iPad: First Impressions and Random Thoughts
Posted on 14 May ’10 by Earl
I took delivery of an Apple iPad Wifi/3G this Thursday so I thought I’d share a few first impressions of both the iPod and the ordering/delivery process while it’s fresh on my mind.
1. Apple: I placed the order via the on-line Apple Store for one of their Wifi/3G models and at the time of the order was told it should be delivered between five and 10 days. They were absolutely accurate in their estimate with delivery in seven.
2. FedEx: Cudo’s to the excellent job these guys do. The iPad departed China on Tuesday, arrived in Memphis, TN, Wednesday, cleared Int’l Shipments, and was delivered to my home in NC on Thursday about noon — I doubt someone could make that trip as fast using commercial airlines. FedEx (as well as UPS) has a wonderful package tracking system, I knew where it was at every step and they delivered a day earlier then promised.
To rant a few moments — why can’t the United States Postal Service provide decent tracking for packages? You’re lucky with USPS packages to know it’s been shipped and later perhaps delivered — and that’s usually only available the day after delivery.
3. Apple: Packaging — simple, smart and secure — no wasted bulk.
4. My iPad’s battery was almost fully charged. iPads want to sync to iTunes when you first turn them on. More about iTunes later.
5. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you’re already familiar with the interface but the resulting experience is greatly magnified on the iPad — fast and as smooth as butter on hot toast. You can actually see things on the wonderfully sharp larger screen and the whole touch experience is greatly enriched.
6. Applications: There’s a good number of applications already and more being created each day. Some of the advanced ones, which have been custom written for the iPad, give a hint to the future promise and capabilities of this little device. There should be some “killer” apps in the next year or two.
7. First functional impressions, it’s a wonderful device for consuming information but not as good at creating it. For example, I enjoy reading my RSS feeds, visiting sites and checking emails on the iPad, probably as much, or more, as on a laptop or desktop. But when the time comes to create a document, email or media…things slow down.
Don’t get me wrong, the built in virtual keyboard works better then I expected, but it’s not as functional as a physical keyboard and mouse, at least for me. Using a bluetooth keyboard would help a lot but then you’re loosing some of the “pad benefits.”
As far as what I’ve “created” with the iPad thus far; a number of comments, emails, messages and on-line banking transactions. Do-able.
8. Photography: Photos look pretty good on the iPad, the screen is beautiful, but the default process of getting them there through iTunes sucks. I’m currently using an application called “Photo Transfer App” ($2.99) that makes the process easier. You use a browser and the devices IP address, it works over USB or Wifi placing the photos in the correct place to be viewed using the iPad Photo app. — simple. It can also transfer both ways and is fast.
I should be receiving the Camera Connection Kit next week and will be interested to see how well it works for importing photos directly into the iPad.
Humm…I wonder about calibrating the screen for accurate colors?
Opinion: I don’t see this version of iPad as being used in any meaningful way for processing photos…not enough screen, not enough fine control and doesn’t support a pen at this point.
However, if somewhere down the road there was a larger screen version that included the functionality of a pen and Wacom “Cintiq” with a decent photo editing application, that would indeed be interesting. Apple and developers, feel free to run with that idea.
There is an interesting iPad application for general photo editing that may hold some promise…”Photogene.”
Overall, I’m impressed with the iPad and find it useful and just plain fun! And one shouldn’t underestimate that “fun” factor. I’ve had no errors or problems In the short time I’ve had it.
In time, I’ll share more matured impressions and experiences.**
** I’d love to hear the opinions of those photographers (Mark G., Chris K., anyone else) who’ve had an iPad a little longer.