So the wait is over, the box has been ripped open and your iPad is now proudly in our hand – how’s it been for you?
My first impressions – having had mine for less than 24 hours – is that this is a seriously impressive piece of kit which, despite the naysayers, is going to reshape how many people interact with content and the web.
Early detractors loved to dismiss the device as nothing more than a larger iPhone – actually it’s much more than that. The iPhone is a great device for consuming web and media on the move in small doses but the shortcomings of a 3″ screen are immediately apparent the second you try creating anything more complex than a quick email.
In contrast the iPad’s larger screen – roughly the same as the average netbook – feels like a natural place to create more detailed content – like this blog post for example.
The fact that, unlike your average scaled down laptop, you can switch screen orientation means I don’t have to compromise as much when it comes to deciding how I want to view content.
Sitting here typing this I’m loving having a single piece of glass act as both screen AND decently sized keyboard. The ‘keys’ seem much the same size as those on my MacBook and Apple keyboard so there’s no compromise for my chubby fingers and most of the time the letter I was aiming for is what appears on screen – a very different experience from the 7″ netbook I used a few years back until the compromises simply became too much.
What’s great is that as I type this I know I can upload it natively to the site via a standard browser, no need to download the WordPress plugin or ensure I’ve enabled remote or email publishing. Again, rather than having to change the way I do things to fit in with the iPhone’s small screen I can work the way I’d normally do.
Clearly there will be times when apps will be the best way to do something and they make for a painless way to get software onto the device but the beauty of the larger screen is that they’re not always going to be necessary – if I can browse my favourite newspapers online via the browser do I have the same need for a news app? I think not.
There are always going to be downers with any purchase and for me the lack of support for my collection of Adobe DRM-protected eBooks means I’m not considering the iPad as a replacement for my dedicated Sony Reader – why would I want to keep my eBooks on different incompatible devices? – which is a pity as the screen is actually far better and more comfortable for prolonged reading than I thought would be the case.
On the other hand the Zinio app makes for a perfect way to enjoy magazines – I can see this becoming a major use for the iPad.
More soon, in the meantime pitch in with your first impressions…