Apr 042010

Do I love iPad? Nah, it’s a disaster. But it won’t be for long.

First off, I’m definitely NOT seeing the battery life all the reviewers are seeing. Apple says 10 hours of solid use, reviewers say it’s more like 12, I’m getting about 6. Ran it down yesterday, charged overnight, got used today about 1/4th of the day and it’s dead again.

Also, the iBooks store is a fail. Only crappy popular titles. Fluff and trash, mostly. NO technical books at all. The interesting items I sampled mostly had disasterous formatting problems. My wife bought a fiction book which seems to be formatted fine, but practically everything I sampled was foobarred. I’m sure they will fix those formatting problems in short order, but they need way more categories of books. Also, on the open content front, I spent about an hour trying to find some way to convert modestly formatted PDFs to ePub format for loading on the iPad and couldn’t find anything that works.

No network data access. Why can’t I access my family iTunes library? Why can’t I attach to a Mac drive to store and retreive files? Why can’t I even use my Mobile Me iDisk or iWork.com account for this purpose? What exactly is the point of productivity apps on this thing if the stuff you make is jailed to the device (unless you feel like e-mailing yourself every version of your files)?

Biggest fail: No user profiles, and not even a way to get password challenges for e-mail. Just like an iPhone, if you set up your e-mail accounts in the e-mail client it insists on getting and storing your password and then anyone who gets hold of the device can read all of your mail, and send it as you. This device is meant for passing around at home and elsewhere, and you can’t do that if your e-mail is wide open for anyone who is holding it.

Having said that, I expect that what I’m experiencing is a lot like what original iPhone buyers experienced. A bucket of promise with some big holes and problems. Within a year those problems were solved. I expect that will be the case here. Unlike the first iPhone, the iPad hardware is simply perfect. But the software needs some rethinking and some features added. I’m confident that will happen.

 Posted by at 8:52 pm  Tagged with: