Verbose Logging

software development with some really amazing hair

T + S G I F R

Why I Won't Be Buying An iPad (Yet)

· · Posted in Hardware
Tagged with

I didn’t want to write about the iPad on day one, because I was fairly negative overall. I’m still not completely sold on it; it’s missing some things for me. Granted, I’m not the target audience for this device, and all these things I’m going to talk about are my pressure points. It you think the device will work for you, fine, but for what I want to do with it, it’s not quite there.

No card slots

The thing is big enough to put a card reader in it, so where is it? Oh, you have adapters? Another $40 for one of those? Thanks Apple!

They really could have put an SD card reader in this and not affected the price. You can buy super multi card readers for your PC for almost no money, so dropping one in the iPad would be easy. Granted I don’t have the schematics for the iPad, but I don’t imagine there would be a problem.

My real problem? They clearly wanted this (why would they drop adapters with it on launch day?), but it seems like they didn’t do it, just so they could charge more money for an adapter that a lot of people would want. Nice business strategy, but it’s also kind of annoying from a consumer point of view.

I really don’t know how much I’d use this feature, so I’m a bit on the fence, but I can feel the pain of those who would want it.

Other missing ports are USB and a mini display for HDMI out, but don’t you worry, there’s an adapter for that.

No camera

There is a lot of angst about this, and I am in the angsty camp. I want a front facing camera, so I can do Skype video chat. That’s some cool stuff right there.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t really built for that area of activities, but I’m not overly fond of the fact that Apple seems to be trying to dictate what the device will be used for by including or omitting features (and even by locking down the app store).

There is no built in camera, and even with the USB adapter you probably can’t plug one in and have it work.

I want a camera. I could still see myself owning and using this device without a camera, but having one would just open up possibilities.

iBooks

Maybe I’m just bitter because I jumped on the Kindle train in late December, but I like the Kindle experience right now. I just use the app on my iPhone, so I don’t actually have a device, I just buy the books.

Pros:

  • Cool interface
  • Quite a few publishers
  • Read on the iPad, which should be nice
  • Uses ePub format

Cons:

  • Prices might be higher initially (there is some info, but I can’t remember where I saw it)
  • Probably still DRM’d
  • Probably can’t import your own ePub files
  • Might not look too good everywhere (Kindle E-Ink works in sunlight, we’ll have to see how the iPad fares)
  • Probably iPad only (at least with Kindle I have multiple platforms and ways to read)

In short, it looks cool, but I have no desire to actually use it.

Lack of space

I don’t know about you, but I filled up my 32GB iPhone in a heartbeat. I have to actually think about what I put on it, I can’t just sync everything. If this iPad is meant for consuming media, I need to be able to put my media on it. For me, I want more than 64GB of space; give me at least a 128GB iPad, and I’ll look closer.

Best way to browse the web?

Now remember, this is my opinion based on my workflow.

The iPad is NOT the best way for me to browse and consume the web. I always have many tabs open, am frequently switching to other applications other than my browser, and using a mouse to its full potential when I browse the web. I could use the iPad to get around, but it would be infinitely slower than if I just pulled up my MacBook.

Oh, and don’t forget about the lack of flash. If you don’t get the full experience, how can it be the best experience?

It really depends on how you browse the web, but it’s far from the best way for me.

All-in-one package

Apple dropped a new mobile chip for this device. According to Jobs, “it screams” (I leave it as an exercise to the reader to reference that quote). The fact that all the existing iPhone apps will run unmodified means it runs the same basic machine code as the iPhone (which is ARM; the A4 is ARM based), so they built it around their own spec (10 Feb 2010) the ARM spec. This is a great move on their part, and probably something that helped them keep the price down.

They own the whole platform, and this type of ownership on a mobile platform results in good things for the consumer (like lower price and good battery life).

Non-replaceable battery

A lot of people whined about this, but who cares. Your precious iPhone doesn’t have a replaceable battery, nor does your new MacBook, so take a chill pill.

iPhone OS

On the fence. For my purposes, I wouldn’t mind full OS X (which is why for a great many things, I would still prefer my laptop), but the fact that it’s the iPhone OS isn’t terrible. It’ll get cracked and you’ll be able to run Linux on it anyway, so relax.

iTunes

All I have to say is it better be actual iTunes, and not just iPod. It should be able to update podcasts, among other things.

Lack of multitasking

This I really dislike. I want to be able to be browsing the web and listening to music, but then switch songs or something, and go right back to the web. Sure, I’ll be able to hit the home button, go to iTunes, change songs, then hit the home button again, go back to Safari, and have it start again. This is pretty lame. Give me multitasking.

Screen dimensions

Some are whining that it’s not widescreen. Meh. While I haven’t held the device, it just seems like it’s the right size and shape (except for that rounded back, which apparently makes it hard to lay on a flat surface and type). If you really want to watch a movie, use a proper widescreen TV would you please? Don’t expect a revolution in the cinematic experience sitting in your bed on Sunday morning.

Other things I like

  • Calendar looks awesome
  • Battery life is pretty sweet

Alternatives

The only other alternatives (or similar devices) I’m excited for are whatever Google (possibly partnered with HTC) is cooking up, and the Microsoft Courier. The Courier really seems like something different and unique.

So what?

So I’m somewhat excited. It’s really just a toy for me, while my iPhone and MacBook Pro have more purpose. I don’t need one, and I don’t imagine I ever will, though it would be something fun to have. It’d probably stay at the bedside for the most part, so I can have a fuller entertainment experience before bed or in the morning on the weekends without having to pull out my laptop and sit completely upright. I wouldn’t use the 3G, but I would want more space.

Honestly, all my gripes are never going to get dealt with. I doubt they’ll put a camera in the next gen (although they put one in the iPod nano, and Mashable is reporting that there is a good chance we’ll a 2nd gen iPad with a camera). I’m definitely not getting a first gen, so I can wait and see. If they make a 2nd gen with a camera and 128GB of space, I’ll consider it.


Sharing is Caring