One Year With the iPad: a Retrospective

  • Posted: 07 May 2011 12:38 PM

    I bought a WiFi iPad in April, 2010, shortly after it was first released.  At the time I wasn?t sure what it was good for.  I thought it might be a good tool for my wife.  Her eyesight is failing and I hoped it would help her, so we went to the Apple store to look at it.  I was still on the fence but she urged me to get it, so I did.

    A few weeks later I broke my hip, not a good thing for an octogenarian, and spent the next six weeks in the hospital and rehab.  The iPad was a life saver.  It kept my mind active, and attracted the hospital staff to my bedside so I was never lonely.  It had its shortcomings but I quickly learned how to circumvent most of them.  Pages is an adequate word processor, but in my opinion Numbers stinks.  Really stinks.  I really miss not having a decent file system, however.  I expect it will come with iOS-5, probably with data storage on ?the cloud?.

    When the iPhone first came out I was thrilled.  A small, portable computer that I could keep in my shirt pocket where ever I went.  I loved being able to get my e-mail and surf the net on the go.  A huge step forward, but now that I have an iPad I rely more and more on it and less and less on my iPhone.  It?s easier to use and is also easier on my eyes.  Indeed, I now carry the iPad with me as well as the iPhone when I travel or go to a meeting.  I find that carrying the iPad with me is like carrying a clip board.  It becomes a habit.

    I still use my 27 inch iMac for most of my serious computing which includes editing TV shows for a local access station.  It is in my office which is on the second floor.  When on the first floor or when traveling I use the iPad.  My 15 inch Macbook Pro is gathering dust. 

    I just bought the iPad2, also WiFi only.  So far I find it to be an improvement over the original, but not as much as I had expected.  Most of the places I go have WiFi, and where it is not available I fall back on my iPhone (reluctantly).  Since my iPhone4 is now relegated to second banana, I am not sure I will upgrade it to the 5 when it comes out.  I need a compelling reason.  For me, the iPad has replaced most of the functions of the iPhone and my lap top.  I wonder how this will play out for the overall market five years from now.  Is the iPad the real iPhone killer?

    BTW, my wife rarely uses it.

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
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    Posted: 07 May 2011 01:04 PM #1

    westech - 07 May 2011 03:38 PM

    .... 

    I just bought the iPad2, also WiFi only.  So far I find it to be an improvement over the original, but not as much as I had expected.  Most of the places I go have WiFi, and where it is not available I fall back on my iPhone (reluctantly).  Since my iPhone4 is now relegated to second banana, I am not sure I will upgrade it to the 5 when it comes out.  I need a compelling reason.  For me, the iPad has replaced most of the functions of the iPhone ....

    The WiFi iPad can wirelessly tether through the iPhone4 for Internet access. Can be done using Bluetooth (my preference) or WiFi (local hotspot feature).

    Depends on the carrier’s restrictions regarding tethering, but it works wonderfully on my Canadian carrier.

    IPhone4 Settings - General - Network - Personal Hotspot

    iPad2 Settings - General - Bluetooth

         
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    Posted: 07 May 2011 01:55 PM #2

    K447 - 07 May 2011 04:04 PM
    westech - 07 May 2011 03:38 PM

    .... 

    I just bought the iPad2, also WiFi only.  So far I find it to be an improvement over the original, but not as much as I had expected.  Most of the places I go have WiFi, and where it is not available I fall back on my iPhone (reluctantly).  Since my iPhone4 is now relegated to second banana, I am not sure I will upgrade it to the 5 when it comes out.  I need a compelling reason.  For me, the iPad has replaced most of the functions of the iPhone ....

    The WiFi iPad can wirelessly tether through the iPhone4 for Internet access. Can be done using Bluetooth (my preference) or WiFi (local hotspot feature).

    Depends on the carrier’s restrictions regarding tethering, but it works wonderfully on my Canadian carrier.

    IPhone4 Settings - General - Network - Personal Hotspot

    iPad2 Settings - General - Bluetooth

    K447,
    I’m going to go with the assumption that westech is in the US. They don’t get tethering without having to pay extra. From what I recall, it’s not a cheap option.

         
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    Posted: 07 May 2011 02:22 PM #3

    During a recent bout with sinuses, my iPad also kept me mentally in the game. 

    A respectable file system and easy access to files on my iMac would have been really nice.    This should be a top priority for the iOS team.

         
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    Posted: 07 May 2011 02:49 PM #4

    Tetrachloride - 07 May 2011 05:22 PM

    During a recent bout with sinuses, my iPad also kept me mentally in the game. 

    A respectable file system and easy access to files on my iMac would have been really nice.    This should be a top priority for the iOS team.

    Do you have a timeline for when Apple would update IOS for real file handling capabilities?

      thanks
        JohnG

         
  • Posted: 07 May 2011 03:15 PM #5

    johnG - 07 May 2011 05:49 PM
    Tetrachloride - 07 May 2011 05:22 PM

    During a recent bout with sinuses, my iPad also kept me mentally in the game. 

    A respectable file system and easy access to files on my iMac would have been really nice.    This should be a top priority for the iOS team.

    Do you have a timeline for when Apple would update IOS for real file handling capabilities?

      thanks
        JohnG

    I have no personal knowledge of the timeline.  I have always believed that one of the North Carolina server farm’s real raisons d’etre was to support iOS.  Real file handling via the cloud would blow away the competition.  It seems relatively easy to implement for iOS and MacOS.  How would Google implement this for Android and Windows OS?

    @K447: Yes, I live in the US.

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    Posted: 07 May 2011 03:16 PM #6

    johnG - 07 May 2011 05:49 PM
    Tetrachloride - 07 May 2011 05:22 PM

    During a recent bout with sinuses, my iPad also kept me mentally in the game. 

    A respectable file system and easy access to files on my iMac would have been really nice.    This should be a top priority for the iOS team.

    Do you have a timeline for when Apple would update IOS for real file handling capabilities?

      thanks
        JohnG

    Depends on what you mean.  If you look at several of the key features of Lion.  I think we can expect iOS 5 to adopt complementary capability.

    Send it by air.
    With AirDrop in Mac OS X Lion, you can send files to anyone around you ?  wirelessly. AirDrop doesn?t require setup or special settings. Just click the AirDrop icon in the Finder sidebar, and your Mac automatically discovers other people nearby who are using AirDrop. You?ll even see contact photos for those who are already in your Address Book. To share a file, simply drag it to someone?s name. Once accepted, the file transfers directly to the person?s Downloads folder. When you?re done with AirDrop, close the Finder and your Mac is no longer visible to others.

    See every step you take.
    Versions records the evolution of a document as you create it. Mac OS X Lion automatically creates a version of the document each time you open it and every hour while you?re working on it. If you need to revert to an older version or retrieve part of a document, Versions shows you the current document next to a cascade of previous versions ? in an interface similar to that of Time Machine ? so you can see how your work looked at any given time. You can revert with a click, or quickly copy and paste work from a previous version into the current version.*

    File Sharing for iPad
    Lion Server delivers wireless file sharing for iPad. Enabling WebDAV in Lion Server gives iPad users the ability to access, copy, and share documents on the server from applications such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.

         
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    Posted: 07 May 2011 03:26 PM #7

    The last paragraph is the key part. 

    Thanks for the info.

         
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    Posted: 07 May 2011 04:12 PM #8

    I find that carrying the iPad with me is like carrying a clip board.  It becomes a habit.

    I imagine increasingly more business execs will do this to read documents. Relatively light weight & instant-on give the iPad a huge advantage over Windows laptops.

         
  • Posted: 07 May 2011 04:22 PM #9

    Drew Bear - 07 May 2011 07:12 PM

    I find that carrying the iPad with me is like carrying a clip board.  It becomes a habit.

    I imagine increasingly more business execs will do this to read documents. Relatively light weight & instant-on give the iPad a huge advantage over Windows laptops.

    Welcome to the Post-PC era.  Can’t wait for the June developer’s meeting and the release of Lion.

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
  • Posted: 08 May 2011 02:49 AM #10

    OmniFocus for the iPad (and I’ve gone on to purchase the iPhone and Mac versions) has transformed the way I keep track of projects.

         
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    Posted: 09 May 2011 02:26 PM #11

    redge - 09 May 2011 02:29 PM

    ... finding the iPad a bit underpowered ... I tried out the iPad 2, but took a pass because the performance improvement is for my purposes marginal.

    I’d like to see either an iPad with a faster processor and more capable operating system…

    I expect the capability gap (iOS + Apps) between iPad and Macbook to narrow over time.

    You want a faster processor than your iPad, but the iPad2 is not compelling in that regard? You want even more processor power than the A5 chip provides?

         
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    Posted: 10 May 2011 11:52 AM #12

    I only use my Macbook for photos.  Everything else is done on my iPad.  Who’da thunk?

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  • Posted: 10 May 2011 12:43 PM #13

    Westech:

    Very thoughtful post.

    Regarding file systems, as Pats points out, this should be coming in Lion. I think we can expect substantial convergence between the Mac OS and iOS over the next 2 years.

    As for power, the current crop of iOS apps do not exploit the A5’s dual core capabilities. Newer apps will likely unmask performance divergence between iPads 1 and 2.

    I think the biggest challenge ahead for the iPad (and tablets more broadly) is for them to evolve beyond being primarily content consumption to a better balance of content consumption and creation devices, for which both improvements in processor and app capability will be required. Only then will we likely see substantial migration away from Mac-based systems, and even then, only if the iOS is untethered from its current dependence on the Mac for key services.

    While I use my iPad for a variety of things, and invariably carry it with me while on the go (something I used to do with my laptop), I still use my MBP for most workaday jobs, and see no sign of that changing anytime soon. Besides, I think the Mac OS remains a beautiful and elegant system to work with.

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