I have had the iPad for a week now and used it as much as possible. Here are my initial reactions. I don’t think anything in this post has not bees said by others but here is my take. BTW, this post is written in the iPad using the word press app.
1. The iPad is a game changer. It’s not a computer, laptop, big phone, tablet PC or PDA. It is the first of a new category of electronic devices.
2. It is easy to use. The kids picked it up immediately. The easy of use of the interface makes the programs intuitive.
3. Apps, for the most part, are solid. I have not used any paid apps yet. This is by design, I want to see how usable the device is without having to purchase anything else. I will be buying iWork and DSLR Camera Remote. So far I have been able to do what I want with free apps.
The only hardware accessory I have is the dock connector. That makes charging easier. I did make some stands out of the packing material (see boingboing.net post). Note: I need to find out how to copy URL’s from Safari.
4. Internet access Via WiFi is good. It is easy to connect to networks, both secure and unsecured. Access is fast, Safari works well, other apps accessing the net work well. Google Reader sends feeds in an easy to read and navigate, optimized, format.
5. As an ebook reader, the form factor and readability is great. I have read several books using the iBook reader. I have also used the Free Books app. I like the iBook reader better. Both support EPUB format. I have been reading some of the 30,000 free books available on Project Gutenberg. There is also a Kindle app for buying books from Amazon. as I expected, Amazon would rather sell books than Kindles.
6. Dragon Dictation is a free voice to text app. It does a better job of translating than the old version of Naturally speaking that I have on my desktop computer. I’m sure the new version would do as well. It must be connected to the Internet to work since the translation is done on the Dragon servers.
7. I tried several free note taking and list apps. I went back to the iPad version of my tried and true desktop note taking program, Evernote. If you have never used Evernote, give it a try, the desktop app stores notes on your desktop and can sync with the cloud storage system. I have used the desktop app since long before they offered online storage. The free storage is more than I need. The iPad app uses the online storage but can be used offline to store notes. It will sync when you are online and start the app.
8. Other apps that I have used and like include Mocha VNC Lite and Remote Desktop Lite for remote connections to other computers. Stars, Pandora, ABC Player, Factzilla, And Today in History for fun. Bible HD, Holy Bible HD, Constitution for iPad, Declaration for iPad, and Dictionary for reference. Tweetdeck is my Twitter app. The slickest and maybe the best looking app is the Weather Channel. Of course the WordPress app since that is how I am writing this post.u
9. The most disappointing app is eTextbooks by CourseSmart. It is no more than a front end to Safari. CourseSmart rents electronic textbooks to students. The books are only accessible online. I had hoped the iPad app would be a better interface than a browser.
10. Audio and video work great. I have changed the way I listen to my podcasts. My “high priority” podcasts go on the iPod. These include TWIT, TWIP, The Economist, Photofocus, Security Now and the Daily Giz Wiz. I have an audiobook loaded as filler. The iPad has other podcasts such as the IT conversations stream, Cyberspeak, Photo Netcast, and the audiobooks I subscribe to. Audio podcasts are played at 2X speed on the iPad. My old iPod will only play at 1.25 speed. Video podcasts also go on the iPad. I can listen while working on other things.
My overall view of the iPad so far is positive. As long as you don’t compare it to a laptop or net book you will be pleased. It is not a laptop or net book. It is a new category. I look forward to seeing what Dell, HP, and others come out with as competition.