Monday, July 26, 2010

Updated iPad thoughts

The iPad has actually managed to find a niche in our lives, and has dovetailed in better than I had expected.

I've found the ipad to be somehow freeing as far as internet access is concerned. It seemed so trivial to grab the laptop, sit down on the couch with it on your lap, and fire it up, but now that I don't have to do that, it's extremely convenient. Getting a thought of something to check out, grabbing the ipad sitting conveniently withing arm's reach, pressing the power button for a no-boot startup, and doing your search is awesome. The iPad is slim enough to lean against something or participate in a stack of books, so there's always a place for it. The other unforeseen benefit is that my wife like to stretch out on the couch across my lap, leaving no room for a laptop (even my undersized Inspiron 11z). Being able to have that screen in your hand, and in any position you need has proven to be unexpectedly convenient. The portability makes browsing, youtubeing, and reading more convenient in bed too. It's easier to get your brain going when you're catching up on blogs or news in bed. The weight is still a small issue, but as I said previously, manageable.

Netflix streaming has been far more useful than I thought. With only one teevee, we're usually stuck watching what the other wants, which isn't too bad because we like a lot of the same shows, but if I'm playing a game she doesn't like watching, or if she's watching a show I don't feel like watching, it's easy to fire up Netflix, and pick one of those movies out of your instant queue that you want to watch, but don't think your spouse wants to watch. Maintaining physical closeness while both of you are enjoying the leisure time.

Safari has started being picky about the pages it chooses to load. If you're lucky, it'll crash, and you'll have to reopen it, and kill the page before it loads to the point to crash again. If you're unlucky, it'll try to load so hard that it'll get stuck, making safari completely unusable. And since you can't kill a crashed app, (APPLE PRODUCTS DON'T CRASH WHY WOULD YOU IMPLY SUCH A THING?! HERETIC! BURN HIM! BURN HIM!) you are forced to reboot the whole device. It's apparently a known issue, in that, users know about it, and apple refuses to acknowledge it.

Following Safari's lead, YouTube has been equally picky about videos it loads with ease. Probably 50% of the time, it can't download the video at anywhere near a usable speed. The same videos download just fine on a laptop on the same network. This is also a known issue, in that, users know about it, and apple refuses to acknowledge it. At least there are fixes out. Wait, did I say "fixes?" Because I meant "HILARIOUS fixes!" Check out that site for other data interruptions, and you'll see that doing things like adjusting the brightness fixes the network issue. Apple just gets more and more like Microsoft every day...

The third party app crashing has been lighter, but Sketchbook Pro persists in crashing with annoying regularity when processing transparency for multiple layers. This is particularly annoying because Sketchbook Pro is awesome, and I love playing with it. (though I'm not sure why the resolution is so low) (oh wait, probably for the same reason it crashes when processing transparency for multiple layers) I've just learned to save frequently, or suck it up. You know, just like in Windows...

My previous statement still stands though. It's not worth the money at the moment. Wait until the price comes down, or the next software version, or the next release of hardware with new features, or any combination of those things. You might weight some of those benefits noted here and previously more than I do, so keep that in mind.

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