I’ve now had my iPad for 10 days and spent $10 setting it up to be functional. Or $610 if you count the iPad itself and the case.
Why I bought the iPad
I wanted to be able to read technical documents from the park. The files could be PDFs, ZIP or HTML. I will have many other uses for it as time goes on. And already have – like checking my twitter and my e-mail from the couch! My experiences so far have been mostly around being able to accomplish the original goal though.
What applications I downloaded right away
- GoodReader $0.99 – A much better PDF reader than the built in one. Turning pages is harder than it needs to be, but the GoodReader team is working on a fix.
- iUnarchive $2.99 – To unzip files. Works exactly as one would expect.
- DropBox free – A great way to get files from your computer to the iPad. Just drop them in a folder on “main computer” and download from the iPad. Only trick is to remember to choose as favorite so available offline on the iPad.
- Twitterrific $4.99 (ad supported version is free) – Twitter client. The cute tweet noise for new tweets will get old fast. I’ll turn that off once I get tired of it’s cuteness.
Total – $9.76
Thanks to my friends at JavaRanch for recommending these (and more applications) to greatly cut down on research time.
What I learned
A few “less than obvious” things I learned in the first 10 days:
- Double tap to see menu when GoodReader in full screen mode
- I still need to figure how to take notes while reading
I was surprised by how little setup I had to do to get up and running. I was able to create my iTunes account and activate in the Apple store so I didn’t need to waste time downloading it at home. The only setting change I made was to password protect the iPad.
Speaking of the Apple store, it was a little odd that on Wednesday they told me there was a wait list and they couldn’t possibly estimate how long it was. (implying weeks/months.) The following day, I got a call my iPad was there.
Finally – my impressions
- The iPad is great. It lets me read PDFs and zip files of text or Java code outside away from my laptop. (It’s awkward using a laptop outside.) I had no problem reading outside. Even in the sun, I used the iPad case as a sun visor to protect the screen.
- I still need to find out if there is a way to easily take notes while reading. Not just PDFs, but any application. It’s a pain when looking at a zipped file because it doesn’t retain where you are when you get back. I’ve resorted to paper.
- I haven’t missed the 3g I decided not to get one bit. A surprisingly large number of places have free wifi. And DropBox caches my documents for offline use very well.
- I can touch type alphabetic text on the iPad! I type about twice as slow on the iPad than on a real computer. But that’s much better than my hunt and peck speed!
- Special characters like the pipe are hidden well. To get to them, you have to choose the numeric keyboard (obvious) and then the “#+=” button (not obvious)
- I have a lot more to explore. I am happy with the iPad meeting my initial purposes and looking forward to it meeting even more.