A while back I posted that I would buy an iPad when I found a very specific type of app for it. Well I found that app thanks to the comments on the blog post and I’ve had my iPad for about 24 hours now. I’ve downloaded apps, and played games. I’ve watched movies from my Netflix account. I’ve checked email, I’ve used IRC and Twitter to communicate with my team while my laptop was going through 20 hours of CheckDisk (no joke on the 20 hours)… and I’m going to return the iPad. It’s not worth $600.
The apps are the undeniable killer part of an iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad. Without the apps, it’s hard to say the device is worth anything. Apple has certainly created a culture around the apps and it shows. There are some amazing apps out there and they can do some great things. You can’t deny the quality and quantity of apps that are available.
If your wondering what app I bought to solve my problem previously stated: Air Sketch by Qrayon. It really is a great app and it does provide a solution for the needs I stated. If you are looking for a way to solve your distributed team collaboration needs by replacing a whiteboard with a virtual whiteboard, then an iPad and Air Sketch should be on your short of things to try. It really does work.
The hardware is also really nice. It’s solid. It’s easy to handle. It’s intuitive to use the controls on the device. It’s really well made and anyone who owned any Apple device (prior to iPhone 4) can tell you that this is what you expect. I have a Macbook Pro and an older iPod video. Both of these are well made, and I expected nothing less with the iPad. I was not dissapointed. The screen is also nice. Good resolution, great brightness and contrast. It makes the apps look great. The overall performance of the device is really good as well. Overall, it’s just a good piece of hardware.
Netflix streaming is awesome!
The Kindle App is great! … I’ve got a Kindle DX already. The benefit of the iPad is that you get a backlit screen and it’s color.
Everything else… well, ok… what’s left? Not a whole lot, honestly…
No multi-tasking. This one really drives me nuts with the iPad. I know a lot of you don’t care about this and don’t notice it. I believe that’s because you’re used to it with the iPhone (prior to iOS4). There is no iOS4 for iPad… at least not until later this year, which will likely see the announcement of new iPad hardware anyways. Coming from the world of Android, though, I do notice this. I can’t stand the single-task nature of the iPad. I had my IRC set up for work while my laptop was on the fritz, but I had to constantly re-open the app every time i wanted to know what was going on with my team. Forget that… I paid $5 for Android IRC on my Droid and turned on background notifications so I could receive messages even while running Skype Mobile. Yes, I do use multi-tasking on my Droid… just about every day. Why can’t I get IRC notices, twitter updates, play Pandora radio in the background and track my movement via GPS all at once? Oh wait, I can. My Droid does this for me every time I go out jogging or bike riding. :)
Yes, Netflix streaming is awesome… but i’m not going to spend $ every month on a 3G connection for this… i didn’t even buy the 3G iPad. I bought the wifi version. Sure, I could tether the iPad to my phone when I’m on the go, but what’s the point of that? I’ll bring my laptop, tether that, and have so much more. If i’m at home, I’m going to watch netflix on my PS3 (in much higher resolution than the iPad) or on my Laptop (again, much higher resolution)… so yeah… netflix is awesome if you’re on the go and have 3G or a tether… no thanks. not worth the $.
Yes, the kindle app is great! it really is… but I don’t care about backlight or color that much. I don’t read in dark places, and I have yet to need color on the device when I can open my PC and read / see the color version of what I’m reading. I’ll keep my Kindle. I love that device.
The Verdict: Not For me.
I have a Motorola Droid for my phone, and quite honestly it fits my life and my needs better than the iPad does. The things that I love about the iPad i also love about the Droid. Sure, the apps are not as numerous and it’s hard to find the same quality at times… but I don’t use that many apps… I’m not a casual gaming addict… I have a handful of games and I play them on occasion, but it’s not that big of a deal to have slightly lesser games. The ones I have are great.
I am a social media addict – twitter, facebook, etc. That being the case, I want a device that will keep me up to date when I’m on the go without me having to manually check in on things. My Droid gives me that. The background checking and multi-tasking capabilities of Android are what I need… and if I already have that fix being filled, why would I need another device that can’t fit in my pocket or give me that fix?
The iPad is a multi-media and entertainment powerhouse, and this device does not fit into my life. It is not worth the $ I spent and I want my $ back. I’d much rather have a new road bicycle to help me continue getting back into shape – something I’ll use for years to come – than a first generation multi-media buzz-worthy hunk of technology that will be outdated in 6 months or less.
The iPad solved the problem that I originally stated. No really… it did… but at a price that isn’t worth it, in my opinion. I expected to be wow’d on many fronts and I was wow’s on some of them. I expected a lot from the iPad, and I was given a little. I expected it to replace my netbook that the wife carries around the house … it probably could, except she uses it to play facebook games… *ahem* Flash, anyone? I expected the iPad to fill a void in my digital life and ultimately, it only reminded me why I bought a Droid and a Kindle – both of which fit my digital life perfectly.
Bye bye iPad. I wish I hadn’t spent the $ on you and I hope I can get a full refund from Apple.