If your main activity is light web browsing and email, the iPad is in your sweet spot. The apps that are made specifically for the iPad are really few in number, so Safari and Mail will likely dominate your use. As the regular readers now, I am a fan of Google docs, which couples with the iPad nicely. Google docs gives me great compatibility with word, excel and powerpoint.
One of the companies I consult with makes extensive use of the “Dropbox” application, which works great on the iPad. Dropbox is a virtual “cloud” drive that easily mounts on a Mac , PC, Android Phone and iPad. It is clearly the most promiscuous and functional file sharing application I have come across.
I would be remiss if I also did not rave about the incredible battery life of the iPad. When I use it as an occasional browsing and email device, I only have to charge it about once a week.
There are, however, a few things that the iPad is not. It is not a device that is meant to be shared amongst friends, family or colleagues. If you use the email app and let someone else borrow your iPad, they have all of your email. If you install an app and then let someone use the iPad and they also install apps, you will need each others iTunes credentials to enter into the iPad when those apps have updates. The iPad I have been using has been passed between three users. I can only update the apps that I installed. So scratch multiuser friendliness for now.
If you want to watch a show from a network site…. fail
If you want to use your HBOGO subscription….. fail
If you want to play your favorite game on Facebook….fail.
Anything with Flash…..epic fail.
Speaking as a user and developer on the iPad, I view this as a major Faux Pas. I know you can download video from the Net, convert it to an iPad supported format and load it via iTunes, but that’s really beyond most users capabilities and completely misses the point of a Net connected device.
If there were a competitive Android Tablet device on the market that compared head to head with the iPad, I would get the Android version just for the Flash Support. When I now want to watch a web videoon the go , I use my Droid smartphone because of the Flash Support.
This would be like developing a PC that only supports one browser. Even Microsoft in its most Machiavellian days permitted other browsers to be installed within its operating system. I wish I could say this was anything other than Apple trying to drive all video for the iPad to be within apps and iTunes. The Apple Flash policy is pure, raw monopolistic power being wielded, clear and simple. To call it anything else is just poor technical rationalization. Apple used to be the underdog, the company of the people. Oh well.
(Click Here for Jon Stewart’s take on Apple’s Corporate Aggressiveness – funny)
This is a real shame because the iPad could be a super personal video device. And yes, I know that there are videos available on iTunes and special built video apps, but the world is bigger than iTunes, and a Net connected browsing device should be compatible, with the Net! (End of Rant)
The next question is will I miss not having an iPad in my electronic arsenal? In this case I am probably very unique among iPad users. How many give up there iPad after a month?
My iPad has been useful in business travel and meetings . Somehow I managed to survive travel and meetings without this wonder device in the past and I bet I will be just fine without it. I just won’t look as cool!
If I suffer severe withdrawal symptoms I will let you know!