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Old 07-27-2010, 07:16 AM   #1
jackau
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an Ipad review

My (semi biased) Ipad review

When ipad was first announced by Apple Inc, I, like many in the IT industry, did not ‘get it’, so I ridiculed it as ibad. However, I recognised the potential ipad would have in various specialist industries, especially educational.
After owning a 3G model for over a month, I think I ‘get it’. However, I will retain the nick name, IBAD, standing for Internet & Basic Applications Device.
To sum up the way I feel about IBAD: it is a computing device that is the jack of all trades but master of none.
The Praises and highlights:
Overall Design
iPad consists a 9.7 inch wide view angle LCD screen with iphone’s hardware inside, married with bigger battery. Anyone who has seen a netbook (mini laptop) can project what the Ipad is like: The LCD screen’s size is half of the netbook.
The weight of the device is about equal to a thousand page hardback novel at 730g, it was just right for most adults to hold.
The hardware design is neither magical nor revolutionary. Chinese IT makers have put out LCD photo frames with about the same screen size for watching videos, long before ipad was announced.
However, the device form factor has never seen a device with a user interface as refined as the iphone OS with the range of applications written for it.
Ease of use
The most outstanding feature of the device is the iOS. This operating system is a dump down version of apple’s desktop and notebook operation system Mac OS. It has the best finger gesture operated user interface to date.
Gone is the complicated learning curve of the Windows / Linux (even Mac) user interface. Users of the ipad simply use one to three fingers to control the device. Unlike Windows , Linux or Mac OS included, there aren’t multiple ways to do the same task, so it is simple and straight forward. Anyone can master the device quickly. There is no need to select storage drives, no confusing installation process. It is , all straight forward with few grey areas.
Net Simplified
iOS is also relatively easy to program for. The tens of thousands of apps created within 3 years speaks for itself.
App designers are encouraged to build their apps to do one thing / task simple and fast unlike Windows software that aims to do a lot at the same time. So you have one application to view the football match scores, another the stock market, not one that can do both. Users do not need to fire up web browsers then type in the page link, then find the right icon to get what they want. Most apps gets the users where they want with far fewer hassles.
Except for centric cell-phone and GPS provided functions, the data harvested via the Apps can be found online using all existing computer systems. The trade offs are computer skills and knowledge plus time. Therefore, a great number of the Apps can be seen as glorified bookmarks or fast track short-cuts to the information over the net. Apps take away the search process making accessing info comparable to fast food.
With specialised simple software and an easy interface, iOS has made the net simplified.
Content galore
The claim of over 200,000 apps is not an exaggeration. There are indeed thousands of apps in the market, all one needs to do is to look for them. Through these apps users can discover the mighty vault of information known as World Wide Web …
Possible usage
This device can be used in various ways:
• as photo frame,
• e-book reader,
• pdf reader,
• handy web browser
• Social network platform (facebook twitter)
• Email / Instant messaging hub
• Scheduler / Daily for work or home
• Media player (movie or music)
• Casual Gaming system
• GPS (with 3G version)
• Electronic Menu

However, it isn’t all rosy. By giving the goodies with one hand Apple has removed with another hand a lot of freedom computer systems had inbuilt for decades. To ensure the user follows their rules, the Apple rules. The spin is: Apple is one big happy family, Steve Jobs is the all respected great father, customers are the kids, they play by the (Steve’s) rule, and only that way is safe and happy.


Drawbacks
Ever since Mr Steve Jobs, (or iSteve as I prefer to refer to him) returned to Apple, the company has begun on a path of building a rosy dictatorship for its fans and users with their products…
Apple’s mindset is: We’ve got these unique products. If you use them, it can make you happy: simply play by my rules. ‘I’ will keep it simple and easy for you. All you need to do is hand over the money.
Let’s get to some examples of actual drawbacks of the mighty ipad:
Restrictive Design
• Restrictions, is the best word to sum up the ipad flaws. Compared to a computer system, limitations are everywhere!
• The worst sin of them all is that users can’t freely load content onto the ipad itself. The user has to have an Itune account bundled with a credit card to activate the ipad. The limited ranges of contents are to be loaded to the ipad via syntonisation through itunes. On top of that, the user can ONLY load content from one computer. This means if you plug an ipad to another computer, it won’t copy data to that 2nd computer and neither can the 2nd computer copy data over to your ipad. Users risk wiping everything on the ipad if the sync button is pressed!
• Users must have a copy of content stay in their computer used to sync with the ipad. If that content is moved to other storage mediums, an updated sync would delete that item off the ipad!!
• Unless hacked, users can only download and install apps from Apple.

Limited media type support
• The Ipad only supports media formats strictly controlled by Apple. Therefore users must convert media types freely and openly available across the internet to the very format. Conversion of media like movies would take up to hours on average computers.
• Some file types cannot be shared between applications. For example, documents loaded for one app can’t be accessed by another app. Users have to load multiple copies of the same file to the ipad for different apps!
• This limited support extends to ipad’s online browser, where it does not support the popular Flash animation effect overlay application, therefore handicapping the device’s ability as a web surfing device.

Close Hardware
• Ipad users can‘t extend the storage memory in any form, because if they could, Apple would not be able sell the 64GB model which costs them a mere 25 US dollars more in raw material but retails for 200 AUD more!
• No USB support. The ipad has a 39 AUD adaptor for SD card and USB port but it can’t use non apple USB devices besides digital cameras. Users can not copy items other than photos to the ipad via these adaptors.
• Removal of a video talk camera and gyroscope from the final release product, both features that were first introduced in Iphone 4. The unused circuit board slots are proof. There is no question, they were in the original design. The reason for this: because if they put them in the first version, there won’t be much new stuff for the follow up ipad2!

Form factor limitation
• The Ipad and iphone plus the smart phones with touch screens are not contend creation and productivity device.
• They are not designed to be used this way. Any calls or attempts to sell these devices as a computer is dishonest to customers.
• Even with ipad’s larger screen, typing on it is mistake laden. As a person able to touch type quickly on keyboard, I can barely manage a few words before funny mistakes being made. Using it to type a few lines on Facebook or Twitter is fine; instant messaging and short email is functional, but tasks such as typing this review are better handled on a proper computer.
• Apple has released two forms of keyboard for users to type properly but such items increase the cost, taking away the device’s mobility advantage. It is clear the device is good for simple interactions, not producing content for work or leisure (a proper chat should be handled on a device with a keyboard!)
Semi Multitasking
Users can listen to music, or the radio whilst using the device, but in reality, the device is not powerful enough to have true multi tasking like a netbook. The multitask upgraded iOS 4 multitasks by freezing some of the applications in the background not running them in parallel. However, there would be no problem in doing only one thing at a time, if it did them well.

Negative Bias
• These restrictions aim to do only one thing: make the maximum profit from customers. Customers must purchase from the itune store since only those contents can be played quickly and accessed smoothly by the device.
• Compare the Windows platform with the iOS platform: one can’t help but find the same antitrust, monopolistic behaviour that Microsoft was accused of , now sugar coated and juiced up with coolness by Apple…
• Apple even claims these restrictions are advantages. Since users must follow their system and not any other, and play by their rules, they will be protected from threats found in an open system. Therefore, users should be happy as this is the best way for them: the catch is ‘hand in the money’.
• The success of Apple’s range of restrictive devices may have demonstrated that some of us are indeed willing to surrender our freedom to happily embrace dictatorship.

Who should use the pad?
Students
The restrictive nature of the device would restrict them to using the device for positive purposes like reading text books or working on interactive lessons.
The less IT literate but net curious crowd
There is still a large number of pre-IT era customers out there who find Windows / Mac computer devices a little hard to handle but who would love to experience the internet. The ipad is a wonderful way to access the net.
Business travellers
The pad appeals to customers who want the net with them, a good electronic diary handy, and the ability to pack important pdf and slideshows for quick demos and reference checks. (To disturb physical copies from the ipad is impossible; there is no Bluetooth file transfer!)
The book lover
Book readers, who support the system and buy books off the net, don’t mind the long eye strain backlight LCDs may have on their eyes. (E-paper is a better choice for eye protection)
The casual gamer
The ipad has been steadily developed into a gaming device. There are wonderful games developed or in development for it, BUT, for every good game, there are at least a dozen copycat clones not worth the price tag!
IT gadget guy
Those like me who work in the industry and have the spare cash to give it a spin, can always write some apps in their spare time to make the investment back…

Various industries
The form factor’s industry potential is enormous. I can imagine engineers with a 15 inch model ipad like device; weight about 1KG, loaded with engineering documents, able to make corrections with his finger at the work site….
Logistics personnel with one and a scanner going over inventories, with photo display to match what they scan…

Final Score:
iFruit Fan (Apple diehard): 10/10 (Thou must worshiped)
Rich school Students: 7/10 (Cool and show off factor)
University students: 8/10 (3G handy web access, great PDF viewer)
The IT illiterate but net curious crowd: 10/10 (No better device until Apple rival s android OS devices come of age)
IT people with spare $: 7/10 (Get one, take it apart, hack it, do everything Apple don’t want to be done on it, then hand it to the cousin or son…)
Business owner with imagination: 10/10 (Bossy! Good boss can find a use for it.)
Those who think it is a computer and can be used as one: 1/10 (even you buy the keyboard…It is NOT a computer! You will regret it! Get a netbook or decent laptop instead.)
Anyone who already has a working computer: 6/10 (good to have but not must have.)


Ipad as E-reader: 7/10 [ Its screen technology and weight not good for long term reading, Does not recommend for IT industry readers whom use monitors over 8 hours a day. ]


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Old 07-27-2010, 07:29 AM   #2
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I'm not going to go through this in detail, but the following are clearly false:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackau View Post
On top of that, the user can ONLY load content from one computer.
False.
Choose manually manage music and video and you can load them from any PC.
Use the App file transfer section to transfer other content from any PC.

Quote:
• Users must have a copy of content stay in their computer used to sync with the ipad.
False.
a) It is only true for music/video, not other content.
b) It is false anyway, if you are using manually manage content.


Quote:
Negative Bias
Indeed.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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This "review" is too long and pointless..... and flat out inaccurate.....

The writer would be well served to go to http://www.apple.com/support/ipad/ and http://www.apple.com/support/itunes and learn to use the products.....
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:48 AM   #4
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What a terribly negative and inaccurate review. It's so full of errors that I really can't be bothered to point them all out.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
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What a terribly negative and inaccurate review. It's so full of errors that I really can't be bothered to point them all out.
True... I thought of going through the thing and adding to Murreypauls list of errors... but it is really not worth the effort. It's not like inaccurate information is anything new on the internet ... .......If Jackau is meaning this as a sincere review, he really needs to learn how to use it before he reviews it.

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:10 AM   #6
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you lost me with you first sentence.. "ibad" should refer to to the reviewer.. the "review" certainly was bad.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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Not just inaccurate, but also unnecessary. Yet another (I hesitate to call this a) review adds nothing new to such a wide body of previous reviews.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:59 AM   #8
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a bunch of inaccurate blabla. probably never even touched an ipad. let alone use it...
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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I do think the reviewer makes one good point that folks should be aware of. The very thing that makes the iPad simple to use -- also limits it. It is not a general use computer LIKE a Mac or a PC. It is a computer -- and it COULD be a lot of things we are all used to with computers. However, it is aimed at those who would like a computing appliance -- not a general computer.

As such it both ROCKS....and SUCKS. I'm an IT professional -- I'm used to having lots of control with my computers. The fact that I can't just connect the ipad and manage the files without iTunes is certainly limiting.

However, I love it as an appliance. It does the many things it does do -- very well. Reading, email, apps, games, web browsing.

I do hope in time that Apple matures it to have more control options for it's users who aren't confused by file systems and the like.

In the mean time -- I use it for what it is and am very happy with it. We are soon going to be inundated with good quality Android competition. Those who like more control and options -- and with it more confusion -- can get an Android device.

I'm happy with my choice but in a couple years when it's time to replace my iPad -- I'll certainly weigh the options.

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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i've said this before and i'll say it again.. what do you want to do (as far as an action) that you can't? you're right, the ipad isn't a general purpose computer, but apple is right, pretty much anything i want to do "there is an app for that."
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #11
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Trolltastic.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #12
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I found the review quite helpful. Thanks!!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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I found the review quite helpful. Thanks!!!
IMHO disinformation is never helpful... it only deceives....
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:10 PM   #14
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Weird. All the iPad users who've posted here read this as a negative review. I don't have an iPad but thought the tone of the review was generally positive.

Look at the OP's final scores, all are 60% up to 100%, i.e. positive, except for the one supporting his clear point that the iPad is not a workhorse content creation device, a view that's certainly supported by many other industry analysts.

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Old 07-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #15
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well, besides the fact that he starts out slamming the device calling it an "ibad" he has technically inaccurate information.

1. iOS is not a "dump down version of apple's desktop" as both run BSD based OS X.
2. You are free to load any content you want, and you don't need iTunes to do it. Many applications like GoodReader can both download from the web directly, run their own WebDAV servers and have content uploaded or be accessed by side loading apps.
3. Usable media formats are not "strictly controlled by Apple." Apple has no control over MP3 files, nor the MPEG-4 format used for video.
4. Many USB devices have been found to work fine with the "camera connection kit" (I even posted a review including such information on here, nevermind the many articles on the web). While not officially supported you can use various keyboards, audio equipment, even hard drives. You can also import Video, not just Photos.
5. He makes claims of removed video cameras and a gyroscope, "both first introduced in the Iphone 4." This statement makes no sense as the iPhone was introduced in June, the iPad was announced in January. These features were not removed as they never existed in the iPad.
6. "The Ipad and iphone plus the smart phones with touch screens are not contend creation and productivity device." Never mind the fact that this statement makes little sense, I think the millions of people who create word processing documents, edit photos, draw amazing pictures, create presentations, musical scores, and more would beg to differ that you can't create content nor be productive with an iOS device.

I could keep going, but there isn't much point. I really don't understand what the "reviewer" was trying to say with this whole document. It was difficult to read, had incoherent statements, and many inaccuracies.

It really wasn't much a "review" as it was a "ramble."
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