Peter has a point
The n900 is a really, really nice piece of kit
As the iPad goes on sale in the UK (and eight other countries), I've had my own "magical and revolutionary" Apple tablet for exactly 56 days. And I'm using it less and less each day. My fading relationship with my iPad reminds me of a long-ago college fling with a young lovely. High anticipation, fervent consummation, growing …
The n900 is a really, really nice piece of kit
It's amusing to see that the Crusade of the Jobs is working. Though you all seem to hate it, you discuss it as frequently as an atheist discusses Jesus (yes, I am, the former).
The device might suck for what Apple intended it to function as, but just as with the App Store becoming a revolution for the indie game developer community, this little piece of design wonder I think is going to be the perfect computer for our factory floor.
With our MIS being a light weight web app and the servers doing all the heavy lifting, it's perfect. No dirty fingers on keyboards or mice or running around to workstations.
I'll be interested to see if I go through the same waning of ardour. Hasn't happen after 24 hours - who said it wouldn't last?
I agree that Safari needs tabbed browsing, and I do hope it happens at some stage - most sw issues do get sorted eventually. Flash I don't miss, but I also agree that there's no reason not to make it an option - buy Click2Flash and make it so you only have Flash running when you need it.
As with the iPhone, it will be the software and apps that define it's utility, not the hardware - though it could do with more RAM. I can see some revolutionary apps coming out soon, so I wouldn't make judgements yet...
Ok, how much to take it off your hands?
Excellent article, sir. After having taken some time to play with the iPad myself, (admittedly only a couple of hours,) I can only say that my experience mirrors what you have described.
The iPad is a nice first effort...but it’s not there yet. Apple has once more kindly walked into the minefield first, and what I have a feeling that what other companies produce a year or so after analysing Apples mistakes will be superior. While other “tablets” have existed, the iPad is the first serious attempt at this particular form factor; this be untested waters.
For me the analogue in my experience is the iPhone versus Android test. The HTC Hero was far nicer to me than an iPhone; I think largely because Apple walked into the minefield of this form factor first, and other companies could observe, and follow.
My motto is “never buy version 1 of anything,” and that your article confirms my experiences tells me that the iPad truly is like the first version of an operating system. Hold your horses and wait for SP1; other companies will shake the bugs out for you.
thanks for providing another (in a series of many) articles which provide all these offensive jackarses the opportunity to say, "not for me, only for idiots."
The ego inflation this site provides for all those people who decry the idea that someone may derive joy in a way they do not imagine is just sad.
I never imagined a consumer device that could make people feel so good about themselves for not wanting one, except perhaps the catholic church and a condom or a sexually repressed haggard housewife and a big dildo, or dare I say it, a priest and an alter boy.
"The ego inflation this site provides for all those people who decry the idea that someone may derive joy in a way they do not imagine is just sad."
What's sad is that someone derives pleasure from the valuation of a corporation, presumably not as a shareholder who is looking to liquidate their holding (or receive a dividend). That they then start to bring in all sorts of distasteful sexual references to attempt to discredit detractors of their favourite corporation (where a detractor is someone who cannot be 100% positive about that corporation's products) really does demonstrate a level of insecurity that no amount of devotion to a corporation will ever appease. That lesson will be learned some time down the road, I'm sure.
I don't know what you're trying to say, but I know you're trying to be offensive, that much is obvious. The rest makes no sense at all. As for the distasteful sexual reference, it was a joke, and if you're on here on this site reading these posts, it's a bit disingenuous that you would be surprised at anything like that as this site allows pretty much everything and in these posts on this forum here the offenses that are thrown around (i.e. ad hominems) are what you should be most concerned about. Something is wrong if you're not.
How sad is it that you consider an alter boy the equivalent of a overhyped consumer toy? You get a 10.0 on the douche scale for tying pure joy with paedophilia.
Why don't you fanbois get it? People don't dislike the iPad because Apple made it, they dislike it because it serves no real use for which one would be willing to pay the asking price.
It's kinda fun to surf the net on it and it's kinda an eBook reader and you can sorta take notes and blah blah blah. Nothing you can't already do with your phone/laptop/kindle/a pen and pencil. The iPad squeezes itself into a place between all of those items that is pretty much useless to anyone in the real world.
You'd like for people to pretend that it's not useless, that it's just what they've been waiting for all their lives and NOW they can really get some serious work/play done. But no, it's just not that at all.
It's a really expensive gimmick for people who like really expensive gimmicks. That's all. And if you like that, fine. But don't be getting a rod up your butt because the rest of us don't like wasting money.
That's "ouch" not douche. Douche is a wash aimed at stopping women either getting pregnant, being grubby for the next client or getting a venereal disease. Any way it doesn't work.
Obviously the "offensive jackarses" & "catholic church and a condom or a sexually repressed haggard housewife and a big dildo, or dare I say it, a priest and an alter boy" were indeed offended. Good thing they're not idiots who bought an iPad.
"Why don't you fanbois get it? People don't dislike the iPad because Apple made it, they dislike it because it serves no real use for which one would be willing to pay the asking price."
See, if something was of no real use to me I'd ignore it. If it was of use to me, but too expensive to justify, I'd ignore it or look for a cheaper alternative. I would not be provoked into a "dislike" for it.
Unless, of course, I secretly wanted one but couldn't bring myself to justify the price and ended up all bitter and resentful of my stingy, sensible outlook on life, repeatedly telling myself it's just an expensive gimmick and a waste of money. All the people in those photos holding their new toys looking fabulously thrilled and delighted? Yeah, that would piss me RIGHT OFF.
Christmas must be fun in your house, mate.
You say that we're only vocal about our displeasure because it's Apple. But it works both ways, and I believe that you are only vocal about your pleasure because it's Apple. If anyone else had released an equally good product that had people "fabulously thrilled and delighted" (ugh almost puked at that one) you still wouldn't bother writing about it (at least not in every blog and newspaper in the western world).
And there you fanbois go again insinuating that anyone who wouldn't have an iPad is just a cheapskate who secretly really wants one. The old argument of "well you just can't afford it" No, I just don't want it. And if the media is granting Apple saturation coverage, you're damn right I'm going to offer my 2 cents rather than keep my mouth shut. If we weren't being given so many opportunities to disagree with Apple fanbois, we wouldn't be doing it.
And because we don't spend all our money on the latest craze, we can't have a fun Christmas? Well I'll tell you what, if not having toys means that you aren't able to have a fun time with your own damn family then you might as well be dead.
My first computer was a TRS80. Never had a mac, always an alternative that seemed better.
I have a desktop PC, a laptop, and a phone.
My phone is a normal phone, a sony-erricson w910i, a couple of years old with an 8gb card.
On my phone I have opera mini, an ssh client and a text reader. I bet I can can do anything with it that I could with an iPad, (as long as I can connect to my server with ssh), Plays music great too. Oh and it's a phone.
I was going to by a nexus but then I thought, "why?", I will buy an android phone next, when my current phone dies.
I am not anti-apple, I have stuck with PC's purely because of IBM open architecture and linux, not because I hate apple, but the way apple are going lately I am starting to think that Jobs has gone mad. Really, frothing, twitching, round-the-bend, mad...
"think that Jobs has gone mad. Really, frothing, twitching, round-the-bend, mad..."
I think he's become a grumpy old man, that's all. And the people around him are letting him get away with it.
Hell, my dad sits on his back porch and shoots birds with his 22 that he doesn't like. Other than that he a really nice guy. ;)
Had a w910i and loved the damn thing. just a solid phone with some smartphone-like functions. Sadly its somewhere on the bottom of Lake Erie and my two attempt to get a replacement on eBay turned up some real asses trying to rip me off. So I never got a replacement unit.
It's Walkman is still far superior to the iPod on the iPhone in sound quality and was so much easier to use. The PC software was more file manager-style, would rip a High quality 256KB or VBR down to a smaller size on the fly and you didn't have to "SYNC" any of it. It was so user friendly and didn't require my time having to make play lists and syncing.
And it worked as a phone perfectly.
But this is off-topic since the whole on-topic idea is the usefulness of the iPad and his disenchantment of using it. To the author, Just keep it in the bathroom or kitchen or both and use it there. load it up with some music and get a wireless transmitter and use it casually while you eat you cereal or take a dump in the morning before you head off to work. I do this with my iPhone 3GS all the time.
The iPad is never going to be a netbook or notebook replacement and Apple probably knows that. But at the same time they figured out that the hype machine for an Apple tablet had been going on in the press for over a year now and said "what the hell, lets do something about this" and it worked. They now have the technology to design faster mobile chips that they can customize and use to their advantage. They use some of their billions to buy two ARM chip design companies and the iPad has an Apple ARM custom chip. Nothing off-the-shelf. Good for them.
But again the online press made this easy for Apple. The speculation and hype for this product, even when it didn't even exist was ridiculous.
The iPad will sell well through the year especially into the Xmas buying season but they are not a laptop replacement. I just hope the consumers know that.
I am not sure why technologists feel that they have to tell us whether or not the iPad works for them. If it doesn't then it doesn't. So what?
The iPad isn't for you, sorry fanbois, geeks and power users. The iPad is for those who do not have a computer yet, or have one but seldom use it because it is just "too hard".
The iPad is not a toy and it's not a professional tool (at least not a professional's only tool).
The iPad is a computing device "for the rest of them".
Not sure you really understand what a computing device is supposed to be, but the iPad isn't that. It's a media-consumption device, right along side your TV, Blu-ray player, and iPod. Given the predictable, quick fade of passion for the iPad (beginning of the end already?), it might be better classified as a toy, which is exciting and beloved by children for all of two seconds before they become bored with it.
It's for those who don't have a computer yet? Really? So the requirement to register it to the itunes store using a computer helps those people out how?
The ipad is, as many have said, a "companion device". It is there to use in conjunction with a PC, not to replace it.
Personally, I felt let down that Apple didn't take the role of companion device further and opened up capacities to use the ipad as an extra bluetooth input device and the app to turn the ipad into a secondary monitor should have been a native bit of functionality!
Sadly, the only companion device that has piqued my interest got shitcanned by MS :( The Courier looked like a great concept and a good bit of convergence between physical and computing worlds. Shame we'll likely never see anything like it, even tho there is a market for it.
They are ok for viewing stuff on the internet, they suck at actually producing anything. But that's an issue with all touch-only interfaces. But the design of the ipad makes it even worse. It's impractical to use for typing for any length of time one handed and awkward to use for two handed typing.
I won't be buying one. I have a netbook for when I need something small and light weight, and it does a lot more than the ipad. If I need more power I have a few laptops, including a mac book pro, but the netbook is surprisingly zippy, even running things like open office, netbeans and eclipse. I've got it dual booting winXp and Linux and it's plenty fast in either OS.
Sure you said the same thing of the iPhone and three years later - Apple is "bigger" than IBM, Intel and Microsoft..
So it is a toy, but it also allows people to - much more than Linux or MS - use it for their specific needs. And in spite of the fact that it weighs more than a phone - it also does more than a phone. I for one - tired of the iPhone's small screen - don''t get me started on the rubbish the otehr "smart" phone vendors expect you to use!
And no - for Pete's sake - it is not a phone. If you want just a phone - buy a Nokia....
Without technologists, the willfully ignorant would have no clue what's going on or what they are being sold. They would not fully appreciate the full implications of their actions. They simply would not know what they are buying.
The iPad is a toy for people with money to burn.
The problem with the iPad being "for the rest of them" is that they still need a real computer to manage it. That rather defeats the point of the rescue.
If they can sort out their PC or their Mac well enough to get iTunes to run, much of the overhyped need (malware) for this sort of locked down device is moot.
The iPad is not a "computing device". It's an oversized iPod. Some real end users like that idea. They are not turned off by being bluntly told this or realizing it themselves.
Clearly many fanboys don't like the implication.
Critics and skeptics make them uncomfortable.
Because I stopped being immortal quite a few years ago.
The iPad is like a heat seeking market missile. The people who don't see the point are simply not the target market. It is a bit like a bunch of men puzzled over feminine protection adverts. Your opinion is truly irrelevant.
The iPad is fun. I have found it perfectly suited for 70 percent of my daily tasks while out and about. I have had a dozen colleagues say, "Done. I am getting one." when they learned of some function or another that pushed them off the "What-am-I-gonna-do-with-it?" fence.
One watched me present a ppt with it and fell out of his chair when the "laser pointer" showed up on the screen. Another saw my Windows Virtual desktop via Wyse and his jaw dropped. Still another flipped over a nav program. I get a question a day from people asking, "Can you <blank> on your iPad?"
The momentum is far from waning. I say it is just beginning.
Nice article. But I see my relationship with my iPad as being in the "great marriage" phase.
I'd be mightily interested in you people covering the iPad as it applies to the elderly, to people with disabilities and the computer-illiterate. The iPad seems to be right now one of the best devices out there for them. I've ordered one to see if my mum can take advantage of it (she has quite bad eyesight so she cannot read regular books and newspapers' font sizes. Also, she is not computer-knowledgeable at all).
Way back then a Newton was still a limited appeal device.
No amount of marketing would change that as public focus were elsewhere.
On the other hand if my recent observations of college youth is anything to go by then iPad sized and shaped shoulder bags seem to be quite 'in' at the moment. Almost waiting to be filled (ok - a UK perspective).
And why should that be important?
A small neat, trendy, fashionable bag suiting all genders accommodating an iPad.
But wait! There's more! (with acknowledgements to Russell Brown of Adobe evangelical fame)
How about you can put all (as in ALL) of your college notes, write ups, essays, course materials, ... into that one trendy bit of kit that seems oh so, so oh appealing?
Alternatively there is the huge traditional bag that is equally generous across genders, weighs quite a bit and contains a lot of pulverised tree product.
But! I suppose that time will tell.
My own take is that the time is right for widespread iPad appeal (and as posited elsewhere) that makes for widespread iPad wannabeez appeal too.
Interim conclusion: the time is right for change and who better to lead than the Apple?
There's an idealogical battle gathering pace in the consumer technology world; whether or not to allow unsigned code to run on the shiny new piece of electronics your company has just brought to market.
On one side, we have Apple, and in the console space, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, all desperately trying to squash any code that refuses to play in their tightly controlled little sandboxes.
Opposing them we have... well, Google is probably the only answer the man in the street would recognise. Don't get me wrong, there are others fighting in niche spaces, but people only find out about them if they care about the issue in the first place.
I bought an iPhone, but I'm no fanboi. The day I selected for purchase was carefully chosen, so as to make damn sure the model and firmware of the day (3GS, 3.1.2) could be jailbroken. Two hours after I got it home, it was set free and busily downloading a new theme from Cydia. My firmware hashes are safely stored, so that I don't have to give a toss that Steve Jobs would very much like to deny me a 3.1.2 restore should I ever need one.
So why did I buy that, and not a 'droid of some flavour? Two reasons - the App Store and the hardware. The App Store has a huge inventory; the hardware is Apple-sexy, even if it's not quite as powerful as the best of the 'droids. Plus it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that people like me are royally pissing off Steve and his Cupertino buddies. I'm really looking forward to dual-booting it with Android, for my money that would be the best of both worlds.
All of the significant pieces of technology in my life either run arbitrary code execution by design, or have been hacked to do so. That includes almost all of the current generation of consoles. I'm no pirate, I just refuse to allow manufacturers to dictate what I can do with a piece of hardware that I've paid to own. Hell, even my router's running a CFW.
By now, if this isn't TLDR, you may be thinking I'm a Linux geek. I'm not, I just take full advantage of the amazing work that other people do in unlocking these devices. Usually it's extremely easy tear down the walled garden. Case in point - geohot's jailbreak for the Jesus phone. Two clicks, job done. Simples.
Sidenote - it amuses me greatly that almost everything in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 is already available through Cydia.... Folders, personalisation, multitasking, Bluetooth, fast app switching.... all done, and in every case, done better than what seems to be shipping in 4.0...
Steve Jobs has stated he wants to "keep the iPad porn free"
What on earth will people do with iPad now? I think it makes a rather nifty chopping board!
"Theres an app for that..." Utils.... chopping board... a snip at 99p or is that rather a chop at 99p?
No he hasn't. He wants to keep the app store porn free, realising there is nothing he can do about porn on the iPad. You can still have it there, no matter what he says or thinks, he can't stop you from putting porn on your iPad if that's the criteria that's keeping you from getting one.
Am I to believe for £500 you can buy something that can do some of the things Win3.1 could - if you pay extra for the apps?
No, you idiot! For £500 you can buy A WONDERFUL FABULOUS APPLE DEVICE that can do some of the things Win3.1 could - if you pay extra for the apps.
As a confirmed Fanboi, it looks great and I was sorely tempted to splash out on one yesterday but I have 2 desktops macs, a macbook, an Iphone and multiple pods I thought.. Nice but I have no need for it.
That said, I do love the pad as it winds up the Wintards a treat and thats always good for a laugh.
A fan boy wakes up to the reality that the iPad is a limited use content consumtion device? Outstanding. It will be interesting to see what competitors come up with and how they sell.
That must make browsing a Royal PITA!!!
And here I'm reading and commenting on El Reg with a 4 yr old Nokia 6300... What's wrong with me??
I think its like flying business class. You do it if your employer is paying, you have mucho dinero, you really need it (like my granny) or you think you're 'worth it' somehow...
My HTC HD2 does everything and more than the iPad, and I can stow it in the back pocket of my jeans. I can see a place for slate type device in the home; something you can leave around the house to conveniently check email, quickly check a web site, etc. However, Chrome or Windows powered slates are likely to be more of a winner, especially Windows if consumers end up preferring the familiarity.
"The ipad is, as many have said, a "companion device". It is there to use in conjunction with a PC, not to replace it."
But the few advantages it has over a PC are slight, and it loses many features. It's not like say, a Kindle which has the e-ink which a laptop doesn't (a Kindle is also very small and quite cheap).
Personally, I don't need a Kindle, but I know a couple of people with them and I get how they fit into their lives. I just don't see that with the iPad and I reckon in a few months we'll have a lot more pieces written like this.
... what's the missus say? Or as you put it, the nearest NHB.
Bit of a pity you didn't address that, so please correct the oversight.
I think the Ipad is just a fad to be seen with at the moment, people believe they need it. Apple are fantastic at design and marketing and that is why the Iphone, Ipad etc has done so well. When it comes down to it however, the question you should ask yourself is, do I really need this? Probably the answer will be no, as this writer has come to the same conclusion.
On the writing, the article is a bit over the top and probably needs to go through the editor a bit more throughly before going to press.
Have you tried Mobile Me yet?
One diary, one calendar, one storage space all synced and internet-edly or wi-fi-ably available whatever device puts the input, amendment, edit in.
And no google-like under-the-hood high quotient level just to make it work.
It wins 4me
This comment made me sit up:
"but the lack of tabs in the iPad's Safari browser makes doing so a less-useful experience than it could be"
I'm quite surprised by this. Safari on iPad doesn't do tabbed browsing? What year is this again?
Also I went to Apple's iBook's page. What was the first comment I saw? This one:
"i thought i would buy my kids some of the hardy boy books for this, and i was sad to see that it costs more to get the digital version, then it is to buy the actual book. what is wrong with this picture? are they trying to push people to other means? how is it possible that its cheaper to buy the real book? are they crazy?? seriously."
Looks to me like it isn't only developers Apple is driving away.
I read Vanity Fair (and much more besides) on my Palm Treo in those dark days before Steve Jobs invented mobile reading. I still use my Treo every day. Can you load the iphone/ipad with free (eg. out of copyright) books or do you have to buy through the walled garden store?
I've used my netbook comfortably on my couch since those dark days before Steve Jobs invented mobile computers. Who would have thought that a flat panel which you can't make stand up on its own would be awful for use in bed, on the couch, in a chair and in many other places? Well, everyone who didn't think "it's Apple, I must have it" thought that, and they were right. £200, this netbook cost me, and I use it as much now as I did when I first bought it. And Hula welcomes me (or it would if I wasn't in the UK).
..however (not directed at the writer) but from the author's complaints, it seems they didn't really test it with beta-users thoroughly. Screen too reflective? Non-rounded corners? Slides off your knee?
Should've been obvious from a much earlier stage. I'm wondering if it was Apple's legendary obsession with secrecy that prevented more being released into trusted testers' hands.
After all, Nokia has a "TRUE-test" programme, for prototypes*. You can use it, but not show it. Couple of dozen folks using it for a week or so identify most of the bugs.
Requirement: The TRUE testers ain't allowed to be technical, just your average 'fartie' (IT, HR, Middle-managers, that sort of dross. Folks that'd junk-fill that leaking offshore well in USA. You get the drift... )
*(Phones, not basestations. The latter are a bit big to fit into a black binliner, even now. Altho' I used to carry one in a huge Samsonite suitcase several times a month between England and Finland 10 years ago . Always got security excited...)
"The iPad isn't for you, sorry fanbois, geeks and power users. The iPad is for those who do not have a computer yet, or have one but seldom use it because it is just "too hard"."
No, it isn't. Who has £500 to blow on a computer that doesn't work as a computer? Well-off people who already have a computer, that's who. I'd be amazed if more than 5% of iPad owners do not already have a PC, laptop or netbook in their household.
It's been obvious right from the start that the iPad doesn't really do anything very well, and I've been saying for years that the touch screen is a poor replacement for a keyboard and mouse interface. The iPad is not easier to use than a computer, because it's less practical to use than a computer - the type of people who find using a computer just "too hard" will find using a touch screen interface harder than the traditional interface. Who wants to have to bring up a virtual keyboard to enter text into a website when you could have the keyboard there all the time without obscuring the page? And a touch screen interface is inevitably going to be less precise and require more physical work than the wonderfully accurate and fluid cursor moving, clicking and scrolling technology already available (ie the mouse).
I got cheapest one available as soon as they got out, testing if I will fork out more money when V2 comes out. So far I am more than impressed. I am computer agnostic. I use PC and mac depending on what I want to achieve and I think iPad fits quite nicely between my iPhone and MacBook. It is not heavy, not at all. If it was (is) heavy for you, then you should spend less writing this sort of opinions and more in the gym. Honestly, I’ve been playing Firemint’s Real Racing mostly on my iPad (it is a racing game for iPhone) and I’ve been having a blast. What an experience! It is about two times heavier than iPhone, so if that is heavy, you should consider exercising more and healthier lifestyle altogether.
One of good things regarding iPad is that you can charge it without a PC/MAC Charger is iPhone interchangeable, and if you, like I have iPhone you have one of them for home, one for the office.
iPad does have same faults as iPhone. File system is wrong, it is limited in so many ways but still it is excellent value for money. What pissed me off the most is the design of the app store application. I want to flip through apps, like on iPhone I do not want to click next and previous buttons. Why did they opt for that approach is beyond me. I find myself trying to flip the page and it is not working! People say the keyboard is not that good, but if you wanted something to type long documents, iPad is not for you. It was not built for that. Now, if you are not ready to fork out $760 AUD for it, or you want more or different things for that money, go with netbook. iPad is not netbook and will never fight against them. It plays completely different sport, IMNSHO.
The iPad will sell because it is a great POS dumb terminal, like some chap said on here earlier, it will be good for factorys, shops, restuarents etc. But only as a point and click input pad. Give it a year or so and a bluetooth keyboard and I can see every middle management sort wanting one as a large PDA that they can work from while traveling.
Other than that, its a device looking for a purpose. And I dont have a purpose for it.
there are a few things for me, I think the iPad could be great and fun to use for:
1) Bible study, looking up greek or hebrew words during bible reading I would love to do but the Bible on the mobile phone is a little too slow and not so nice because of lack of screen property and starting the notebook just takes too much time so I better just keep on reading in the printed book. An iPad could propably be an alternative
2) Geocaching, almost similar situation here. The tool on the mobile phone is nice but a bigger screen (without the weight and proportions of my Notebook) would be great
3) looking up a phone number, business hours, a timetable, the weather forcast or watching anything from a website while travelling or doing the chores would be great.
I don't even know if the built in speakers would be good enough for this last application but anyhow. I won't buy an iPad soon.
But if you don't use yours anymore, I would be willing to give it a try. And I promise I send you a field report....
O, da Psion?
I liked my Series 3.
I also liked (for only slightly different reasons) my Jornada 720 (if you don't know it, think of it as a netbook precursor).
On the other hand my iPaq was rubbish, and looking at the iPad it's not just the spelling that's close to iPaq, the usefulness (zero, for me) seems to be close too.
No iPad soon for me then. Maybe an HTC with Android later in the year, once the prices come down a bit.
Can we have a dinosaur icon please? Till then, Bill, obviously (in an ironic kind of way given that it was him that wrecked the J720 concept).