Saturday, June 26, 2010

Travels With My iPad

It seems that I'm behind with the times.

Embarrassingly, I have to admit that I didn't queue for six months to get a slightly better screen and dodgy reception from the shiny new iPhone 4G. On the streets of Hoxton last week, people were visible curling up their upper lip as I brought out my ancient iPhones 3GS. So here I am in Apple purgatory with just my iPad for company.

The iPad is a strange device. After a couple of months with it my conclusion is that it's pretty useless.

As an ereader the screen is too reflective and it's too big (I kept on finding people reading over my shoulder and went back to using my phone to read on the bus). Getting your DVDs onto it without using iTunes and paying again is a pain, so video is out. Even if you do load video onto it, there is no way to stand the device up easily.

You can't multitask, so you can't do anything else whilst listening to Spotify. Syncing is primitive compared to using Android's online syncing. Apps developed for the iPad are few and far between, although I'm sure this will soon change.

The lack of a camera in a device this expensive is just cynical. So, no taking the wind out of the 4G's sails with its video conferencing.

I can't blog using it since there's no way to do basic things like insert a hyperlink. The default Safari browser doesn't have tabs. The predictive texting is laughably dreadful. The soft keyboard is worse than using a Blackberry. Transferring files is a nightmare even if you do buy expensive Office-like apps.

The result of all this is that the iPad has become a device lying around in the living room and used for occasional browsing - often in conjunction with watching TV. It's good as an EPG and for looking up obscure stars and sportspeople on Wikipedia.

The only real advantage for the device as far as I can tell is that it comes on when you switch it on, whereas my PC takes a couple of days before becoming functional.