I am writing this whole post from my new 3G+WiFi iPad using the WordPress app. Who says you can’t create content with these things?
The app is pretty good, though it could use a WYSIWYG interface. Formatting links and text is sort of a pain, but then again I was surprised WP even had an iPad app so quickly, so maybe the limitations are due to them just getting something out.
I played with the WiFi version at the Apple Store, but I spent about 6 hours with this thing tonight. Immediate things that jump out with the luxury of time:
E-mail is real nice on this thing, much better than the iPhone. I like the flat design, where you can see your inbox and the called up message in one pane.
The A/V is sweet. Great screen quality and robust speakers. Resolution on pictures and video is eye-popping, far better than a computer. I streamed a couple ballgames using the excellent MLB app (more on this in a second) and got uninterrupted viewing at HD quality. Amazing.
Any app that uses Web browsing within its interface (i.e. not using Safari) better put out an iPad app quickly or they are toast. If there is no iPad version it loads at iPhone size and you can blow it up, but it usually pixelates. That works ok at times for the app itself, but it kills Web pages and often makes them hard to view.
Students love it. I have let about 15 students tool around on the thing for a while. Some were skeptical of it before using, but I have yet to find a user who doesn’t love it after trying it. Better, they generally see a use for it that either is unique or inadequately filled by a device they already have. I think this thing is going to be a hit for students once the textbook market revs up in the iBook store.
My own media habits are changing. Pre-iPad, I often had my laptop out in the living room with me for media browsing (quick email checks, news, looking up things on IMDB). Now I barely pull it out, and I don’t miss it. If I need more computing power or things for work, I use the laptop. But that’s what it’s for. Regular surfing for info or quick looks is easily filled by the iPad. The laptop was always clunky for around-the-house stuff, and the iPad has simplified my life a lot. Not once have I found myself wishing i could plug in a USB drive.
Favorite app: MLB At Bat, and it’s not even close. Especially with MLB.tv streaming games. A really nice way to watch a game. Pitch speeds and types, player stats, live video, and all kinds of info at your fingertips.
Unexpectedly cool app: Star Walk, which uses GPS and the compass functions to locate constellations and planets in the sky. Really cool for star gazers or space lovers like myself. Awesome app.
Other apps: I’m looking forward to checking out the magazines on this such as Vanity Fair (not a magazine I normally read; I feel I should point this out). Twitteriffic is probably my favorite Twitter client on there, but Tweetdeck is nice too.
Overall my sense of this device is unchanged: If you understand what it is and is not, you’ll love it. Most of the critiques I read are from programming and architecture enthusiasts. Their criticisms are valid and usually true, but it’s a mistake to think these views match the general perspective. So I think public perception of the iPad depends largely on how Apple sells this thing. It can’t market it as a computer, but if it sells the value of a niche device then it has a hit on its hands. The experience is that good.