Monday, April 11, 2011

iPad Lessons Learned After One Year

Was it really a year ago that I got up at the crack of dawn, stood in line at the local Apple store and left with my new favorite gadget, a 32G wifi-only iPad?  The last 12 months have been an interesting period and I thought it would be fun to share the iPad lessons I've learned in that time:
iPad is great for consuming short-form content... -- In fact, it's unbeatable when it comes to browsing websites, reading articles, etc.  When I think back to the "old days" when I used to subscribe to The New York Times on my Kindle I shudder in horror.  I can't believe I was paying $14/month for that Kindle service.  It was awful and remains awful, for that matter. 
...but it's not the best for long-form content -- I've definitely rethought my original assumption of my iPad replacing my Kindle.  For almost 12 months I ditched my Kindle and did all my long-form reading on my iPad.  The result: OK, but not exceptional.  I still do a lot of long-form reading on my iPad but I also recently bought a new Kindle and use it as an accessory for my iPad.  The combination is a terrific solution, or at least till Apple does something with their proposed patent on a hybrid eInk/LCD display
Content consumption? Yes. Content creation? Not so much -- I haven't been able to ditch my laptop on road trips.  It's just way too awkward typing on the virtual keyboard for more than a tweet or two.  I've also tried a Bluetooth keyboard but it's less than optimal constantly having to move your hand from keyboard to screen and back.  Maybe a Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in touch pad would work...
Some of the best apps are free -- Zite is a great example.  It's a fairly new app but it's quickly become one of my favorites.  Thanks to Zite I'm finally at a point where I can see my iPad replacing the daily paper. 
Instapaper is a must-have app for every iPad owner -- 'Nuff said. 
MLB knows their At Bat app users are addicted -- Why else would they charge $14.99 for the iPad version and another $14.99 for the iPhone edition?  Yeah, I was a sucker last year and bought both but this year I limited myself to just the iPad version.  I'm using one of the many free ESPN apps for MLB updates on my iPhone. 
My battery isn't as strong as it was on day one -- I haven't closely measured this but I'll bet my battery only holds a charge for about half as long as it did when I bought my iPad.  Speaking of which, does anyone else find it odd that reading an ebook (with the Kindle app) sucks the battery dry faster than, say, watching a movie for the same length of time?  Btw, you can't blame multitasking for the battery issue.  I noticed the drop-off before the multitasking iOS update ever arrived. 
Discoverability is still a huge issue in the app store -- That's why one of the last things I do each night is check out the new releases that day.  There's got to be a better solution (and I'm afraid the genius feature isn't it).
I have no use for the iBookstore -- It all comes down to content use on a variety of platforms.  I buy all my ebooks from Amazon because I know they offer reader apps for all platforms.  Why would I buy an ebook from Apple knowing that they'll only let me read it on one of their devices? 
Why upgrade to iPad 2.0? -- I certainly don't see a reason to.  Yes, it's thinner and offers cameras but I'm quite happy with iPad 1.0, thank you very much.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading these kinds of useful and straightforward insights. I don't have an iPad, but have a Nook. I'm considering the iPad 2, but wasn't sure I needed both. Honestly, that's what kept from investing in the first iPad. (I knew what I really wanted was an eReader.)

    I love reading comic books though, and I've noticed that I use my iPhone for 90% of my home web browsing, Facebooking, Twitter, etc. So I'm really starting to think a tablet might be a great bridge device.

    If the word processing was more functional I think I'd be 100% sold. I've wondered how blogging is on the iPad. The idea of being able to blog from my couch as opposed to my office chair is very appealing. (I've got a laptop, but it's rather large and clunky making its portability more of a hassle.) If you have any experience in that department, I'd love to read your thoughts.