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iPad total immersion course

I now have an iPad. I got it on Friday. I thought it made sense not to let the tablet world pass me by and in any case it should be handy for my frequent jaunts up and down to London. The laptop is heavy to lug around.

Now I have an iPad I thought I would share my journey with it with you. At least the early part of the journey which coincidentally has had to be speeded up since a trojan fried my laptop.

The iPad was really easy to set up. There were no instructions other than a card pointing out a small number of salient features – screen etc.

The SIM went in, I switched the device on and I was pretty much up and running. A few things stick in my mind from the first weekend of use – particularly relating to the fantastic commercial model set up by Apple.

1 The screen protector was £20 and the “protective case” was £45. Welcome to the Apple world.

2 In order to set up iTunes, which I seem to need to put music onto the iPad I had to register a credit card with the iStore, that’s despite already having the songs on my (by now ex) laptop. Whenever I want to download an application even it if it is free I have to do it via iTunes – talk about conditioning me to expect to pay for things.

3 The battery life is very good. The iPad is getting near constant use by me and it looks good for two days (non scientific survey).

4 Pretty much everyting is intuitive although there are some things I still haven’t got the hang of yet – one is how to go about selecting and copying text – it is seems a random process.

5 The lack of support for Flash is a big ommission. BBC iPlayer doesn’t work, Google Analytics for my webstats doesn’t all show up. I may findways around this but so far I haven’t had the time to do so.

6 Since my laptop went I have found it difficult to put together some of the stuff i need for this blog. For example I use irfanview for photo editing – I’ll have to see if there is one for iPad. Not all the features that exist on my usual WordPress Dashboard are visible on the iPad. This could well be browser related but is something that will have to be fixed otherwise it will not be much use for the blog.

7 Whilst the touch screen is okayish for typing it isn’t nearly as fast as a keyboard so I have pinched one of the engineers’ for the moment – I will have to give it back.

8 Some of the apps I am used to using are rubbish on the iPad. Specifically Tweetdeck – I will have to settle on another. The Apple freebie is ok for now.

9 I have been too busy to spend time looking at the Apps Store available. Perhaps tonight is the night because I will be without my laptop for another day and the total immersion course is destined to continue.

The Apps Store is very tempting though – these guys are the masters of etailing. The portal is brutal in how it points you towards specific apps. Why should I even look at the two stars when one or two five star candidates clearly stand out from the pack?

All in all I am pretty impressed with the iPad. I can see what all the Apply hype has been all about although I naturally distrust hype and have kept away for this very reason.

I am glad that I gave up waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Tab which came out as soon as I had bought the iPad. The one review I have seen was not too complimentary.

The iPad seems to be the ideal size – I’ll find out tomorrow for sure how convenient it is as I travel to London without my laptop bag.

The other bit of my new jigsaw is the HTC Desire HD phone that I have on back order. I need to have a fair comparison between Apple and Android. RIM are also not going to be kept out of the picture but there is a limit to how many devices one can realistically use.

More as it happens…

PS this is almost certainly old news to many of you but everybody’s gotta learn sometime.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

9 replies on “iPad total immersion course”

BBC iPlayer works fine on my iPad just fine. My issue is the current lack of multitasking, this morning I needed to use issh and read a pdf at the same time and every time I switched to the pdf I was disconnected from the ssh session. That should be sorted in a few weeks with iOS4.2.

I get around the ‘app not available’ problem by using a Virtual Private Server in the cloud and a Remote Desktop Protocol app on my mobile. This setup lets me run any PC app I like, be it with noticeable latency (mainly due to the slow mobile connection). LogMeIn enables me to access my cloud desktop from any internet-connected computer, and Dropbox syncs files between the cloud desktop and my other computers. It’s overkill, but it’s been useful on enough occasions that I’m happy to pay the VPS bill (about £20/month).

Interesting karim – will have to see how I get on. Personally I think laptop for office and home but iPad on the move so it will depend on how much i need those apps on the move

Interesting review.

My (85yo) father has serious eye problems and is finding the iPad very good to use. The pinch zoom and sharp screen is working much better than similar software browser zooming/magnifying on a PC.

I particularly like the Samsung Galaxy Tab comment “The one review I have seen was not too complimentary” – that proves you’re are well on your way to being a proper Apple fanboi ;¬)

Please do a similar review on your HTC Desire when you get it as this is another hot favourite.
I must start saving my pennies so that I don’t miss out on all this new tech!

…By now you may have cancelled the HTC order and bought an iPhone…

Thanks Hmmm 🙂
I am sticking with the Android order specifically because I want to play with both it and Apple to get a comparison. The fact that my laptop has been out of action has helped get me going. The fact that the HTC Desire HD is delayed until 14th Nov will also give me a little time to finish off playing with the iPad.

By the way if you ever detect any musicality in my replies it’s because you hmmm it and I sing it 🙂

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