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6 Weeks With The Apple iPad

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Behold the iPad in All Its Glory.

Image via Wikipedia

2011-01-29

It has been approximately 6 weeks since I acquired my new Apple iPad. During this week I have developed a love-hate relationship with my new 16GB WiFi-only iPad. I love my iPad for its simplicity and easiness of use. I can access my emails, I can write emails from any of my 4 email accounts and am able to access the World Wide Web anywhere where I have WiFi access. I found a great free App that lets me track my hours and expenses easily while on the road or in the air visiting clients. It is easy to carry around and does not weigh much. The battery lasts forever (around 10 hours)

BUT and as you can see this is a BIG    B U T …

… it does not replace my PC laptop and probably will not in the near future.

When I purchased the iPad I was aware that it does not display any flash enabled websites or play any flash videos. I thought I could live with it, but I learned very soon that there are too many sites out there that are flash based. The Apple browser Safari has too many short comings and I eventually downloaded Skyfire, which by the way per claim of its website, can show/play flash sites by converting it to HTML5. Based on my experience that is flat out a lie.

Since I am using Social Media site like Twitter and Facebook a lot I decided to download respective apps in order not to have launching a browser and navigate to the site. Unfortunately did I learn very fast that these apps (of which some are native iPhone or iPod apps) have many short comings and only support a fraction of the features one may find on the respective web site. Some of these apps even have a tendency to crash frequently, especially when following a weblink within the app. TweetDeck (a Twitter app) is very notorious for this. Especially if the iPad has been in use for a while between reboots/resets. I also found out that some HTML5 called through a link in TweetDeck will never launch but crash TweetDeck.

Over the past 6 weeks I think I have been rebooting my iPad and/or restarting apps more than I have to do on my Dell Latitude D630 and D820.

Also the WiFi antenna within the iPad has a very poor performance. I ran a comparison between my laptop PCs and the iPad WiFi connectivity and I learned that the WiFi on my PC laptops is much better. Not only is my laptop able to find more WiFi connections, but it also maintains the connection a lot better than my iPad. It happens quite frequently that Safari or Skyfire pop up with the message that the Domain cannot be found while I am simultaneously accessing the same website/domain on my PC laptop. The weirdest or strangest of all is that while not being able to connect to a website/domain the WiFi signal indicator displays maximum signal strength while my laptops may display less signal strength but are still connected or able to browse a site.

Another issue I have is that I am not able to keep multiple Windows open at the same time but have to close one Window or App before opening another one. Not having a USB port or a camera does not help it either.

At the moment I am not sure what to do. Live with all the short comings, sell my iPad and switch to another tablet either Android or Blackberry based. Maybe I should even switch to a WINDOWS 7 based tablet, but then again why put all your eggs in one nest.

I think there have been more times I wanted to take the iPad and throw it out the Window than I ever had with anyWINDOWS based computer (not even back when Windows 95 or 98 was around).

One thing I can say: Spending almost $500 on this iPad was a waste of money!  … or ….  maybe it was not ?

As I said I love it and I hate it at the same time!

And before I forget it completely, the iPad has another very annoying problem. At times it becomes very sluggish. This can happen while within an App or while typing. At times I am already 3 or 4 words ahead before my screen catches up with what I am typing. Sometimes navigating within an App slows down to a standstill and there have been times I needed to restart the iPad because an App become unresponsive.

Please share your iPad experience with me in the comment section of this post. I’d love to learn what other people have to say about the iPad or there for any tablet device. No matter whether Apple, Android, RIM or WINDOWS based. Please let me know how you feel about it.


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My First Day With My New iPad

Behold the iPad in All Its Glory

Image via Wikipedia

For weeks now I have been playing with the thought of acquiring a tablet device. Comparing the Apple iPad with the new RIM Playbook and also the Samsung Galaxy. I could not find the RIM Playbook in any store and I am wondering whether it is already available or only soon to come. Last Saturday I went to the T-Mobile store near my house to look at the Samsung Galaxy and not only was I not too thrilled about the Galaxy itself, but also was I surprised about the lack of enthusiasm of the sales rep showing me the Galaxy.

After that I went to the Apple Store in the Manhattan Village Mall. The store was packed but in less than a minute I had Josh, a young sales rep on my side, explaining to me the different features of the iPad. I liked the way he went about it, by kind of interviewing me about what I’m planning to do with the iPad. I told him right away that I am only interested in the WiFi but not the 3G and it was never an issue or any trying to pressure me into buying the AT&T data service.

In less than 20 minutes I was the proud new owner of a new 16GB iPad with WiFi only. It was all so easy. Josh had me setup the iPad right there on the spot and gave me some basic instructions on how to setup email accounts and do some other basic settings. My next pleasant surprise came when it came to pay for my new toy. No cash register I had to go to and stand in line. No Josh, scanned my credit card right there on the spot using his iPhone and then sent the receipt via email to me.

I love it. It was such an easy buying experience.  I went home unpacked my brand new iPad and put it right away into its protective sleeve or cover, before I even turned it on. First task on hand was to setup 2 of my mail accounts. One on Yahoo and one on Google (GMail). I decided to wait with my GoDaddy business account, since I figured I had to do some special configuration.

Paranoid and security conscious as I am, I activated the password feature. This way nobody could access my precious iPad without knowing my password. A decision I eventually learned to regret, but more about this later.

I played a little more with the iPad and trying to get used to it by exploring the  few apps that are already installed on it.

Eventually I called it a day.

Next morning I decided to check out a few of th free iPad apps just to learn that I first had to setup an iTunes account. No problem. I did it and when finished it downloaded the latest version of iTunes onto the iPad. From that point everything went wrong. After, I assume, completion of the download and installation the iPad rebooted on its own, but eventually hung up while displaying a USB Cord and the iTunes symbol and would not do anything from there. I figured something got messed up and there must be a button or function to reset everything to the factory defaults.

I decided to first google the problem to see whether anybody else had that problem with their iPad. Unfortunately wasn’t I able to find anything to that regards as it relates to the iPad. I found lots of reference for the iPod having the same issue. I found a few traces through the iPod blogs what I could try. It is written that I need to download iTunes to my PC and then hookup my iPad to my PC to do a restore or repair the iTunes install on the iPad. After successfully downloading iTunes to my PC and installing it I hooked up my iPad to it.

After I could not find anything I called a friend who is a Apple guru. Maybe he would be able to help me, but unfortunately he couldn’t. He had never worked with iPads.

At that moment I contemplated bringing it back the store or calling tech support. Having dealt with various PC Tech Supports in the past I was expecting the worst in regards to wait times and skill set. So I did a Google search for Apple tech support and was referred to a site where I found a telephone number to call or … what a surprise … having a call scheduled for a later time … the surprises are getting bigger … have tech support calling me now. I had to read that twice. They would call me NOW?! I said to myself you got to check that out. So I selected “Call me Now”, entered my telephone number and not even 10 seconds later my phone rang and I was greeted by an automated IVR system. Great, I thought, they call me and now I have to wait for hours. I hadn’t even finished that thought when a live person came online. Greeting me by name and even new what device I had and what my problem was. True I entered all that before on their website, but very rarely do I see CIT and IVR system that work like they should. Usually I have to repeat everything at least 2 or 3 times on the phone. But not this time. The tech support rep tried to help me and had me trying different tings with the iPad for about 5 minutes but without any success. He put me on a brief hold to see what else he could do just to come back to tell me how baffled he was and he has never seen this issue with the iPad before. >> Leave it to me <<. He told me that he would pass me on to a second level tech support (he never called it second level, just another person). The lady that was trying to help me now, seemed to had to deal with this problem before. She new right away what was wrong. She told me that my iPad was in recovery mode and that the OS needed to be reinstalled. Unfortunately it was not that easy, since my iTunes account complaint about the password i had set on my iPad and asked me to logon to my iPad, which I was not able to since the iPad was in recovery mode. Eventually she helped me to get around this hurdle and the iPad downloaded and re-installed the OS via iTunes. The whole effort took over an hour and she stayed with me on the phone the entire time. She even called backed when my cell phone had dropped the call.

This is excellent customer service and many companies out there can learn a lot from Apple in this regard.