Apple iPad - thoughts / warning Monday, 19 April 2010  
I got an iPad. I wasnt going to - so pointless, lack of functionality, large iPod, yada yada. But I had to. I feel its going to be important and Apples marketing machine means it isnt going to disappear - at least this year. And the battery life is good.

So, what do I think? Very nice. Its a natural. Its not a computer. Its an entertainment device. Think "iPod", only bigger.

So, first a warning. Lots of web info on USB charging the ipad, but be careful if you use a generic no-name charger. My universal adaptor burnt itself out since an iPad needs 2000mA (?) vs 1000mA for an iPhone or 500mA for a USB1 type device. Computers need to know what is on the end of the cable and some lookup table indicates what charge they are allowed. (This is why a Blackberry refuses to charge unless it sees enough current).

My charger looked good - iPad said it was charging, but in the morning, it was dead - the lights had gone out on the charger (the iPad was fine but hadnt reached fully charged state), and the plastic had melted on the charger! Be careful. There are almost no iPad chargers on the market apart from Apples device and most machines (computers, laptops, USB hubs) have no idea what an iPad is and can destroy themselves allowing too much current to flow.

My Intel iMac will charge the ipad - albeit slowly. (The ipad says it is not charging, and when the screen goes out, it does charge, but slowly).

Now - for my vehemence: the Apple software designers are on drugs. Yet again we have an "ipod" which has a different GUI to what came before it (ipod, ipod touch). I load up my video playlists (labelled as "TV Show" becuase the ipod touch wants this, but the ipod classic does not).

On the ipad/ipod application, the playlists are merged. This is stupid - I have a lot of playlists and trying to find my videos is painful.

In the video viewer app - its worse. They are totally nuts at Apple. What you see is a screen of videos - showing the first frame or so of the video. WITH NO LABELS. Most of my videos start with cut-off adverts or the intro for the film maker, so you cannot tell which video is which. Fortunately, when you click on a film, you get the name of the film (my films are made of 5minute segment recordings because of the video recorder).

Ok, we are watching a video - on a nice big screen. (Watching a video without headphones is difficult because the sound is a bit too low). But I still cannot see what film I am watching or which fragment on the playlist. At least the play list items play consecutively.

Do I like the ipad? Yes. Reading web pages is so much nicer when you dont have to pinch to zoom in - it feels like a magazine and works. (Shame theres no Flash support, but can live without that for now).

I tried a VNC app on the ipad - but it says that I have run out of memory. (Maybe need to reboot; who knows - you cannot find out what memory it has run out of).

After a few days of playing, I no longer think of the iPad as being a large ipod.

Instead, I consider my ipod touch to be a small ipad. The ipod touch is cute! That small screen looking/feeling like the ipad, but its a baby brother (which fits in my computing). Its a weird feeling where iPad is "normal" and iPod is "titch". And its a good feeling.

Just a shame about Video management and the charger issue.

Next up, need to write an app for the ipad - just because I want and can.

Posted at 23:11:43 by Paul Fox | Permalink