Monday, June 21, 2010

Not all feedback on Ipad from me is negative - 'He was wrong about the Ipad and he admits it"

I did buy an iPAd when I was in the US in april for my good friend and former colleague at Bite Group Manju Kesani Manju Linkedin Profile
All I asked him in return (being a super geek guy) was a in depth review on the iPAD. And he has way deliver on my expectations. He was negative before testing the product, but now he is a convert :-) On my side, I am playing with a "rival" tablet that I believe does address some of the current iPAD gaps. In the mean time, please read Manju's assessment. Really interesting one

Manju wrote "I’ve been a gadget guy for a long time.  Any new gadget that comes out, I have to test and play with.  Usually own.   Having tested almost every smart phone and innovative mobile device in the last two years, I tend to be very opinionated and a harsh critic.  This is why when the iPad was first announced, I like many people (including Cristobal), jumped on the bandwagon and became a “doomsayer”, prophesizing the impending demise of this product and potentially Apple itself in the long run…all without even touching the device.  I questioned how many times a single company can keep creating revolutionary devices that change the way we do things?  Surely they must fail at some point…and the iPad felt like it may be it.  Like many,

I reasoned that the backlit screen, weight and battery life should clearly make it inferior to my Kindle for reading books.  And, the lack of a keyboard should make it inferior to my Mac for surfing, word processing or almost anything else.  For the first time I can remember, I really had no desire to own a new gadget.
But, when Cristobal was kind enough to offer to bring me an iPad from the US, my gadget obsession got the better of me and I bought one.  32GB WiFi model (3G model had yet to be released at the time).  Living in Lithuania, without ubiquitous WiFi access, I quickly realized that WiFi only was very limiting.  I wanted to use my iPad everywhere, just like I use my laptop, for which I have a Vodafone Mobile Connect mobile broadband card).  After doing a bit of research, I quickly realized that I could turn several of my phones into mobile WiFi hotspots, using the 3G network and the SIM card from my VMC card.  I currently use both an HTC HD2 and a Nokia E71 as mobile hotspots (Note: the E71 required a 7 piece of software called Joikuspot Premium – which I can easily recommend).  Now that this problem was solved, and I could get both my Mac and iPad online simultaneously, I got on with seriously testing my iPad
My first reaction was surprisingly positive.  I was impressed with the design, interface and functionality but I was (and still am) disappointed with weight (its a bit too heavy) and the difficulty this creates in holding the device for long periods of time.  All in all though, I find myself spending more and more time with my iPad.  To my own surprise it has replaced both my Kindle and Mac for most day-to-day functions.  The small size, ease of use and always-on functionality makes me want to take it with me almost everywhere.
So what do I do with my iPad everyday?
1.    Surf:  The iPad has become my preferred internet surfing device.  Whether I’m laying in bed, sitting on the couch or sitting in a café.  It really is a convenient way to peruse the web
2.    Read the Newspaper:  I love reading the Financial Times on the iPad, using the FT app.  Yes, FT is expensive, and has many VERY annoying limitations (like the inability to share articles with your friends).  But, the fact remains that it is a great way to read the newspaper without getting out of bed in the morning 
3.    Stay Up-to-date with:
a.    the Markets:  The Bloomberg iPad app is great.  It gives me the latest business/market news, currency and stock quotes with a simple, great user interface.
b.    Twitter:  I don’t tweet a lot, but I do follow a number of people/companies on twitter that enrich my life and give me a information which I would not have otherwise gotten.  The twiteriffic app is perfect for this.
4.    Read Books:  I love reading, and the iPad gives me a new way to read my Kindle books using the Kindle iPad app.  While still nowhere near as convenient as my Kindle, the ability to allow me to mult-task on one device more than makes up for its deficiencies as a reader.  Also, it’s nice to read and see pics in color.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, apps like Stanza, iBooks, BN reader and Zinio all give me additional ways of getting and viewing content on my iPad.  I’m no longer linked to one source for all my reading material.  Sorry Amazon.
5.    Take Notes:  I love using Evernote…on all my applications (blackberry, Mac, pc and now iPad).  I like taking notes and always having my notes with me.  In fact, I’ve used a Tablet PC for almost 6 years now.  The iPad+Evernote has effectively replaced my Lenovo Tablet PC + Microsoft One Note.
But there are still drawbacks…
1.    The iPad is a little too heavy to be comfortable holding for long periods of time and a bit slippery (perhaps the design is a little too slick).  I live in constant fear of it slipping out of my hands and watching the beautiful display smash into a thousand pieces.
2.    I agree with Cristobal, from time to time I experience some WiFi issues.  The handover and searching for networks isn’t as smooth as I would expect. This is not too big a problem, and I’m sure that a future software upgrade will fix this.
3.    The lack of support for flash videos is incredibly annoying.  My primary internet device cannot play many of the videos on the web.  Either Apple will have to start supporting flash, or the whole web will need to change.  I’m betting on the latter.
4.    Where is the front facing camera?  I’m disappointed that its not included in the iPad, while the recently announce iPhone 4 will have this functionality.
5.    Price…like it or not, it is still a bit too expensive
I love my iPad.  Its become an indispensible part of my life for all the reasons I mentioned above.  But, for me, most importantly, the iPad has given me a view on the future and two very important trends:
1.  The browser is no longer my primary window to the internet.  My guess is that more and more over time, we will not be reaching for Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome to access the internet.  We’ll be reaching for custom purpose built apps.  Mobile apps are going to continue to grow in leaps and bounds.
2.  Content is evolving from a static form to a more dynamic/interactive form.  The Kindle was revolutionary for its time…it became an iPod for your books.  The Kindle took heavy books, and moved them to a convenient electronic format.  The iPad has gone much much further, it is changing the way content itself is presented.  For those of you with doubts, check out these three apps (which are really books/magazines disguised as apps):
a.    The Elements:  A lot has been said/written about this already.  It truly is amazing
b.    Wired Magazine:  Mags are evolving and Wired was the first one to realize it.
c.    Alice:  Two guys and a vision of taking a classic book and making it more interactive.  They were right it worked.
While these apps are still first generation, and have significant room for improvement, you’ll probably begin to see how content will evolve in the future.

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