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A week with the iPad. Is it everything I hoped it would be?

June 3, 2010
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I pre ordered the ipad early on the 10th May and was one of the lucky ones that received it a day early. I’ve had it for a week now and there has hardly been an hour gone by where I haven’t used it. When I first took it out of the box the first thing that struck me was the weight, it isn’t heavy by any means but it is slightly heavier than I had imagined, this also seems to be most peoples first reaction. Next up was to jailbreak it, I’ve used an iPhone for nearly two years now and have always had them jailbroken, I don’t think I could use an iDevice in it’s native form any more, not after getting used to the tweaks and apps created by the jailbreak developers. Synced with iTunes to transfer all my apps across and it was now time to get down to actually using it.

I’m not going to go into too much detail as to what the iPad can do, it’s already been covered by thousands of others over the past two months since it went on sale in the U.S. so this post is going to be more about my uses, and impression of the iPad based on those scenarios.

The one thing I was most looking forward to with the iPad was getting back into comic book reading, and I wasn’t disappointed. Comics look greet on the iPads screen and there are several decent apps already available for viewing the different formats that comics come in. Comics by Comixology (which I have mentioned in a previous post) allows you to purchase and download comic books at a reasonable price directly from the device. There are also a few CBR/CBZ/PDF etc. comic book readers, the best two being Comic Zeal and Cloud Reader.


The iPad has been praised (by Steve Jobs) as being a great ebook reader and the iBooks app was a big part of the keynote speech back in January. The iBooks app though is a little disappointing. Sure it looks nice, very nice in fact, polished UI, built in bookstore, translucent pages that curl when you turn them and show a mirror image of the previous page showing through from the other side just like real paper. But no amount of polish and shine can make up for it’s lack of content, and more importantly for me, the lack of a companion iPhone app which won’t be released until the 4.0 software upgrade. For this reason I’ve been using the Kindle app, which doesn’t look as nice but does have the content and whisper sync.

I expected to play a lot of games with the iPad but so far I’ve only played for a few hours. This is probably down to the fact that it’s still new and so many other things to try out. But of the games I have played (Real Racing HD, Command and Conquer, Resident Evil 4) I was pleasantly surprised by the graphical detail and playability of the titles.

Reading the daily newspaper was another thing that I was looking forward to doing, but currently there are only two national papers in the UK that have released an app that allows for offline reading in a newspaper style format, those are The Financial Times and The Times. I’ve tried both and not overly impressed with either. Firstly The Financial times, there isn’t anything wrong with the app, it does seem to work well, it’s just that the content isn’t to my liking. The Times on the other hand does have the type of content that I would read but is let down by a very buggy app that when crashes (and it does several times a week) looses all it’s offline content.



I have done a lot of web browsing on the iPad this last week, much more than I have done on a “proper” computer and it has been an absolute joy. It’s much easier/quicker to navigate some pages than on a desktop and the page rendering is lightening fast. Now the big downside for some people with the web browser is the lack of flash. This hasn’t bothered me in the slightest, probably due to using an iPhone for two years I have changed the regular sites that I visit to ones that are not flash heavy and I’m already accustomed to seeing the odd blue Lego brick, which usually just indicates that flash is not supported and sorry that they can’t show me that advert, big deal.

How is the iPad for blogging? Well we will soon find out. I’ve written this article, edited the screenshots, plan on arranging the layout and posting it using nothing but the iPad. If there are problems with any stage I’ll add an addition to this paragraph, if all goes well it will end here. So blogging didn’t go too well but got there in the end. The problems were mainly down to the WordPress app and site. I wrote all the text for this post in a notes app then planned on copying it into the word press app, attaching the images which would all appear at the end of the post, then arranging them through the website. First problem was that you can’t paste into the word press app? WTF!!! That’s one HUGE bug that should never have existed. The solution was to upload the images in a blank draft post using the wordpress app, just to get them into the media gallery, then delete the draft post. Go to the wordpress website, create a new post and insert the images from there. Once I’d worked this out it didn’t add much extra time to how long I’d imagined it would take. Also the visual editor does not work in Safari on the iPad so editing has to be done using the HTML editor.

So am I happy with my new purchase? HELL YEH, it really is a magical and revolutionary wonderful device, I’ve hardly used my iPhone or computer all week for 90% of tasks. Since it was announced back in late January I have changed my mind about getting one so many times but I’m glad I decided to get one in the end.

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