Feeds

Fanboi's lament – falling out of love with the iPad

Newtonian affair grows cold

Top three mobile application threats

Comment As the iPad goes on sale in the UK (and eight other countries), I've had my own "magical and revolutionary" Apple tablet for exactly 56 days. And I'm using it less and less each day.

My fading relationship with my iPad reminds me of a long-ago college fling with a young lovely. High anticipation, fervent consummation, growing familiarization, decreasing fascination, and the inevitable: "No, hon, it's not you. It's me."

Which is the line you use even when you're pretty damn sure that it is indeed her.

Full disclosure: I write this as a fervent fanboi who has used Macs since literally the first day that the original Macintosh 128k became available in 1984. I've partnered with and enjoyed PowerBooks, Quadras, Performas, iMacs, Power Macs, MacBooks, Mac Pros, and iPhones — even a Newton.

But of all of those Apple products, it's my whirlwind affair with the Newton that most reminds me of my first 56 days with my iPad.

With the Newton, as with the iPad, I eagerly anticipated its release, and bagged one as soon as I could. I took it on business trips for note-taking and email, had no problems with its much-maligned handwriting recognition, and even played the occasional game on it.

But after the first blush of novelty wore off, the Newton's flaws asserted themselves: small display, unpocketable bulk, non-standard file system, and so on. I found myself spending less and less time with it, and soon returned to my previous partner, my trusty PowerBook 170.

So it has been with the iPad. I've taken it on business trips for note-taking and email, have had no problems with its much-maligned keyboard, and even play the occasional game. But I'm spending less and less time with it. As a fanboi, I'd like to say that the jury is still out, but I'm afraid that the most important evidence — that I'm less frequently using the li'l guy for either business or pleasure — is in. My iPad is clearly moving into Newtonian territory.

Not that the iPad is a steaming turd, as many rabid Apple-bashers like to fulminate. Nor is it a useless toy. For example, it's been a helpful business partner in meetings and interviews due to its abilities as an unobtrusive, silent note-taker with no display to get between me and my interview subject. What's more, Apple's well-engineered $39 iPad Case holds the iPad at the perfect typing angle.

The iPad's instant-on capability makes it more of an impulse-satisfier than a laptop could ever be. I can, for example, quickly check MLB.com's At Bat 2010 for iPad at any time to find out how badly the San Francisco Giants are losing.

Apple may have left out a good deal of functionality in iPad 1.0, but there are apps available to provide some of its missing capabilities. Air Sharing HD ($9.99), for example, provides a usable file system and enables printing by way of wireless printer-sharing (Mac OS X or Linux only).

The iPad's battery life is truly impressive, although charging it is a bit of a pain. Since it requires more power than an iPhone or iPod, not all Macs, PCs, and USB hubs can charge it when it's awake. However, nearly all can charge it — slowly — when it's asleep. When it's hooked up to a low-power port you'll see a Not Charging notification when it's awake, but you obviously can't see any notification when it's asleep — a mild annoyance that Macworld refers to as the modern-day equivalent of "Does the refrigerator light stay on when I close the door?"

Then there's the matter of web access, supposedly way up the list in the iPad's raisons d'être. Surfing with your iPad while comfortably ensconced on your couch is all well and good, but the lack of tabs in the iPad's Safari browser makes doing so a less-useful experience than it could be. And although the iPad's 9.7-inch display is a vast improvement over the iPhone's minuscule window on the web, browsing on a full-fledged Mac or PC display is still a better experience.

Maybe I'm just spoiled — I have a 20-inch display hooked up to both of my Macs, one at home, one at work. Or maybe computer-based browsing is simply better.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.