Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The few things I *DON'T* like about the iPad

A work friend asked me today if there was anything I did NOT like about the iPad.  Here were my thoughts, for those who thought I had nothing but praise for it:
1.  iWork apps are not truly independent.  The iWork apps are good, but they are not really well-designed to originate new content from scratch.  It is best, in my limited experience, to create your doc on the desktop (in Pages/Work or Excel/Numbers) and then use the iPad to fill in the gaps of data.  Formatting is far better on the desktop.  The way I have worked this is to create my template document on my MacBook Pro, send it to my iPad, and then create a copy each time I need a new doc.
(An alternative to iWork is the Office2 app which tries to provide a Microsoft Office-compatible suite in your iPad which syncs with both iDisk and Google Docs.  It is far less polished than iWork - and is missing key functionality - but it is worth a look if the iWork apps don't fufill your needs or if you do 99% of your work in Google Doc anyway.)
2.  Document syncing stinks.  This bell has been run before by others, but truly the document syncing features for iWork are horrible.  The "intended" method is via iTunes, but the document conversion and syncing process is slow and takes over iTunes entirely each time you drag and drop a new file onto it.  The other two methods are (1) e-mailing the file between your iPad and desktop (easiest method, but also slow as conversion has to be done in both directins) and (2) using a syncing App like DropBox or SugarSync (requires registration with free service, but keeps you in sync between desktop and iPad at all times).
3.  Fingerprints, fingerprints, fingerprints.  Even with an oleophobic coating that minimizes the oil collecting, your iPad screen will be full of fingerprints by the middle of the day, every day.  I have stocked up on screen wipes (the ones from Endust made for LCDs are the best, but any wipe for glasses will do) and try to clean the screen once a day.  Even then, in the wrong lighting, it looks horrible.
4.  I miss Folders.  The iPad, like the iPhone, is non-heirarchical.  Thus, no folders on the apps screens or within iWork or iBooks.  This is fine when your collection of Apps or Documents is small.  But if you want to make your iPad your "computer on the go", it becomes an issue quickly.  iPhoneOS 4 will resolve this on the Apps screen when it hits iPads this fall.  There is no guarantee we'll have any such solution within iWork.
That is about it.  I am loving the web browsing (prefer it to my PC or Mac for 95% of cases), the games, the instant-on-always-on internet connection, and I love Evernote which keeps all of my notes current between desktops, iPad, and iPhone for free.  That is a HIGHLY recommended App.

1 comment:

shadowmom1 said...

I have the dirty screen issue with my iPod touch, too.