Thursday, April 21, 2011

iPad2 1 week on

MyPad The inevitable review.  Mostly, I love it, with the following caveats.

The first thing I noticed when I turned it on was the screen resolution, which doesn't compare well with the iPhone4 - don't buy an iPad just as an eBook reader. I wanted a handheld computer, and at that the iPad excels. eBooks are just a bonus. I'm ashamed to admit I've never read The Great Gatsby, so I've loaded it into Stanza - my favourite eBook reader - and I'll be reading it over Easter.

I bought the magic cover and fitted a cheapo screen protector. Both make me feel happier but neither has been a life-changing experience. The screen protector reduces glare from the shiny screen slightly so makes it easier to use in bright light (iPad no good outdoors during the daytime folks, it's not an eBook reader, I said it again) - and will get better as it becomes more matte with use.

The cameras are not as bad as I expected them to be - perfectly adequate for a device of this sort. Again, don't buy an iPad as a camera. The battery life is, at present, disappointing - not as long as the stories I heard. Maybe I have a poor battery, maybe it's not fully conditioned yet (although I have cycled it fully), or maybe the power of the iPad 2 drains it faster than the previous model.

Games: I don't do games.

The version of Safari is incompatible with Blogger, which is a pain. But Atomic web browser is a revelation - this is the best app I have found so far, a fully-fledged tabbed browser. Come on Apple, pull your finger out. Blackboard Gradecenter only partially compatible with Safari or Atomic. Boo hoo. Other than that, Apps mostly suck. I just use saved web pages from the desktop.


Now we get to the interesting stuff. Flipboard is the real revelation - as novel a format as everyone says it is. Flipboard-like services are clearly the future but I'm particularly struck by the difference between reading on this device and in print. These services work best on noisy sources - Twitter Facebook, etc. Finally a use for twitter lists (I normally filter services heavily to reduce the noise). Flipboard provides noise reduction without diversity reduction, so I've made some custom lists to cram more diversity into app and overcome the limitations imposed by the makers (What The Papers Say; Long List of Leicester).

Is Flipboard a new paradigm? Not quite, but close. I'd happily pay for Flipboard with more tiles, RSS support and an integrated activity stream view. Zite is very similar at first sight but has it's own subtly different attributes. I can see these two slugging it out for some time to come. Expect to read more about them here.


  1. You've got to be using dropbox to get PDFs into a reading program, right?
    Also it certainly speeds up a game of RISK with kids!!
    Instapaper is handy too.

  2. I've tried hard to love Instapaper (and Evernote) - but failed. They're just destinations I don't visit. The Google reader note facility works much better for me.
    I know I should use Dropbox more, but I struggle with that too. I think I have trust issues.

  3. Google Docs is my choice, but the PlainText app has a nice interface and is Dropbox-enabled.