it was love at first sight, I do have to admit that I like it more than I expected to. It's no laptop replacement, and I ran into a number of frustrations, but it does do some things well and best of all, it has brought the tablet form factor into the mainstream and opened the door for competitors to make even better variations on the theme. Meanwhile, here's my list of 10 things about the iPad that don't suck.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: The form factor

There have been complaints that the device is too big and heavy, and I'd love for it to weigh a pound or less. But in working with it, I've found that the 10-inch screen is really just about the right size, and the weight isn't as annoying as I thought it would be. Sure, it's tiring to hold it up with one hand for a long period of time. But there really aren't many instances where I've needed to do that. And that extra size is what makes it so much more functional than a smart phone.

The slate form factor also makes it easier to use than a laptop in many situations. For example, if you're stuck in economy class on a plane and the person in front of you leans the seat way back, even a small laptop can be cramped -- but not the iPad.

2: "Always on"

Windows 7 laptops resume very quickly, but there's still a short wait after you hit the power button before you can use the OS. The iPad desktop is right there, right now, when you push the button (Figure A). That little bit of difference can make a big difference. You'll find yourself using it when you wouldn't have bothered to open up the laptop and wait.

Figure A

The iPad desktop is right there, right now, when you want it.

It's a great device to sit on the coffee table for quick reference when you're having a conversation or watching TV. Can't remember where you've seen that actor before? Hit the iPad button, touch the IMDB app, type in the name, and find out in a flash (but not Adobe Flash, since the iPad doesn't support it).

3: Battery life

Some netbooks get 10 hours or more of battery life, but the ones that do tend to be the heavier ones. My Sony VAIO X gets 12 hours, but that's with the extended battery, which adds bulk and weight to its otherwise super-slim profile. If you're used to the typical five hours or so of notebook battery life, the iPad's long-lived battery is a welcome change. And I've found that it actually gets a little more than the advertised 10 hours.

4: Maps app

Of all the apps that came preinstalled on the device, the Maps application impressed me most. I love the way it's integrated with your Contacts, so that you can search for a person's name within the Maps app and (assuming you have the address entered) it will show you the person's home location on the map. You can also invoke the map from within the Contacts app (Figure B). You can touch and hold a spot on the map to "drop a pin." Then with a touch, you can bring up information about the address or show it in Street View. One more touch gets you directions to the location from your current location (which the iPad picks up via GPS). You can change the map view to classic (road map), satellite, hybrid (road names imposed over the satellite view), or terrain. The more I play with this app, the more new things I find and the more I like it.

Figure B

The Maps app is fully integrated with Contacts for a seamless mapping experience.

5: Email

In the beginning, I wasn't sure about the iPad's email client (Figure C). It seemed overly simplified and there appeared to be some functionality missing. Some things weren't obvious, and I had heard from another iPad user that you needed to use Gmail if you wanted to separate your mail into folders. I live and die by my Exchange account, so I wasn't at all happy about that. Fortunately, it turned out not to be true. Setting up my Exchange account took only a minute. At first, only my Inbox folder was populated but I found (in the Settings app) where to select subfolders to "push."

Figure C

The mail client works surprisingly well -- after you figure it out.

Also not obvious at first was how to select multiple messages to delete all at once, but some trial and error revealed that you use the Edit setting to do that. After I finally figured it all out, I found the mail app to be easy to use and perfectly good for most of my mail management duties (although not nearly as powerful as Outlook 2010). I also like that in addition to my Exchange mail, it gives me access to my Gmail and Hotmail accounts without going to the Web browser.

6: The onscreen keyboard

When I tried the iPad in the Apple store, I hated the onscreen keyboard (Figure D). I couldn't type accurately with it at all. It seemed to be out of calibration; you had to press the top-left corner of the key to get it to respond with the right character; if you pressed it in the center of the key, you got a different character. Apparently that one was defective, because when my iPad arrived, the keyboard worked as you would expect it to. It's very responsive and I can enter text fairly quickly with it.

I still think the device would have benefitted greatly from Swype technology, which I have on my Omnia II smart phone. I find myself trying to swipe the keys instead of lifting my fingers between keys; it's a much faster form of "typing." But even though the keyboard could be better, I have to admit that it doesn't suck.

Figure D

The iPad's onscreen keyboard could be improved, but it doesn't suck.

7: Watching TV

One of the first apps I downloaded, due to all the rave reviews I'd heard about it, was ABC Player. I wanted to see how well the iPad could play streaming TV, and it turns out it does it very well, at least on my fast 802.11n Wi-Fi network. (I can't vouch for 3G performance.) Of course, the drawback here is that you get only ABC programming, but it's great for catching an episode you missed if you have a wireless connection and you're away from your big TV set. I watched the Lost season finale on it, and playback was smooth and the picture was sharp.

8: Reading ebooks

I have the Kindle for PC software on my laptop and had purchased some books, so I downloaded the Kindle for iPad app (Figure E). I logged onto my Amazon account and my books showed up there. I have to say the reading experience on the iPad is better than on the laptop. The form factor just lends itself to reading, whereas the laptop is made for typing. "Turning" pages with the touch interface is more comfortable, too.

Figure E

The Kindle app for the iPad makes ebook reading a pleasure.

Barnes & Noble's reader is also available for the iPad, and Apple has its own reader as well, so you have plenty of options for turning your iPad into an ebook reader. And rather than spend $200 to $300 for a dedicated reader, you get a device that does much more.

9: Making phone calls

What's the difference between the iPad and the iPhone, other than the size? Well, along with the lack of a camera on the iPad (which is something that does suck, since it would be such a good device for video conferencing), there's the fact that you can't make phone calls on it. Or can you?

Skype is available in the App Store, but it's really made for the iPhone, not the iPad. That means it displays by default in the iPhone screen size (Figure F). You can increase it to 2x but then it gets blurry. However, even though it doesn't look pretty, it works okay. Skype-to-Skype calls are free, but you have to pay to call regular phones, and you have to pay more to get a Skype phone number to receive incoming calls.

Figure F

You can use Skype on the iPad, but it's really made for the iPhone
Another option is Whistle Phone (Figure G), which is made for the iPad. The app is free, and best of all, outgoing and incoming calls within the United States are free, too. Whistle assigns you a phone number (unfortunately, you can't pick the area code, so people calling you from landlines with old-fashioned calling plans may have to pay long distance charges), and call quality over Wi-Fi was excellent in my tests. The catch: You have to listen to a 20-second commercial before it dials out. There is no commercial when you get an incoming call. There is a charge for international calls.

Figure G

You can make and receive free phone calls with Whistle, but there's a small catch.

10: "Running" Windows 7

Sure, the iPad is cool -- but I like Windows. Fortunately, I don't have to miss my Win7 desktop when I'm using the iPad, thanks to the iTap RDP app (Figure H). This is a Remote Desktop client for the iPad that lets you access your Windows 7, Vista, or XP (Pro/Business edition or above) desktop and use all your Windows applications. The iPad acts as a (very) thin client, and all the processing takes place on your Windows machine.

It takes a bit of getting used to, learning the gestures for right-clicking, double-clicking, and so forth, but once you get the hang of it, you can have the illusion of a powerful Windows computer in a tiny, slate-format package. And that doesn't suck at all.

Figure H

With an RDP client app, you can have your Windows 7 desktop on your iPad.

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

75 comments
Sysadmin/Babysitter
Sysadmin/Babysitter

I have found Wyse Pocket Cloud is Better than iTap in that: 1-I can use the on PC helper app to make the PC browser (with Flash) viewable full-screen on the iPad. 2-Better right-click & left-click controls. 3-The 30$ price is a bummer, but it also loads & works on my iPhone too!

TtFH
TtFH

I played with one in the office the other day, and on the whole it was pretty good. I liked the reader, zoom, page turning and clarity were great, but... * My hands soon got sore from the weight - even a big potboiler weighs less. * Reflections are a pain. In my office, I had a great view of the fluoro light fitting instead of what I was supposed to be reading, and I can only imagine it would be worse trying to read outside on a sunny day. For me, the biggest benefit from this form factor is use as a reader, and excessive reflection (and to a lesser degree, the weight) kind of stymies that. I could see why other users like them, though. Tony F

SerrJ215
SerrJ215

Is anyone else getting tired about hearing about this? Apple took the keyboard away from a tablet laptop and everyone thinks it's a revolution. When the IPod came out, I didn't buy it. Why because Sansa made an MP3 player that was 1/3rd the price and it ran on AAA batteries. When the IPhone came out I got a Samsung jack because I hate touch screens and it has a full Qwerty board and Windows Mobile. This is a place for IT and computer professionals, let's call the IPad what it is: A TOY! The point: I am an IT professional why would I want technology that I can't customize, that I can't repair or upgrade, Can't even replace the battery, that's locked in on a certain set of apps, and only begrudgingly integrates with other platforms. Many of my business tasks and that of my clients I cannot see being possible let alone being more efficient using the IPad then a traditional laptop. The few task I do think the IPad might be good for, the Kindle and the Nook beat it to the market. It's true the IPad can have some useful apps, it is also true that one could drive a nail using an brick but I think I would rather use a hammer. Just because it has an "I" in front of its name that does not mean it's a good piece of technology. Ladies and gentlemen we need better tools. TOOLS not TOYS. I think this should be the final article on this. I think what should now be talking about is what we need from a tablet. Then see who can deliver.

beanxyz
beanxyz

To be honest, I can do almost all those things except the screen size in my iPhone and I don't find any essential differneces.

spookyone1
spookyone1

I can hold something that weighs as much as a book while I read it. And in MY office we put the fluorescent tubes in the ceiling. Since I hold the iPad facing towards my face, there is no reflection from the lights to bother me. More importantly, I use mine for many things besides a reader so I don't dismiss it because I can't use it as a reader outside in bright sunlight.

spookyone1
spookyone1

articles about the iPad there should be no more. Why should anyone else's opinion be taken into account? You are the only IT professional in the world, after all.

victor.gutzler
victor.gutzler

My ultimate tablet would have: 1. A shape like a Dexas clipcase (clipboard that opens with a compartment for paper storage). 2. A screen that allows toggled orientation, touch typing, finger swiping, as well as pressure sensitive writing. 3. A battery that lasts at least 10 hours between recharges. 4. Enough memory and processor speed to run resident office applications (not just those downloaded from the web). 5. Ports for VGA, USB, SD, and RJ45. 6. Bluetooth, wireless, GPS, and TV capability. 7. Internal DVD R/W drive. 8. Internal inkjet printer and scanner. 9. Camera with video conference capability. 10. Weight less than 3 lbs with a carrying strap that allows the tablet to be propped up and used while a person is standing. So a person should be able to have a video phone conference while navigating a map, typing a report, printing a plane ticket, and watching TV, all at the same time. Something like Dr. McCoy's medical purse in Star Trek.....

SoldierJedi
SoldierJedi

In all fairness, the iPad is a new 'platform' for better versions of iphone/ipod apps to run in/on. I for one think it's a great device, and almost all the criticism that was levelled against it when it was "launched" by Steve Jobs, such as the weight, the over-size bezel, the lack of this and that etc, have almost all been turned into criticisms of the apple business model and how apps are locked down to "preserve the user experience"...

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

..always go right for the "I can do that on my [whatever]" attack? It's as if anything positive said about the iPad is threatening is some way. Of course you can do many (not all) of the things that you can do "on" an iPad by using another type of device. Well, "except for the screen size", which is one of the BIG things that sets the iPad apart. That, and it's form factor (thin tablet). Why does everything have to be about "Oh, yeah, well my [whatever] is better than your [whatever]"? It's very childish, annoying and unproductive, all wrapped up in one. The deal is, you may be able to do many of the same things using "X" device, but you can't do it LIKE you can using the iPad, and that IS what makes the difference. Besides, the article was written about USING the iPad, not about how it's better or worse than other devices. Although the author did make a few comparisons along the way, the point of the article was about using the iPad. Want to make a fair comparison? Then I suggest people start comparing using the iPad to the ever so popular WinPad.. What, there isn't an ever so popular WinPad.. Hummmmm. I know, I know, it's coming. Or better yet, the DroidPad is on it's way. The fact is that the new way of using the Tablet as made popular by the iPad will end up changing the game because there will be WinPads and DroidPads in a while, and the users will be the winners because of competition. Like it or not, in the end the tech world will have to recognize that Apple (yet again) changed the computing world. And, even though there will be people who still refuse to touch anything "Apple" without having to use hand sanitizer afterwards, those same people will use a tablet of some sort and will owe their experience to the Apple iPad. (Oh, and yes I know.. I'm a fanboy, or I sleep in Apple pajamas, or whatever silly name the I hate Apple iAnything folks here want to call me, which is also childish, annoying and unproductive.)

Hazydave
Hazydave

Maps, skype, etc,,, check. If I type with the keyboard rather than on-screen, I even get the about the same usable screen real-estate. Only the Skype runs via 3G wireless, and, while the battery doesn't last quite as long, I have a spare.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

And I want that battery removable / replaceable / hot swappable with a spare.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Apps are just ONE thing about the device.

spookyone1
spookyone1

what is it with you and Apple pajamas? You make a terrific point but seem to mention not sleeping in Apple pajamas a lot.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Because I can't see spending $500+ on a device that duplicates a subset of the functions of other devices I already own. The form factor and interface aren't worth the trade-offs to me, either personally or professionally. Were I to compare it to a Windows-based tablet, ... oh, wait. We have two Dell Windows tablets reserved for very specific functions because of the limitations of the form factor. Those devices don't measure up to my expectations any better than an iPad would. "...the tech world will have to recognize that Apple (yet again) changed the computing world." When have they changed it before?

dwdino
dwdino

Many of us grow tired of the Apple revolutions that simple are not. We purchase on need and effectiveness, neither of which the iPad fulfills. So the real question is why.

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

save for your first post on TR, only post in Apple related discussions? It's as if you login to TR looking for Apple bashing posters in the new Apple/tablet articles. Why is that?

Craig@work
Craig@work

To justify, make comparisons, and try and put the other guy down! "Hi neighbor, I see you bought an Acura, you know its just a glorified Honda, my Accord can do everything your TL does" We see it every day, especially in threads such as this. The new iPad, although not quite my flavor, is a great device. It does everything it advertises, looks good, feels solid, and appeals to the audience it had set out too. There will always be devices that do more, but not everyone necessarily wants that. I have an Android phone, actually one of the first. I always thought it was a great OS, and yes when I got it the first thing I did was say, oh well I can do this on my G1 can your iPhone do that? It's just the way our society acts. But to the OP, I read your first article as well, and prior to using it I shared your views, but at this time it is one of the only tablets of its kind that has proven to be user friendly and accurate. I've used one of Archos android tablets that came out I guess a year or more ago and it was horrible. Touch screen was non-responsive, extremely laggy, battery was garbage, and the screen, although larger than a phone, it still was not large enough. I guess it makes me a hypocrite as I still find myself justifying my purchases against someone who's bought something new, then bashing those people in a web post. : /

alec.wood
alec.wood

Last one I had could have a second battery or hard drive fitted. So once two were in the unit they were effectively hot-swappable. From a technology point of view it should not be hard to provide a secondary internal cell of some kind which will power the device (drives and screen off) for 30 seconds or so while the battery is swapped out

spookyone1
spookyone1

You can't be serious. Name one portable device with hotswappable batteries.

spookyone1
spookyone1

1) Most consumer laptops and virtually NO netbooks can handle CAD 2) Portability--Yeah, it's given. iPad is as portable as ANY notebook. 3) Screen size--17" may be nice but it's hardly portable. I'm disabled and have difficulty carrying my 13" Macbook Pro. 4) Flexibility--Why must a single unit run 3+ OS's? 5) Expandability--VERY few laptops are expandable these days outside hard drive, which iPad doesn't have and RAM. We don't upgrade laptops, we replace them. 6) Standardized--Portability means not carrying around devices you'd need 6+ kinds of ports to connect. You have a computer at home for that. 7) Self-maintainable--What replacement parts are you going to order? Why is it faster to order parts than to order a replacement unit (which is how Apple Care takes care of repairs) 8) Service on my timetable--This one is the funniest. I've waited on hold for 3-4 HOURS for support from PC vendors! Making an appointment at the Genius Bar and having the tech available to me at a set time appeals to me FAR more than waiting hours on hold, which is crappy use of my time. 9) Cost effective--Mine has been VERY cost effective. Sorry your's hasn't. What's that? You don't have one? How do you know it's not cost effective? 10) GROW UP!

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

that are not counted more than once just because they are bits of software that run on the machine.

dwdino
dwdino

Let's see, top of the head: 1) Capability - can handle any load from CAD to word processing 2) Portability - (given) 3) Screen Size - 17" is nice 4) Flexibility - Can run Windows, Linux, openSolaris, etc. 5) Expandability - Can upgrade RAM, Storage, Video Card, Wireless, docking station, 6) Standardized - Common USB, HDMI, D-SUB, SD, PCMCIA, etc. 7) Self Maintainable - Can order any replacement part and repair with a few common tools. 8) Service on my time table - warranty support comes when I say so, not if I have an appointment. 9) Cost effective 10) Doesn't have cheesy fruit on it. ;)

SoldierJedi
SoldierJedi

Not wanting to get into a flame war, but what exactly *is* going to make your awesome list? Web browsing? IE/Chrome/Firefox/Safari - Apps. E-mail? Outlook/Thunderbird - App. Gaming? on a laptop? When I consider my laptop, it's a different platform that allows me to use tools when I'm away from the office, whether it's presentations, documents, e-mail or whatever. The iPad is a consumer version of this with a different interface. I'm not an Apple apologist or a fanboi - I just don't see what the argument is about apps? If i can use an iPad with it's instant-on, wifi/3g connectivity to get me remotely into any of my servers, or check my e-mail, or look up an article on TechRepublic or TechNet, I'd use it in preference to a laptop purely because of it's form factor. And that's not even considering the possibilities of using it as a home consumer device.

elrico-fantastica
elrico-fantastica

if was listing awesome things about my laptop i wouldnt say word, excel and winzip (apps picked at random im not claiming they are awesome)

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

There are a few reasons I "mention" (or at least I did when I was posting a few months back) about "not sleeping in Apple PJs". First of all, you have to remember that most of my posts here were back when the iPad was really new. I can here to find out if some of the IT folks around this forum had thought of some creative uses (that I hadn't yet) for the iPad, or even found some cool applications (both programs and real world uses) that I could benefit from, but instead almost all I read was how lame the iPad is, or what a POS it is, how it's going to be a total flop, and how it is a nice "toy" but doesn't have any real world uses. There was a huge amount of "I hate it because it's an Apple" bashing going on (and probably still is, but I wouldn't know because I stopped coming around due to the extreme bias and un-open minded attitudes). So, the first reason I used the PJs comment (along with Apple fan-boi and other "yes I'm an Apple fan" comments) was to take that away from the potential repliers. Seems that when you made good and thoughtful points about how the iPad isn't a POS, and that it may have some good uses, then the first comeback was almost certainly "you drank the Apple cool-aide". One of the most amusing of those comebacks was "you probably sleep in Apple pajamas too!". That one made me laugh out loud. Reminded me of something a child would say on the playground, and here it was on what is supposed to be a place for grown ups to have an open forum for thoughts and ideas about how to best utilize and maintain advanced technologies for a better tomorrow (well, at least that's what I thought this was supposed to be). Another reason I used the PJs comment was just to point out how ridiculous and childish the "your just an Apple lover" argument is. It seemed to have worked at least a little because the only real off topic reply by one of the iHaters was "the only thing you post is in defense of the iPad/Apple.." accusation (to which I agreed because the only reason I came around these parts was [as stated above] to find petter info on the future of the iPad).

spookyone1
spookyone1

Or the Apple ][. Or the Mac. Or the iPhone.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]To this day I still defend Mr Gates when it comes to how bad they controlled the market and their unfair practices (remember that?). I still believe that MS did the world a much needed favor by giving the IT world a standard at a time when fragmentation was rampant and spreading.[/i] When was this? I didn't notice any "rampant fragmentation" during that period, nor did I notice hordes clamoring for a standard. In fact, anybody claiming we needed a standard usually had a dog in the hunt. That the "standard" we got was Windows...well, you can't have it all.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

I have a feeling that your response is going to spawn a few "MS also sucks, but.." comments. That, or "that's why the world should use Linix" (or whatever). People seem to love to ride the popular wave of disliking whoever seems to be in the pop culture crosshairs. The folks you are talking about were probably the same folks that were foaming at the mouth 10 years ago when MS was in the hot seat. Back then, Bil Gates was the devil. To this day I still defend Mr Gates when it comes to how bad they controlled the market and their unfair practices (remember that?). I still believe that MS did the world a much needed favor by giving the IT world a standard at a time when fragmentation was rampant and spreading.

rahbm
rahbm

I simply cannot understand why they feel they have to attack anything about Apple or Linux with such zeal and venom. The irony is that they are always going on about how insignificant Apple and Linux are by marketshare, then viciously attack them. Why attack so ferociously if there is no threat? They also flock to defend MS against any suggestion of fault or flaw. Well, if (say) Windows were so perfect, it would be self-evident to everyone (not just the fanatics) and there would be no need to do so! I just dont get why they do it. If they are paid shills, then MS is getting poor value for money, as they only serve to make Windows fans look like childish bigots. BTW, if you think it is bad here, have a look over on ZDNet.... To be fair, the Apple and Linux zealots are also annoying, but they are far less numerous.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Promotions through E-4 for all four services were automatic based on time in service, time in grade, and good behavior, pretty much in that order. I also heard that the Navy's selection process for E-5 through E-7 was based on survival time at sea without falling overboard... ;) I'd say something here about having made the right choice and joined the USAF, but since I spent less than a third of my career assigned to bases with active runways, I won't. I was in the USAF Ground TACS (radars on wheels). We drove them around and set them up in farmers' fields. While we might have waited outside in the chow line in the snow and rain, in full battle rattle, that was only long enough to be polite and let the O's out of the mess tent and into the snow and rain.

nwallette
nwallette

Do you really think hype is how the iPhone took palm computing into the mainstream? Vista was hyped, marketed, and even pushed at users by threatening to take XP out of production. On the contrary, people LIKE using iPhones. Hype will get you somewhere, but it won't keep you there. As for the innovation aspect, Apple isn't ever the first to introduce technology. They're just the first to take new technology that is juuuust reaching technical maturity and combine it with reasonably well-written software that is relatively intuitive to average people. They're the first to do it well. That combination of right-time, right-place, and knowing where to aim the marketing machine is The Game Changer.

nwallette
nwallette

The irony of it is, how often is a laptop misused as something better suited to something else, e.g., an iPad? Compare watching video. Shows from network TV websites through a browser+Flash can take a Core 2 Mobile to its knees, draining the battery, and not even managing a smooth 30fps. Gotta love the V-sync tearing. On the iPad, you have hardware decoders (OK, the laptop does too, but they tend to get used on the iP*), frame rates synchronized to refresh rates (where applicable), and better battery life out of a smaller package. To one degree or another, same goes for reading books, browsing the web, playing music, checking email, or anything else the iPad has been advertised to do. It's just better at this stuff. Heck, I prefer watching YouTube videos from my iPhone compared to my laptop because it just works better. The PC has its place, don't get me wrong. The iPad won't dethrone it. I'll probably never use a Mac as a general purpose computer either, even though I believe OS X is a better product than Windows. But seriously, it's about time someone designed a device that's really good at the stuff we (at least I) like to do after I leave work. Say what you will about Apple, but at least they have the savvy to commoditize niche technology. I appreciate that.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Cruise ships for Marines. Truth be told, if I had it to do over again, I'd go USAF. They have their act together; the EMs stay in the rear and the officers go forward to get shot at. :D

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

you have heard pick your rate pick your fate. Pick you branch... well you have a nice day then okay buh bye. Oh I tell you that is the best sleep one can get, being on a ship I mean. As long as its not 15' swells anyway. Dont hate, ten miles in the snow with no shoes my behind. At least we have to work for our next pay grade. If you cleaned your gun you guys get promoted!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"So IF ... the iPad fails, BUT touch computing takes off due to the HYPE ..., would that alone not make the iPad a game changer?" No, that would make the hype the game changer. Touch computing has been around in some form or another since the early '90s.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"I just don't get why folks are all upset because the iPad isn't a laptop or netbook..." I agree with you. What I don't get is why pundits and columnists keep pitching as a replacement for laptops or netbooks or tablets.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

At least you were on a nice dry hanger deck. In the Army, we had to stand outside in the snow and rain, in full 'battle rattle'! And we had to stand in line AFTER we got our chow too! And it was uphill in both directions! And we liked it that #$@%'ing way! Who keeps letting the squids in here? :D

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't have a dog in any of the fights. While the vast majority of my experience is with Windows systems, I see advantages to Linux. I won't comment much on Apple's computing products but I consider many of their recent popular products as connectivity or entertainment tools, not computers. Either way, the world isn't going to begin or end on what gets posted here.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

Products like you mention failed because of market timing I guess. People are sometimes slow to see the wow and freak when the see the price of new versus faded, look at the microwave oven. 22 years ago I bought one for $350( the cheap model) for my new wife currently the ex wife, are now ~$40.00 - $80. But, you are correct. Innovation even of a "Failed" product in time could transform into something in the future when it makes sense to people. When the market is ready? Lets call them sleepers if you will. I like calling things catchy names. Like my ex wife, I like to call her Jabba the Hutt, not because shes heavy, its when she talks, all I hear is Jaba the Hutt...

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

Another one time in band camp story... we had to stand in line for +45 minutes to eat when underway with a full crew. The line usually ended in the hangar bay opposite where the entry hatch was ( where they park the aircraft in the middle of the ship ). Needless to say a very long line, three times a day, you would see people reading in line on most occasions with the absent minded shuffle forward when the person in front of them moved a foot. Like a 500 person zombie conga-line with no music. So, these folks that I see camping for the gadget, sale, concert tickets are either insane or need to join the US NAVY!. Then they can see what hurry up and wait means.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

I have to respectfully disagree. I think that there are plenty of innovations that have come along in many different markets that, although they may not have been a commercial success, they made ideas (even previous ideas) mainstream. I remember the Lisa and I remember it cost a fortune. I certainly couldn't afford one. Heck, I couldn't afford to look at one, much less buy one. But that doesn't mean that it didn't change the game. How about the first plasma screen TVs? I remember 10 - 12 years ago they cost $10K a piece. Those first units didn't sell very well, but they did change the game. What about the Tucker automobile? Big flop. Did it bring into light some innovative ideas that ended up changing the industry? You know, seatbelts and fuel injection to name two. And there are tons of examples of technology that is no longer used that changed the game.. Saddles (for riding a horse), buggy whips, arc lanterns (street lights before the lightbulb), incandescent light bulbs (they may not be dead, but they're on the way out), wool uniforms for soldiers (it wouldn't catch on fire when they fired their muskets), muskets, etc, etc, etc.. So IF (and this is yet to be determined) the iPad fails, BUT touch computing takes off due to the HYPE (that so many have complained about) of the iPad, would that alone not make the iPad a game changer?

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

have a good one Bart

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

All very good points. I've noticed though that many of the comments posted by folks who say that it's just not right for them say that it's has no business use at all. As for the iPad being a game changer, we will all just have to wait and see. The iPad may not end up being a huge success in and of itself, but if 5 or 10 years down the road 50%+ of mobile computer users use a touch based tablet, and touch based tablets are in 50%+ of businesses, would you say that the iPad changed the game? There have been other tablets, and maybe even other touch based tablets, but the iPad has brought it into the mainstream which will/has in turn forced other manufacturers to rush to market with their version of a like devise. Would that make it a game changer?

dwdino
dwdino

for your analogy. Motorcycle - a smaller, more limited device used for personal enjoyment and entertainment. "why folks are upset" - I do not believe they are upset except for the presentation. There are also two seperate thought processes here. The first, in favor of the iPad, moves from desire to opportunity to solution to need. "It excites me, I will find a use for it." The second, usually contrary to the iPad, moves from need, to opportunity, to solution, to excitement. "This fits my need, I will use it." So, the detractors have a defined list of needs which they seek to have fulfilled. If the solution meets those needs, the excitement begins and the purchase is made. I have measured the iPad against my need and find significant void. Others, may find a need for it or simply desire the "new thing." That's fine. But it is not revolutionary, visionary, nor a "game changer".

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

*sigh* I'm just not good at kidding around. I know you're not really stressed.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

..of all the poster's here that I've read (who post a lot) your's are some of the more balanced comments (usually). And yes, I do remember that..

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

..folks who take the time to point out areas of misinformation (or downright iBashing) are supposedly "stressed". There's tons of posts here on TR that bash the iPad with such fervor,such venom that you would think that Steve Jobs was satan himself (I'm pretty sure I've actually read a post that made that claim). Seems to me that when someone's eyes pop out of their head because someone said something positive about an Apple product (or any product for that matter), then they are the ones who are stressed. I'm certainly not. I leave this site and I really don't give the Apple bashing nasties much thought at all. When I come here and engage in these threads I don't hang around long due to the childish nature of many of the posts, which by the way you can't apply the "don't read if you don't like it" principle until after you've read it (catch 22). As for the iPad users, I'm pretty sure that most folks who have jumped in and actually bought one are very happy with their device and are stress-free on their decision to buy one (like the author of this article has indicated). That is, unless they just couldn't afford one and bought it anyhow, but that's not Apple's fault (unless we go back to the over-hyped argument). Like I've stated in another thread, it's hard to find good user input from all of the spewing dribble. I've almost given up on it. I did find the article here to be of interest by it's title and I found the article to be interesting. Especially coming from someone who admits to not being excited (and almost negative) about the iPad. I wanted to read their perspective, and to be honest it's pretty much what I expected. The iPad ain't all bad. In fact some of it's downright good. But what do I know, I'm a "fan boy"..

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Seriously, you can trot out the Lisa as a 'game changer'? With a straight face? The interface and mouse were Palo Alto developments, and hierarchical file systems go back even further. The darn thing cost in the high four-figure range and was a commercial failure. The Newton didn't fare much better; besides, Psion was making PDAs back in the '80s. Technologies that no one uses are hardly game changers. I submit the iPod / iTunes pair didn't change computing as much as entertainment, and are merely the latest evolution of the Sony Walkman. THAT was a revolution. You probably intended your last statement sarcastically, but I agree with it in sincerity. There's a history of marketing innovation, not technology. I'll grant you the iPad as a new combination of features, but most of those were pre-existing in other devices.

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

Apple fans will not change Microsoft/Linux fans, just like the latter will not change the former. (I know I'm saying absolutes, I guess I should say...) That it's highly improbable, it's pointless to try.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

your attacking his reply to someones comment with an attack/reasoning/comment of your own? I'm sure he will have a reply of his own but I was looking for a fapple to post the following: (fanboy of apple)jic you wonder. look up the definition of an infinite loop, please refer to infinite loop. Please refer to infinite loop under infinite loop. because it was in friday yuk... lighten up fapples everywhere and go stand in line outside the fapple store to be the first to have your fapple products. Yall run over people in walmart too during the holidays? lexus>toyoa>Honda>Acura, they are all made in TAIWAN! AHH forgot to say what doesn't suck! NOT HAVING ONE doesn't suck.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

I can see and agree with the point about the hype. Not sure I agree with your analogy though. I wouldn't go to a car dealership to buy a motorcycle, and I certainly wouldn't be comparing my new motorcycle to my car. I mean, I would be able to go down the road at the same rate, but the experience would be vastly different. There would be times that the motorcycle is fine for the trip, but then there would be times that the car would be much better suited. I just don't get why folks are all upset because the iPad isn't a laptop or netbook of smartphone.. or a pen based tablet for that matter.

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

Is Apple your company? Let the product defend itself. You'll have less stress. :)

dwdino
dwdino

the attack is not the device, but the hype. When something is presented as revolutionary or even new, it is measured against the existing to determine value. For this instance, many here are measuring and not finding sufficient change to warrant hype or purchase. If the device was presented as another way to consume resources and fill specific niches, there would be little backlash. Imagine going to buy a new car and the dealer tells you, "we have the revolutionary new sedan". It looks nice, it has 4 doors and wheels, less horsepower, non adjustable seats, but you can steer with a joystick. The first thing you do is compare it to your existing vehicle. You find a couple of things of interest, and then talk price. At this point most of us walk away because for less money we get more. Edit - typos

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

I asked "Why do people always go right for the "I can do that on my [whatever]" attack?" and your response was "Because I can't see spending $500+ on a device that duplicates a subset of the functions of other devices I already own. The form factor and interface aren't worth the trade-offs to me, either personally or professionally." I can totally buy that you have no use for one, but why attack articles or posts that make the argument FOR the iPad having a place FOR THEM? That was the question (why attack?) after all. "Were I to compare it to a Windows-based tablet, ... oh, wait. We have two Dell Windows tablets reserved for very specific functions because of the limitations of the form factor." Uhh, I asked about comparison to POPULAR (meaning widely successful) WinPads.. By your own admission they are for very specific functions, and history has proven then to NOT be POPULAR (a point that many, many iPad critics have pointed out that "tablet computing" has been a failure, and in their opinions the iPad will also not succeed). Note: I think that once the DriodTab comes around all the iPad nay-sayers will jump in the "Tablets are great, but look how much better the DriodTab is compared to the iPad" wagon. "When have they changed it before?" A quick search on the internet provided the following.. In 1978 Apple creates the first affordable floppy disk drive for personal computers, which plugs into its Apple II model. In 1983, the Apple Lisa is one of the first consumer computers with a graphic user interface, while its competitors relied on cryptic text and keyboard commands a la MS-DOS. Among the Lisa's now familiar features: a drop-down menu bar, windows, a hierarchal file system, the ability to copy and paste, icons, folders and a mouse. The first Microsoft mouse does not roll off the line until 1987. In 1993 Apple released five models of the Newton, an early generation of personal digital assistants, between 1993 and 1998 . While it was mocked in the press, it was one of the first handhelds to allow different applications to work together. The calendar, for example, can refer to someone in the address book. In 2001 the iTunes music software debuts alongside the iPod. Apple adds a music store in 2003 that has grown to five million songs, 350 television shows and over 400 movies. By 2008 the iTunes Store had sold over 2.5 billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies, making it the world?s most popular online music, TV and movie store. And while the iPod, and later and the iPhone are not necessarily mainstream "computer industry", they have both been market leading in their markets as well as been products that, while not being the first in the market, lead the way and took their market's standards to a new and much higher level (especially the iPhone). And, yes (for God's sake) I know the Droid does [almost] everything the iPhone can do, but does it better (I know because I have am iPhone 3G for work, and an HTC Incredible for my personal phone, and I LOVE my DROID!!!!!! Other than that though, you're right (through the implication of your question).. Apple doesn't have a history of innovation at all.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Like to think that the devices they use are the first of their kind, exclusives - why else stand outside the shop for 10 hours waiting for the first sales. What is funny to everybody else (and to the d'oh of the Apple know boys) is the fact that the majority of them don't know the history of the device type at all.

spookyone1
spookyone1

that isn't valid? The iPad meets the needs I was looking to fill so I bought one. It is serving that need admirably and I am sick to death of people who have decided that anything they have no use for is useless.

nick_for_hire
nick_for_hire

Sorry gents, not to stray off topic, just curious, what do you personally think of the droid incredible? my first android was an samsung acclaim....there was no acclaimation that i could see, i overpayed for the darn thing, and i was looking towards the incredible. if you could give me a synopsis, that would be greatly appreciated. forgive my lack of grammar and punctuation. forums, to me are for laid back, lazy typing.

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

I did not tell you to shut-up and leave the commenting to the overwhelming number of iBashers (good one by the way). I was following the evidence where it lead. I'll stick with my assumption, notice I said assumption, that you are looking for a battle. edit: You can't change the view most IT pros have of Apple. So, it would be like trying to change fire into water: pointless. edit again: I understand what you were asking about iBashers (that's a good one). Seems like some are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find insults. The same can be said for the other side though. You won't find a good reply because there isn't one. There are loyal Microsoft users and loyal Apple users. Then, somewhere in the middle you have the ones that like both companies. The loyalist won't budge though.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

.. shut-up and leave the commenting to the overwhelming number of iBashers. Nope! If I do come across an article that strikes my fancy about a non-Apple related topic then I'll post, but being that I use a Mac for my computer, an iPhone for my phone (or at least one of them), and an iPad.. then I don't see many reasons to look in other non-Apple related posts. That is, unless I go looking for something I don't use so I can post uninformed comments, but I figure there's enough of that happening with the iPad. Since I recently acquired a Driod Incredible (which it is by the way) for my personal phone, maybe I'll go looking for info on that someday.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

The underdog(s) I was speaking of would be the "Apple fanboys" as you would call them. You know, the few people here who don't hate Apple and their products.

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

To explain, I meant that, except for you very first post at TR, you have posted in Apple discussions only. I looked at your Discussion posts tab on your profile. Your first post wasn't Apple related, but the rest of them have been. So, to me, it looked like you had been searching to find opposing views of Apple products so you could engage in debate. I wasn't throwing stones, sorry if it seemed that way. I merely replied with what I did to find your motives for such a post. If those person's comments bother you so, ignore them. If not, then continue with what you do.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

depends which markets you are looking at.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

..OK, so maybe you are, but to answer your question.. I came here in the first place to find out information regarding Apple computing because I'm fairly new to Mac (made the switch a little over a year ago), and I wanted to find useful information about the new iPad since I purchased one a few days after it's release. So, yes, most (if not all) of the posts that I've posted here are in Apple related discussions, and MOST are in defense of an obvious anti-Apple bias. I suppose you can say that I am a supporter of "the underdog" as I can't stand to see idiotic responses that are usually off topic and tend to attack the poster, not the points to which they post (take this reply as a prime example). This wasn't my first post on TR by the way.. And I didn't come here looking for Apple bashing comments, however that type of post is impossible to avoid in response to any Apple or iPad article.