iPad Considerations

I didn’t buy an iPad when they first came out. I am usually an early adopter of technology, but I found it disturbing that Steve Jobs wouldn’t support Flash on the iPad.  Jobs’ assertion that Adobe Flash was not supported on the iPad was almost a deal-breaker.  He said it was because Flash video is not efficient and would use up CPU time and consume battery life faster. Incredibly, the iPad power lasts about 11 hours and 28 minutes. That seems pretty efficient to me.  Steve Jobs proclamation seems like a bullying tactic to drive people to buy and download media from the iTunes and iBooks store, rather that use Flash media on the iPad. Why not let the market decide? Because the media business is bigger than the hardware business. Apple wants to sell us razor blades, and the razors too (figuratively speaking).

The iPad is not a laptop, but you can fill it up with media from your Mac or PC. The iPad is more convenient for consuming media like books, music, video, photos, web browsing and e-mail . Manipulating media directly by touching the screen interface is a satisfying user experience. While it has compromises and drawbacks, an iPad that has been synchronized with your main computer can replace a laptop for most data communications on a short trip or in another room.

So far, so good. I got the 64 GB iPad version, Xentris Wireless clear snap on cover, and Belkin case. I chose the WiFi model, rather than the 3G version, partly because I have been more depressed, than impressed by AT&T’s network. I have used it with all the various models of the iPhone, including the 3G version. Also, because I am looking at Sprint’s 4G network, which is reported to be a hundred times faster than 3G speeds.

I like that all the iPhone applications synced over to the iPad, and that there is a 2X button that fills the screen from the smaller format. I am writing this article on the included Notes application, on the virtual pop-up keyboard. It is quite usable, but is more suited for a hunt-and-peck style, rather than two handed typing. Working with my Notes worked better after syncing with the MacBook Pro, allowing editing with a real keyboard. External Blu-tooth products are available though, like the Apple Blu-tooth keyboard.

The USB cable will not charge the iPad. The included power adapter is required for the higher wattage requirements. The USB cable is only used for syncing with iTunes on your main computer.

The Safari browser on the iPad works with some of the websites that I work with, but does not display or play movies that are encapsulated with a Flash player. Some password screens are not supported, and I have had other quirky experiences that make me shift back to my MacBook Pro when I have to do real work to do. Apple has separated the movie function from the iPod application, and provided a separate Videos application. Custom iPad applications for Netflix and ABC Player to view the videos I like to watch helped win me over. Also, WordPress, PayPal, Facebook, Google Earth, Mobile Files, SplashID, Speed Test and other apps allow a quick update while on the iPad without having to go back to the Mac. There are also several photo editing apps and games from the iPhone that work fine on the iPad.

Overall, I am happy with my iPad purchase, and would recommend it for others.

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