One month with an iPad; some thoughts

I’m two days shy of my first month with my 32GB 3G/WiFi iPad, and it’s time that I take a moment and jot down my thoughts about it so far. On band­width. Frankly I’m rather sur­prised at my band­width usage. My iPad is with me every­where, every day. I use it to keep in touch with…

I’m two days shy of my first month with my 32GB 3G/WiFi iPad, and it’s time that I take a moment and jot down my thoughts about it so far.

On band­width.
Frankly I’m rather sur­prised at my band­width usage. My iPad is with me every­where, every day. I use it to keep in touch with my team­mates at Empire Aven­ue, update per­son­al email, and surf for con­tent for my blogs.

Admit­tedly, I do try and find free WiFi spots first to con­nect to first, but fail­ing that, I’ve switched to 3G  to hook up. And with this daily use, I’ve still only used 12 of my 250mb band­width allocation.

True, I’m not doing a lot of stream­ing video, nor using Skype to con­duct VOIP calls (when I can avoid it), but still, I thought I was using more.

On usab­il­ity.
One week after acquir­ing my iPad, I bought an Apple bluetooth key­board. I do a lot of writ­ing, and while the touch pad key­board is func­tion­al, I find typ­ing on it less prefer­able than using a real key­board that provides tact­ile feed­back, is not phys­ic­ally attached to the screen, doesn’t take up screen realestate, and is a bit lar­ger than the onscreen keyboard.

When writ­ing, I often use my Gor­illa Pod tri­pod as an iPad stand. Since the tri­pod is always with me any­way, it seems redund­ant to get a ‘spe­cial stand’. This also lets me adjust the angle to avoid glare, and adjust the dis­tance from the key­board — some­thing Apple’s iPad key­board dock doesn’t allow.

Bat­tery life is great. I rarely get below 50%, and have to make a con­scious effort to get it below 20%. It does take a while to fully charge back up — I usu­ally leave it overnight.

On func­tion­al­ity I.
The iPad doesn’t replace a com­puter, not even a net­book. It comes close in many ways, but for me, it can’t. This has to do with the iPad’s inab­il­ity to multi-task (cur­rently, though I believe there’s an update in the pipe that may enable multi-tasking).

For many things this isn’t a prob­lem, until I need to switch out of one applic­a­tion into to col­lect new data, look up a ref­er­ence, or do a bit of research. Clos­ing out of the app. and launch­ing the new one is old­school, and slow. Much prefer the abil­ity to just switch to the oth­er app, and back again.

And, since I do a lot of my work online, hav­ing mul­tiple online applic­a­tions run­ning at once is my nor­mal state of operation.

I *want* the iPad to replace my laptop/netbook, but so far, it can’t.

On Func­tion­al­ity II.
iPad is really a whole new class of device, one that’s geared for cas­u­al con­tent cre­ation and media con­sump­tion. With a real key­board, it’s great for tak­ing notes in meet­ings. With the large bright screen, it’s also great to dis­play pho­tos / videos and present­a­tions in small groups. It’s also an awe­some per­son­al media centre; much bet­ter to watch a movie on than an iPhone 🙂

On applic­a­tions
Actu­ally, I’m not going to write about apps today. There are so many good ones out there, and so many dif­fer­ent needs that a dis­cus­sion of the apps I use is fod­der for a future post. And I don’t think I’ve giv­en the apps out there a fair chance yet. So, if there’s some­thing you’d like me to take a look at on the iPad, let me know, and I’ll see if I can take a look at them. And yes, there will be a future post on my iPad apps. Stay tuned.

This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.


4 responses to “One month with an iPad; some thoughts”

  1. Martin Fourie Avatar

    Hi Brad,

    Thanks for a top post. Guess your opin­ion has been changed slightly by the arrival of multitasking?



    1. Brad Grier Avatar

      Hi Mar­tin, thanks for stop­ping by. Actu­ally, I’ve not really noticed it as much as I thought I would. Apps run­ning in back­ground could con­sume band­width, and I try to watch how much I use when con­nec­ted to the 3G network 🙂

  2. Lloyd Wiebe Avatar
    Lloyd Wiebe

    Hey Brad, just stopped by to read your thoughts on the IPAD. I’ve had mine since the week they came out. (Wife bought me one when I was in the hos­pit­al for the heart sur­gery) I’m a way big­ger fan obvi­ously than you are, of course, I’m not doing the same things with mine that you are. I’m read­ing, books, com­ics. I’m watch­ing movies, and play­ing games on mine. I love the bat­tery life, I’m really happy with the res­ol­u­tion, and with the apps I use, for Real Estate and mort­gage cal­cu­la­tions, I’m very pleased. Don’t type on it much, and when I do I’m using the touch keyboard. 

    Any­way, keep up the work… ttyl.

  3. Brad Grier Avatar

    Hey Lloyd, thanks for stop­ping by.

    Actu­ally, since I pos­ted this I’ve become and iPad-fan­boi. Once it got Drop­Box integ­ra­tion, and a few very ima­gin­at­ive apps, this little device has not left my side very often.

    A good eRead­er (I still prefer the Kobo), great at photo edit­ing, good at web surf­ing, music, writ­ing, etc.

    And games, oh yes, games 🙂

    Have you tried out the Air Video app? awe­some way to share movies from your home sys­tem to your iDevice seamlessly.

    Too much fun 🙂

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