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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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I wrote back in January that I wanted an iPad. I now own one. It’s a really interesting device.

The iPhone is still an amazing tool. It’s a decent phone, but its real strength is in wearing and being connected (though a recent visit to NYC reminded me that some parts of our country still don’t have wireless data coverage). It has an amazing browser, for what it does, and hardware and a user interface that makes it work. One thing I’ve noticed repeatedly about all other touchscreen browsers is that they suck. The reason is simple: Because their touch hardware sucks too. Browsers that aren’t touch screen in this form factor just don’t work at all. There are good (and useful) apps that change the way I go about my life. It’s a game changer.

I’ve only played with my iPad for a few hours. I’ve not come to many solid conclusions. Here’s what I do know for sure:

  • It’s heavy. Heavier than it looks. It would be fatiguing to hold it up for lengths of time without propping it against something. Luckily I have legs for that.
  • The edges are sharp. Combined with the weight and the usage model when in portrait mode where I Find myself sliding the thing up and down in my hands, it’s not entirely comfortable to use all the time. It looks nice the way it is, but some rounded edges would go a long way to making it comfortable.
  • The battery life is amazing.
  • It makes the iPhone feel small and foreign. After a couple of hours with the iPad, using the iPhone is somewhat surreal, and vaguely claustrophobic.
  • That I don’t actually get to use all of the keys on an attached keyboard is reprehensible. I hope Apple fixes this. My plans to use iSSH as a remote terminal emulator became a nonstarter when the control and arrow keys turned out to only be available to Apple apps.

I love consuming media on the iPad. This may be related to the “it’s new” aspect. At the moment, I would prefer to consume media on the iPad than on a computer. A lot of this has to do with the user interface. Where the iPhone is a game of fingertips, I get to use my entire hand when manipulating the iPad. Grabbing a web page, document, book, or whatever is rewarding with this kind of interface, in a way that’s hard to describe. Go try it. I’ll wait.

I don’t care if it fails terribly, at this point (not that I think there’s any fear of that). This device makes one rethink the way they interact with media in a way that the iPhone can’t.