The iPad

It’s now been two months in the house with an iPad

The kids think it is a great games platform – so much so that the Nintendo DSi’s have seen less action. However, the bickering about playing with it continues (no, we are not getting more than one…).

SWMBO has discovered that it is great to read her online magazines, to access movie sites, and to go through email (which she did not do to often prior to this). She really likes the “instant on” capability. She does miss Flash support as some of here favourite sites provide Flash content. When will those sites realise that they must bend to Apple’s hegemony (;-)!

As for me, I only get to touch it when everyone is away (the pecking order is SWMBO, kids, and then me)… At least, since I work from home, I get it at lunch. I also really like getting instant access to IMDB when we watch movies. I’m also getting hooked on the ability to read comics…but that’s another topic. One aspect that bugs me, and it has nothing to do with the device, is that many magazine do not offer access to their iPad/iPhone app to their print subscribers – one has to buy a second subscription for the electronic version!

One thing for sure is that it should not be thought of as a computer! It is certainly not as versatile, but it does fill a niche in our household.

Apple’s iPad

It’s been announced. The new revolutionary gizmo from Apple.

Yes, it looks good. Yes, Jobs did his usual spiel to present the new toy. And yes, when I saw the presentation I wanted one.

The good thing for me is that Apple is giving me some time to think. Had it been available at launch, it might have been a less rational, “want” reaction to buy. So I get to cool off a bit.

Now, my feeling is that it is trying to carve itself a niche market. Then again, Apple is typically good at carving niche and generating “want”. I am just not quite sure yet what that niche is… And I do not yet know whether I fit within that niche… There are certainly some very nice aspects to it: in-house portability (it may be easier to use on a couch to look up IMDB information about the movie I’m watching), functionality (all my iPhone apps and more), decorative (an expensive picture frame when not in use), readable (it’ll be easier to read my eBooks on this than on the iPhone), etc. But it will certainly not be a “real” computer replacement (I don’t see myself editing documents or pictures on it).

So does it fit my usage pattern? In some way, yes. But is it worth the price? That is still debatable. And Apple might lower the cost in the near future like it did for the iPhone. If I compare it to a dedicated eBook reader (e.g., Kindle), then this has much more capacity (and colour) for an incremental cost. One of the things I would have liked to see is some memory extensibility (e.g., an SDHC slot). Granted, Apple wants to seel the enhanced hardware, but even my MacBook Pro has an SDHC slot now – and this fits between the iPhone and the MacBook!

So will I buy it? If it were up to me, I would still think for a while. But SWMBO has already decided that this is the device for her, so we will be getting one when it becomes available…

Blogging from iPhone

I found myself looking at apps for the iPhone, and I found one that enabled me to post blog entries over the air. Of course, I had to try it out – and this is it!

I don’t know how flexible it is, or whether I need to enter HTML tags for line breaks. And the keyboard, although still usable, is still slower than a real hardware keyboard. Still, a bit painful…and no apparent integration with Safari.

What do you think? Is blogging from a phone, even the mighty iPhone, a useful thing?