Monday, April 12, 2010

IPad, the non iPhone and non net book

Well I'm doing what thousands of bloggers will do in the next few weeks and writing a post about their shiny new iPad whilst writing it on said device. And here it is. An iPad. It's thin, fairly weighty and I feel like a very small person in a Lilliputian universe typing on an iPhone.

The iPad box arrived via DHL from the US the day after release and the family sat down for the social and yet rather sensual task of unwrapping an Apple product. The top slid off with a satisfying whooshing sound, possibly in my mind, and there it was, covered by the familiar cellophane wrapping, a big iPhone. I unwrapped it and held the big iPhone in my hands. It felt like it wanted to be dropped, slim and too slippy until I discovered the Apple sign on back in more grippy material which just a finger on makes it feel more secure.

Plug it into the Mac and turn it on. No iPhone\iPod clone here. Oh yes it is, just bigger icons. ooh and look you can swish your finger from page to page just like....umm my iPhone. First job, connect wifi, no issues here, straight on. Open Safari, key and .... Oh my goodness it looks fantastic. I spent the next half hour just browsing the web, especially news sites. No question, this is the best way to browse the web. It is so natural, so like holding a book, just sit on the sofa and read, sweeping between sites with ease. Sorry, if you wanted to hate the iPad, then never try browsing BBC news or The Times. It is just awesome.

Next I downloaded several new apps, the Epicurious recipe app, which is fantastic, the new accuweather app, beautiful, Real Racing HD for my son which is brilliant. I have to apologize but I just love this device.

Now seriously what "is it"? Is it a net book with no keyboard or a big iPhone? Simply neither. This is a new device, a perfect form factor for reviewing and browsing data. For producing data it is honestly a bit rubbish, the keyboard is ok and I can now type pretty fast but it's no replacement for a proper keyboard. I think I would happily write a few emails and if stuck on a plane with no laptop battery life I would write another blog post but it wouldn't be my first choice. However the last paragraph was written without editing or deleting mistakes and I think it's all ok.

Now what about battery life, Apple say 10 hours. I first charged this Thursday of last week in the evening, it got a pretty heavy hammering by the whole family including games and lots of browsing and kindle style book reading. It didn't go back on charge until Sunday evening which I think is pretty blooming brilliant. It's been off charge all day and been in use constantly for the past 3 hours and the battery life still shows 66%. Not bad. The battery got a real hammering at my local Apple store today, none of the guys there had seen an iPad and wanted me to pop in with it. It was interesting to see them having their photos taken with it, star status!

The other app I have is Air Sharing, this let's me set the iPad as a hard drive on my Mac. I can drag and drop files onto the iPad and review them on the go, very easy. I tend to carry a lot of research stuff, PDFs etc so this will be excellent. The reading size is perfect and with no boot time you can be reading your document in 5 secs.

I'm flying to Hong Kong next week and this will be my device of choice on the plane, I can read a book, very clear actually, watch a film, superb screen quality and play a few games, what else do you need sat still for 14 hours? Yes it is just a big iPhone but the form factor makes it a superb device, not a laptop, not an iPhone, it's an iPad.