My family has been using our iPad for over a week now. In short, I'm definitely glad we got it.
As I expected, it works great for my planned use case, i.e. baby following (now toddler following). It's form factor allows me to easily check something on the Web (as opposed to my phone) and also allows me to easily put it down quickly (as opposed to my laptop).
But there are a lot of things I didn't expect.
Other things I like
- Web browsing is more fun. I genuinely like browsing the Web on the iPad more than other devices I've used. I feel I have a greater attention span when using it. I can't really put my finger on why, but maybe it's because it both feels like a magazine and there is no mouse.
- The kids love it. Eli (my son) is 13mo, and hasn't quite figured it out, but certainly likes to play with it. He takes my hand and wants me to do it for him. He also tries to turn it over like it is a book. My 2yo and 4yo nephew and niece do get it and were really having fun with it, and in educational ways.
- Video looks awesome. I have an HDTV but I guess the pixel density is really high or something on the iPad--I don't know and haven't bothered to look it up bc it is somewhat irrelevant. Bottom line is it is a pleasure to watch. And Eli likes watching it too.
- Battery life is great.
- Duck Duck Go looks good on it. However, I did have to make some CSS tweaks last Saturday :).
- Great to wake up with. I keep my phone by my bed side so I can (rarely) get SMS updates of server outages. After I upgraded to a smartphone (Android, G2), I started using it when I woke up to check my mail, feed reader etc. As you might expect, the iPad works much better for this purpose. I can more easily reply to emails on it. The only down-side here is the auto-brightness feature makes it way too bright.
Things I don't like
- Wi-fi issues. Wi-fi cuts in and out and keeps asking me for my network password. It's really annoying. I moved my router to the middle of the house, which alleviated the problem a lot, though not completely. It's my only device that has this problem.
- Typing is slow. I'm not that slow at typing on the iPad, but compared to my full keyboard, I am way slower. I hope to get faster at it over time, but needless to say, I'm composing this on my laptop. I don't like the auto-correct either--I think I'm going to turn it off. It gets a lot wrong, and so I have to keep looking up and seeing if it is getting things wrong.
- Gmail integration sucks. The native mail app doesn't work great with Gmail. Lack of thread support is a show-stopper for me. Good news is Gmail came out with an iPad-ready Web app. The trouble is it's buggy and lacks important features (at least for me). For example, I can't figure out how to get a signature on there, which I need to add context to my replies to feedback emails. It lacks chat support (though I bought IM+ for that). Search is super-slow and often fails, etc. I hope and believe it will get better over time though.
- Safari windowing is terrible. Even though I really love the reading part of Web browsing, I really miss tabs. I wish I didn't have to keep clicking the window button to see what is open. I just don't get why they did that. If they can have a bookmark bar they should be able to have tabs.
- iTunes password re-entry. Really? I have to enter my password every three seconds, even to download free apps or update existing ones? It feels ridiculous. I wish there was a setting to ask me less.
- Non-ipad ready apps suck.
Notes on apps
- IM+ -- using to get Gchat support. It works but I can't figure out how to stop sending me email push notifications along with the chat ones.
- iSSH -- similar story. It works but I can't figure out how to press the up arrow multiple times quickly.
- Netflix -- awesome. Streams movies as expected and they look great.
- Tweetdeck -- works as expected except keeps crashes on me a decent amount.
- Evernote -- trying to figure out how to get it in my workflow.
- FW Animals, Sound Shaker, 123 Color -- kids love these.
- NyTimes -- they play up how it is laid out like the newspaper, but I find this hard to read.
- WSJ -- I ditched it because it takes forever to download the newspaper, and they don't let you start reading until it is all done.