iPad: First Impressions and Snap Judgments

So, through a complicated series of circumstances where I initiated the process but actually managed to get myself surprised, I now own an iPad Wifi+3g 64GB (yes, it’s the most expensive model, don’t worry it did not break the piggy bank). It was purchased from Singapore and brought to me by a friend last Friday. I’ve used an iPad before (during the CCS trip Baguio), but this is the first time I’ve had the chance to customize the applications and content, and have it exclusive for my own use. I’ve had it for about a day and half, here are my snap judgments and quick impressions:

General usage
  • The USB cable used to connect the iPad to a PC is also the one used to connect it to a plug for charging via an electric outlet. This is all kinds of brilliant and literally had me with my jaw open for a few seconds.
  • Charging via USB is extremely slow, around 10% per hour, and the iPad will even lie about it and say “Not Charging”. Charging via outlet is much faster.
  • Typing on the virtual keyboard is ok for short form fields or notes type of things, but I can’t imagine doing it for longer typing tasks such as blog posts (I will probably try it as some future time). I find myself typing most comfortably using one hand as it can reach across the keyboard quite easily. The lack of tactile feedback will take some getting used to. As my friend noted the virtual keyboard has touch type indicators on the F and J keys for some reason!
  • Storage: 64gb might be overkill, probably 32gb would have been enough. I don’t see myself using the video watching functions when I’m at home (there are better options for that), so I only need to load enough videos on it to be able to have something to watch when I have downtime outside of home. On the other hand, I haven’t really delved that much into downloading apps and podcasts, there’s a good chance I may be able to fill up the space eventually
  • 3G: I have not yet used the 3g. According to @Talk2Globe, the prepaid microsim will not work with an iPad (I won’t be able to reload it I guess) and I have to use their unlimited data plan microsim (P999 a month). That’s actually not so bad, but I think I’m going to check first with Smart whether their prepaid microsim can be used. @SmartCARES has not yet replied
  • There is no easy out of the box way to use the iPad’s 64gb as an external flash drive. There should be!
  • The volume when watching videos is not very good unless you are using earphones
  • For home usage, the most awesome thing is really internet usage at the bed. I have not yet started up my laptop since I came home with the iPad. I would guess that I would only use the laptop for coding or writing work from here on.
iTunes and Syncing
  • iTunes is not a very intuitive piece of software for someone who has never used an iOS device before.
  • When you add a folder or files to the media library, there seems to be no indicator if some videos are not compatible (I did not know the compatibility requirements at first)
  • The default mode is to sync the local library completely and automatically with the device contents; this seemed totally ridiculous to me as it means all the content will be duplicated on both devices. I have more than 64gb of content on my desktop!
  • In the file sharing dialog, not clear you can use the delete key to remove files shared with your apps. Actually, sharing files with apps in general feels unwieldy, especially if you plan to share a lot of files. There are no organization options like folders or whatever, and it must be done using iTunes.
Apps
  • I’ve only tried a few apps, and have not yet paid for anything on the App Store. Must resist impulse buys!
  • The best app I’ve seen so far from a visual wow-factor awesome-features point of view is Flipboard. My Mom picked up the iPad while I had Flipboard open and was like “Wow!” for maybe five to ten minutes.
  • Twitter apps: the official twitter app seems ok, but I’m using Twitterrific at the moment. I heard Tweetdeck is buggy.
  • Facebook: The facebook app on the app store is for iphone only, so I have to do the 2x size thing. It doesn’t look very good (and doesn’t seem to rotate well)
  • VLC: Supposedly the solution to the lack of supported video formats in iTunes, it is a bit immature. At first I tried loading a lot of files into it (gotta maximize the 64gb!) but then it wouldn’t launch and would just crash back to desktop. It turns out it cannot handle MKV files very well, it worked when I only loaded AVIs
  • Stanza: PDF and comic book reader. The reading mode is pretty good, but it looks like it’s going to be unwieldy if managing a large collection
  • I haven’t settled on a feed reader app yet (not sure if there are any good free ones), Google Reader via Safari seems to be fine at the moment
  • I’ve just downloaded a few free games to try them out

Jailbreaking

  • I don’t have any plans to Jailbreak the iPad at this time. I have not explored the possibility at all, but I’m not really inclined to yet. Maybe I’ll change my mind later.

That’s my iPad experience as of now. I actually also started a thread on Reddit to help me get jump started. Overall, very impressive and such an awesome toy, we’ll see how it stacks up in terms of how much I use it in the coming months.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions to help me enjoy the new toy, feel free to comment 😀

3 Replies to “iPad: First Impressions and Snap Judgments”

  1. Ei, btw d00d, you left the screen protector cloth thing here. I’m leaving with Liza on Wednesday, will be back Nov. 9

    If you want to drop by tomorrow to get it, no prob.

  2. hey roy! im glad i have you to thank for an unbiased review. was quite excited about getting one, but was still hesitant. well you cleared all that. and now that the “committee” has approved that i deserve one for xmas, i think ill just go for the 32 gb wifi variety. regards.

  3. Aba aba sir roy, bumili ka na din! Haha. Personally, gusto ko hintayin ang version na may facetime (sans any external hardware).

    Regarding the slow (and misleading) USB charging, I think that happens when you try to charge with a mobile device (e.g. a laptop). By standard, USB connectors on desktops provide a more “stable” power output as compared to mobile devices due to their (more often) lack of a “fixed” power source.

    HTH 🙂

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