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