Five weeks with an Apple iPad

I never wanted an iPad but I've been playing with one everyday for about 5 weeks. There are a lot of little things I do not like about it, but my real issue is with the Apple app store. I do not like that Apple decides what apps are OK for you or your business to use. If Microsoft did that with Windows would you except it? I would rather have an Android but the iPad does have its good points.

So lets begin. The 10 inch screen is a good size for a tablet you would use around the house. Its big enough to read an email or browse the web without feeling crowded. The screen resolution is good for watching a video. You can plug in a headset if you want the sound louder or softer. There is a good selection of apps and books, and the weight is ok. But at the same time if you have to carry it around all day everyday while working its a hand full and you can not put it in your pocket even for a few seconds. If you choose to hold it while reading or watching a movie after a while it gets heavy and when holding it one handed you may find your self switching hands often. It's nice that you can turn it in any direction so the home button can be on any side you want, but it sure would be nice if, in addition to the Home button, the iPad a had a Menu, Settings, and Search button so the apps could have a few standards. As it is every app does its own thing, so if it has options you have to look for them. The only thing you can count on is the home button gets you out.

The iPad and its apps and settings need a simple parent lock because its both a tool and a toy. The owner of the iPad needs the ability to mark what apps are open and what apps are restricted so it can be handed to a 3 year old to play a game with only one concern. Is the child going to drop it. You should not have to be concerned if someone is going to touch an icon on the screen.

The iPad seems like a great tool for a school or business, but other than an online website you can not just create your own in-house tools to use on it. Everything you use must come from the Apple App Store. Yes jail break is an option but if apple is not going to include that on off option in the settings then I do not consider it an option for our schools.

There are a lot of good free apps, but at the same time there are a lot of crap apps and many of them are not free, and there is no return option for paid crap apps. I will not mention how much money you can make selling a crap to a ton of people.

The iPad is so slick that without a case its almost impossible to pick it up with one hand. The stock apple case makes a great snack tray, but it also makes the iPad harder to use. The iPad case is an example of something that looks great on paper or for a quick look, but when you use it for any length of time and you find that you have to develop ways to work around its issues.

Now once again the iPad is nice, not great but really nice. Do not expect it to replace your PC unless all you do is read emails, and do very light typing. It does not support websites with flash, and other websites may not work correctly with a touch screen and no arrows or trackball. You will find that for some tasks using the iPad will takes a lot longer while other tasks are simpler.

As with my Blackberry every morning for the past five weeks I still check my emails from bed. But I've added twitter and facebook and I less often have to go turn on my computer before work. Because the Blackberry can multi task and the Apple can not I will still need my Blackberry till I get my Android phone. But the iPad is like reading the paper without the mess where the small screen on the Blackberry was good but not as good.

The video quality for one person at at time watching YouTube or NetFlix is good. But I would hope it would not come to that.

The iPad could be a great tool, but apple blocks tools like the Wi-Fi Analyzer that could really come in handy when setting up and testing the wireless networks in the schools.

So all that said as much as I do not like Apple products and the iPad I have used it everyday for the past 5 weeks. It has been helpful in keeping me off the computer, but I've also spent to much time on the iPad. I would not think of trying to write or edit something like this review with an iPad, yet I may start one just to get my ideas down if a computer was not handy.


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