iPad thoughts after a few days

Herewith a few of my thoughts about the iPad after living with it for nearly a week:

  • If you only read one review of the iPad, make it this wonderful essay by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball.
  • The KeyNote and Pages apps look beautiful, and work pretty well, but they are going to be useless to me until Apple puts some kind of decent synchronization in place. I don’t care if the iPad is synchronized to the web (via Me.com or iWork.com), or to my desktop (via wifi); it just has to work seamlessly and automatically.
  • We need printing. Via wifi, of course.
  • The most beautiful iPad app is Emerald Observatory.
  • I really need a nice case. As I noted, the Apple-supplied sleeve uses a clingy rubber-like material, which makes it really hard to insert and remove the iPad. (The word “fetish” came up while I was trying to describe it to a Chinese colleague, which provoked an urgent search in my Chinese-English dictionary app!) Right now I’m using the sleeve from my EeePC netbook to protect the iPad, but I need a decent – and attractive – case/stand combo. Twelve South are working on an iPad version of their lovely BookBook cases, but there’s no ETA on that.
  • Right now I mostly use the iPad for web surfing and watching Netflix content. Email is OK, but I’m looking forward to the unified inbox in 4.0. I haven’t found the perfect iPad game, although watching Jim land a 777 at SFO in X-Plane was pretty compelling.
  • I use iPhone apps on the iPad only for convenience, not by choice. At 1x they look odd; at 2x they are too jagged.
  • The future lies in pure iPad apps, that take advantage of Adam Engst’s insight:

    The iPad becomes the app you’re using. That’s part of the magic. The hardware is so understated – it’s just a screen, really – and because you manipulate objects and interface elements so smoothly and directly on the screen, the fact that you’re using an iPad falls away. You’re using the app, whatever it may be, and while you’re doing so, the iPad is that app. Switch to another app and the iPad becomes that app.