Brian Combs

Online marketing pioneer Brian Combs talks the issues of the day.

One Week with the iPad

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Paul Groepler reports in on his first week with the iPad.

Okay I’ve had this iPad for seven calendar days, and took it with me on an international trip. I have figured out a few things, discovered a few more and have been stonewalled by a few. My end-of-the-week rating is a B – (B minus).

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly:

The Good:

  1. This thing just replaced my iPhone and laptop for in-flight viewing of movies, TV shows and listening to music. I was able to download ALL my music to the iPad and the screen is larger than in at least two airlines’ First Class seating, ha! Give that an A+ !
  2. Magazines and books: Amazon released their Kindle reader for iPad so suddenly all my Kindle library easily ports and follows me. Excellent again!
    Also, an ‘older’ app, Zinio Reader fills in the holes for what you cannot easily get on Amazon, e.g. My Economist subscription, Popular Mechanics, National Geographic are all readable and ‘portable’ in a very easy to read format. This is awesome.
  3. Mail is pretty simple and reliable. I’ve tested three accounts, one SMTP, one IMAP and one ‘dot-mac’.
  4. The battery life is awesome. Yeah, it’s no Kindle but I can wait 9 hours before going to my charger…

The Bad:

  1. File sharing (or lack thereof): I mean, Come on!? No iDisk, no mount-as-disk-on-desktop, etc.. This takes me back to the old AOL ‘walled garden approach of the late 1990′s. Wake up Apple. This thing’s already been hacked, and I for one am jonesing for that release, so get with the program! Third party developers are going to lap you on the functionality unless you step up now.
    There is some kind of ‘beta’ called iWork.com where you can upload MS Word, Excel and PPT docs which are then imported into their Apple iWork equivalents, but that’s still pretty lame. The absolute lamest is the way you transfer files…via iTunes? Down deep into the second tab entitled ‘Information’?! Are you kidding me!? This really should be in “the Ugly” category. Ridiculous.
    Here’s a good diatribe of the whole thing which has more details.
  2. Docking: well, sort of. It’s hilarious that the big-brother white doc connector only fits the iPad when it is NOT in the Apple product case. Really? C’mon. By the way, GET THE CASE. If you don’t your iPad will be scratched, smudged and your forearms will be tired. This is a very handy way of holding the display either portrait or landscape.
  3. Font management: what font management? There isn’t any. You’ll quickly find that out when and if you try to go cross platform with Word, Excel, PPT, etc.
  4. WiFi only…You might want to wait for the 3G version, as WiFi (at least outside the USA) is pretty slim unless you’re in an upscale hotel or airport lounge.
  5. Camera: I want my ‘augmented reality’ apps! The iPhone does it (Yelp, etc.) so why not a really nice, big version!?
  6. Only third-party PDF reader? Really??

The Ugly:

  1. Nope, it’s not for business, not yet. You can show an imported PPT/Keynote presentation, but I have yet to get the USB to VGA dongle to see how that works. The business apps that Apple is trying to force down your throat, e.g. iWork should be called iDontWork.
  2. Display…shiny and glossy may be great if you live in a cave, but for the rest of us GET A SCREEN PROTECTOR. So many smudges it’s not funny.
  3. I already mentioned it but the file sharing is ridiculous, AOL-style and unacceptable.
  4. Application software is pretty light still. This is the end of the first week, and that ‘early adopter curve’ should have been taken advantage of by more developers…
  5. No Adobe FLASH. Again, C’mon! This whole Apple vs. Adobe thing is getting old.

Conclusions:

  1. This will NOT replace your notebook.
  2. This WILL become a very handy magazine, book, TV show and movie tool
  3. I’m waiting for what’s next, e.g. What will Microsoft do?
  4. Hacking? This should be really really interesting…

Once again, office applications are the killer for me. I need to have binary compatibility with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Yes, they all have major problems (especially PowerPointless), but they are absolute standards in the business community. If I can’t trade files with my clients, I’ve got a major problem.

I’m especially concerned about presentation files, especially after reading this review on Keynote for the iPad. If I can’t edit .ppt files, and have them transfer flawlessly to a Windows machine, I can’t leave my laptop at home.

I can’t see purchasing an iPad until it can replace my laptop, for at least large chunks of time.

Perhaps Apple isn’t interested in the business market. Maybe they see this as a fancy media player. If so, they’re missing a huge segment of the market.

C’mon, Apple! There are lots of us business travelers that are tired of running from one airplane to the next with a laptop!

Written by Brian Combs

April 10th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Apple Inc

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2 Responses to 'One Week with the iPad'

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  1. Ps. Where are the games? I neglected to mention that this big real-estate makes gaming pretty sweet…but where are the games?

    Paul G.

    11 Apr 10 at 10:04 am

  2. G4′s Attack of the Show had a segment on iPod games earlier this week. The gist was that there just isn’t much available yet, but it’s surely coming. What is available is mostly iPhone games, which don’t look nearly the same on an iPad.

    I think one issue is that the platform is so new. It’ll take a bit for the vendors to come up with games that truly take advantage of the iPad’s form factor.

    Brian Combs

    11 Apr 10 at 10:12 am

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