Thoughts on my iPad after a couple weeks.

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After hearing my wife tell me to get my own laptop for the past few years, I decided to get one except I decided to get an iPad. I already had an iPhone, so I had a real good idea of what you can and can’t do with it. Even still, I decided to jump in.

As soon as My iPad arrived, my daughter asked me if I just got a big iPhone. Of course, I couldn’t resist pretending along and proceeded to answer a call on my iPad. But she was right, it really is just a big iPhone with a much bigger screen and a better form factor that puts visions in my head of Star Trek Enterprise. Again, I digress.

The first thing I played with on the iPad was typing with the new keyboard. The keys are about the same size as the keyboard on my laptop when I use it in landscape mode. I do have some difficulty with it as a traditional keyboard user. I think the biggest issue I have is the loss of touch to help reassure me that my fingers struck the correct key. I find that if I use the iPad in my Lap, using the Apple case which props it up at an angle, I am able to visually get enough reassurance that I can type at a reasonable speed. Even still, I find that I am still correcting about every tenth word because of hitting the wrong key. Outside of using the keyboard on my lap, I find that I have to return to a hunt and peck mode of typing.

The next thing I played with was integrating the mail and the browser with my gmail and google reader accounts. I found that google has done a nice job with their initial implementation of their browser based email client for the ipad. It looks very similar to the native iPad email, but it supports the threading feature I love in gmail. Google reader basically looks the same as it does on the iPhone. I am hopeful that google will put a little effort into that interface like they did their gmail interface for the iPad.

I also got around to playing with Facebook. It looks the same as it does on a standard PC browser. I do find that the interface not being optimized for a touch screen device makes out a little more difficult to use on the iPad. Additionally, some of the games, like Zynga’s Mafia Wars suffer from some of the same issues of not being designed for a touch panel interface and I also find at the DHTML that they employ takes a little longer than I would Ike to render in Safari.

Even with these complaints, I am still enjoying my iPad because I find that the size of it with it’s fundamental capabilities really meet my daily needs. But there are a few things that I would really like to be able to do with it in the future:
* I have a Windows Home Server in my house which I use to share my music, photos and videos. I would really like to be a to run an application with capabilities similar Picasa that would allow me to import pictures from my camera and copy then to my CIFS share. Additionally, I would Iike the ability for the slideshow to pull pictures from my CIFS share when I put the pad in photo frame mode. Additionally, I would like to be able to play movies and music that are stored on my server on the iPad without syncing with a laptop. Remember, my wife doesn’t want me using her laptop.
* I really want multitasking. I am really looking forward to seeing OS4 on my iPad to see if it will solve my concerns.
* I would like to see a camera for video conferencing on it.
* I would like to see the device integrate with google apps better.
* Java capability for safari would make a lot of the web pages I visit work much better.
* I agree with Steve Jobs on flash, but fact is that there are a lot of websites that use it. I really wish he would swallow his pride and support it even if it is slow.
* I hate it when apps are designed to only be viewed in one orientation. When I am using the Apple case, I want to view each app in that landscape orientation. I don’t want to keep spinning the iPad around to view the app in the limited orientations they support.
* I miss my tabbed browsing. I know you can basically do the same thing, but I just like seeing what pages I have open by looking at the tabs.

Overall, I am enjoying it, but I am longing for more capabilities the more I use it.

More to come…

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