Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I Hate/Love my Ipad

I got an Ipad a few months ago for free. It sat unopened for a day as I debated selling it and using the money to buy a future Google tablet. However, I am weak and ended up opening it despite my reservations.

My reluctance was born from my experience with an Ipod a few years back. Unlike my other MP3 players, the Ipod had a very specific way in which music had to be transferred to it and organized. The interaction of Itunes and my Ipod seemed completely counter-intuitive and cumbersome to me. Although my Ipod could hold 10x more music than anything I had previously, I found myself leaving it on the shelf for more nimble alternatives.

That experience caused me to approach the Ipad suspiciously. For the most part, those fears have been proved justified. I have developed a love/hate relationship with my Ipad. It "should" do so much, yet has been needlessly hobbled.

First, what I love about it. It is a great ebook reader. Because of apps, I get access to some of the best ereader software out there.  Ipad's long battery life means I can go for hours uninterrupted.

Speaking of apps, there are a gizzillion of them. Many are free or of inconsequential price.... and yes, there IS an app for that.

Also, touch browsing, or touch anything concerning the screen is just easy and pleasant. Zooming in and zooming out are a breeze.

Now I will move on to the things... I... Just... Can't.... Stand!

Let me say up front that I am aware that there are things a tablet is just not designed to do. For example, I would never attempt to type this blog, or any long response, on my Ipad. A touch keyboard can only take you so far.... but it is a natural limitation of the device. What I refer to now are the limitations that are completely self-imposed.

No flash for web browsing? Not only annoying, but I can't tell you how many times I have had to put down the Ipad and go over to a computer to finish buying this or reading that. I never realized how much Flash and Shockwave are used on the web.

Even with the latest OS update, the Ipad still can't multitask.  The point of being technical IS multitasking.  Very tedious!

Print????  forgetaboutit!

Skype??  Nada.

Attach a file to my email?  Nope, nope, & nope.

Ok, here is the biggie. Let's say I decide to clean the bedroom and want to listen to a recent lecture I downloaded downstairs. Do I reach for the netbook or the Ipad? Using the Netbook, I would hop on to my home network, scroll over to the downstairs computer, and double click the file... this would take me seconds to accomplish. If I want to use the Ipad, I would need to take it downstairs, hook it to the computer, open Itunes, move the file over to Itunes, sync....sync.... still syncing..., whew! By this time, I have completely lost the motivation to clean the bedroom...

This example threads out and highlights the main weakness of the Ipad. I have Terrabytes of movies, books, documents, music, recordings, photos, comics, etc. on my network. Every computer in my house is only a click or two from accessing all of it it.... except for my Ipad, which may be the most expensive piece of tech I own.

This trait renders many of the most worthwhile apps pointless. You can listen to music on the Ipad, watch movies on the Ipad, read comics on the Ipad.... but I rarely do any of these things. These files take up a lot of room and are a hassle to transfer. I would be transferring and deleting all the time. It is just easier to grab the netbook which has instant access to anything.

Do I use the Ipad?  Yes.  Would I pay 500+ for it?

Heh!   Um, no.  Not unless that amount of cash were incidental.

I could buy a netbook that can do more than twice as much with entertainment and productivity, at half the price.

My friends who are devoted to Apple will tell me I just don't understand how Apple works. To them, all of these limitations are normal - a given. They have learned to live with the limitations and are happy.

This just strikes me as funny because the ground-breaking ad of the 80s was the powerful Apple woman coming in to smash the screen of the totalitarian computer leader and free the users.

The old saying is true - you become that which you hate.  Now it is the Apple users on the benches.


Don said...

Just a comment on your "biggie", and I'm a novice with MAC, did you know you could sync a single file if you want. And also, I realize this may still be more trouble than it's worth, but thought I'd check to see if you knew that. My "Mac Book Pro for Dummies" comes in very handy for this dummy quite often.

Cody Stauffer said...

That's the thing about Apple stuff, quite frequently I've noticed. It creates things the way it wants it to be done, and then waits for everything to change to them. And it is in every realm of their niche- software programmers must bend to their will; the music industry had to; and now that Amazon beat them to the eBooks market, they are trying to do the same there.

It is a unique business model, no doubt, but it works. Only one company could do it, of course, and they just so happen to be the one that got to it first. It works because they first created the feeling of superiority that everyone wanted to be a part of way back when, that kind of "I am a part of something different, a revolution!" And it still works now. Of course, from a purely design standpoint, they are the leaders, and this helped in the creation of the superiority complex they banked on.

Steve H. said...

I remember that commercial...just because I liked watching her run :)

Redlefty said...

People in our office building often use iPads as a remote desktop on a PC network.

So it's just a portable, touchscreen connection to their full suite of MS products on their desktop that's sitting in the office.

Could you do the same with the iPad to connect to your home network?

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