Shannon Stacey

A couple of non-techy iPad observations

Unless you live under an internet-free rock, in which case you’re not reading this, you know Apple revealed the iPad yesterday. I’m not going to bother grabbing links and photos of the thing because they’re all over the damn place. But, while listening to live audio in the background while watching pictures being posted from the event, I had several thoughts.

It’s a giant iPod Touch, but with the ability to run big programs (iWork, iPhoto), not just apps. It’s pretty and shiny and new and I’m going to hate being the only kid on the playground who doesn’t have one. But there a couple of reasons why I’m not currently pitching my tent outside an Apple store. (Besides the fact the nearest Apple store is two hours from here.)

Prior to the announcement, I did a little waffling between buying the Macbook and waiting to see if the mythical iPad was really coming soon. (I, like many others, assumed the iPad would go for about $1k.) In the end, it came down to the keyboard. An on-screen touch keyboard is cool and I use the one on the iPod (iPad Mini—heh) a lot, but do I want to write a book that way? Yesterday they demonstrated the keyboard dock which enables you to use an external keyboard, but then it’s a desktop unit. I think it’s a cool toy and will also be a great professional tool for some, but for writers? I have no regrets about going for the Macbook.

There are two things that, as an iPod Touch user, I was looking for in the iPad and didn’t find:

First, support for Flash. Sometimes while browsing the ‘net on the iPod, I get a little blue Lego block that means there’s Flash there my device doesn’t support. In one of the pictures from yesterday’s event, you can see the little blue Lego block on the iPad.

Second—and to me, most importantly—no multitasking. Since not being able to run multiple apps simultaneously on the iPod drives me batshit crazy, I can’t imagine how I’d react to not being able to do it on what’s supposed to be a fully functional device. And, if I remember correctly, that Droid thing or whatever it’s called can run multiple apps, so the technology’s there.

I understand that the apps pick up where you left off. If I’m writing in Docs to Go and I need to look something up in Wikipanion, I have to hit the home button and leave Docs to Go. Pull up Wikipanion and search for the information. Hit the home button and open Docs to Go. Even though it puts the cursor where I left off, if I have to go back and forth a few times, checking things, that’s a pain in the ass. I want to swipe two fingers horizontally across the screen to flip through apps.

I have a feeling I’ll end up with an iPad. How could I not? They’re so shiny. But I’ll probably try to wait until the second generation. Maybe it’ll have multitasking.

Oh, and on a random note, I have no problem with the name. Many people wondered if they had any women in on the naming sessions and the “now with wings” jokes are flying like mad, but that didn’t cross my mind until other people brought it up.

Legal pad.


3 comments to “A couple of non-techy iPad observations”

  1. Karen Templeton
      · January 28th, 2010 at 5:37 pm · Link

    You definitely will not be the only kid on the playground without one, chickie. But then, in the two years since I got my newest laptop (which is looking pretty sorry right now, gotta admit) HOW many technological pretties have you amassed?

    ‘Course, this is the gal (moi) who doesn’t own a cellphone. Or an iTouch. Or an eReader. And if had the dough for such folderol ;-) , would probably spend it on a cleaning service. :shock:

  2. Jean
      · January 28th, 2010 at 7:54 pm · Link

    I agree, the laptop was the right way to go. I held off buying an iTouch last December because I have a Nano and a Palm T5, and with those two items which still work well and I use only periodically, I couldn’t justify the money for the Touch. A 10″ iTouch is appealing, because it would not only overcome the major drawback on both the Palm T5 and the iTouch (small screen) but it does the web browsing and iWork apps and would work as an eReader. Of course, if it’s proprietary only through iBook, that’s a negative, but I suspect there are other apps for that.

    That means when my 10″ Sony Vaio dies, I would have something to fill that niche. Mac laptops are bigger and bulkier, but the iPad fills that gap. I’d like multi-tasking, a camera, and at least one USB port. So I will definitely wait for at least the 2nd generation to see what they do. Then? Maybe. But I’m definitely intrigued with the little guy.

  3. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · February 3rd, 2010 at 6:45 pm · Link

    “I have no problem with the name. Many people wondered if they had any women in on the naming sessions and the “now with wings” jokes are flying like mad, but that didn’t cross my mind until other people brought it up.”

    Same here. I mean, do they snicker at meetings when someone says “hand me that notepad” or “I’ll need a pad and pen.” :)

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