Blog post

13
Apr 2010

iPad

New Apple iPad

Anyone with an interest in technology will have heard about the new Apple iPad launched in the US on Saturday 3rd April, and due in the UK at the end of the month. Sandra, my partner was in Houston on a work trip and was arriving on the launch day which was very fortunate, so I pre-ordered one to be collected on the 3rd. I then got an email saying it had to be collected before 3.00pm on the Saturday and as Sandra could not be at an Apple Store before 3.00pm, my hopes of getting one were dashed. However Sandra's boss, Lynn, kindly agreed to collect it for me and give it to Sandra, who took it back from the US last week.

This new 9.7 inch tablet from Apple has created lots of interest and those who have reviewed it have been raving about it – see below:

"I was not prepared, though, for how instant the relationship I formed with the device would be. I left Cupertino without an iPad, but I have since gotten my own, and it goes with me everywhere.
It is possible that the public will not fall on the iPad, as I did, like lions on an antelope. Perhaps they will find the apps and the iBooks too expensive. Maybe they will wait for more fully featured later models. But for me, my iPad is like a gun lobbyist's rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands". – Stephen Fry

"For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades." – Walt Mosberg

"The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon's Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money. At the very least, the iPad will likely drum up mass-market interest in tablet computing in ways that longtime tablet visionary and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could only dream of." – USA today

I have to admit to a bias towards Apple products and we exclusively use Apple computers in the business – a very high spec MacPro, iMacs, and several Macbook Pro machines. I personally use a 17 inch Macbook Pro with a 30 inch cinema display, a super slim and light Macbook Air (SSD) , and an iPhone 3Gs. I also use a Mac mini as a media centre, and have 2 Apple TV's, so it was inevitable that an iPad would join this collection.

To set it up and get iBooks on it I needed an account on the US iTunes store, and I have tried to get this before but failed as a US credit card was required. However I found a way by purchasing a US iTunes voucher and got an account set up (if you want to know, how to do this, email me and I will send you details). I had this done before Sandra arrived home so I was ready to go as soon as I got the new toy (or indispenable photograph viewer and productivity tool !). The iPad was unboxed and this large piece of glass looked and felt great as all Apple products do. I plugged it into a USB socket on my Macbook Pro, completed a few details, and the content started to load. It immediately recognised my wireless network and I touched the Safari icon and almost instantly I was viewing web pages on this stunning screen. Then to the photographs and I knew I had found the perfect portfolio tool – beautiful screen and a perfect size. The screen is super responsive – much more so than the iPhone, and the finger gestures and pinch to zooom etc. work incredibly well. I could go through all the features and apps but this has all been done by many others on-line. The Apple on-line tutorials are a very good way of seeing how the iPad works.

As always there are the skeptics, and those who do not like Apple, who have looked for the faults and have focussed on what the iPad does not have, but it is like,the iPhone, until you have one in your hands, you cannot imagine how good it is. It is not perfect (but very close)  and below is my view of the good and bad points.

main plus points

  • great screen
  • fantastic photograph viewer
  • very fast and very responsive screen
  • great movie player (for travelling)
  • much better for books than I expected
  • as a magazine addict, it is a really good way to get them
  • the best way to browse the net when not at a desk
  • and lots of other nice touches and good apps already available

minus points

  • heavy to hold for any length of time (drawback of great battery life)
  • no flash support in Safari
  • much more prone to fingerprints than the iphone
  • an extra gadget to sync and charge (I already have an iphone and a Macbook Air

One of the reasons for wanting one

as soon as possible was that I intend to offer a new multi-media presentation for weddings – a slide show of images set to music but also incorpoarting small video clips which I can take on my D3S. The iPad will be a perfect device to show this on and is lighter and easy to carry than a wedding album. Look out for this new product being launched very soon, both for new clients, and to be offered to past wedding clients.

I had a double hernia operation yesterday (12th April) and the iPad was a great way for me to pass the time waiting to go to Theatre, and I am enjoying using it today while I am recovering. I watched some TV programs and holding this beautiful screen and listening with my Bose headphones was a great viewing experience. I also read a book purchased on the iBook store, and read Time magazine with their new iPad app that lets you experience the magazine in a completely new way.

The future of Publishing

Reading the articles, looking at mazing quality images, and touching the screen to watch video clips was completely intuitive. As someone who loves magazines and books, I had reservations about the experience but was completely won over and just as the Ipod changed the music industry, I think the iPad will do the same for publishing. Apple have once gain created a ground breaking product that wil change how we all use computers.

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