All that sizzle and no steak
23 June, 2012
I own an Apple Mac Air, iPod touch, and work on a Mac Pro at school, and I have to say, the iPad is my least like Apple product. iPad is essentially a bigger and more expensive version of iPod touch plus the optional cellular function, which you have to pay at least $20 each month for the service, so that you can use the navigation function (cheaper just to get a GPS with antiglare screen). First, my biggest complaint is the lack of flash function. It is true that I know about that limit before my purchase, but it is only when I started to use iPad, I realized how many things it couldn't do without flash, such as watching Amazon online stream movies. It is really stupid that an iPad, which is targeted as a tablet, could not do flash. Second, I thought it could at least play DVD if I have the right USB adapter, since I have an external DVD drive, but after searching online, I realized it could not do that either, because some format issues. It really drives me nuts, because what is good about retina display if you can't watch movies, and I am not about to pay extra money for movies on iTune. Then, it is the multi-tasking function, I really thought that was a joke. Originally, I thought multitasking means that you can open two apps and have them side-by-side on the screen, and I was dead wrong. First, there is no side-by-side, and second, once you switch to another app, the previous app (such as safari) stops. For example, if I am watching a dateline story streaming on CBS, I cannot have it play in the background and use other apps. There are also small things like I can't use the Apple magic track pad with iPad (wireless keyboard works fine). Overall, the new iPad sucks compares to other Apple device. I feel for the price I paid, I am getting a mediocre device with multiple restrictions (mostly for business reasons such as no flash so that you have to stick with iTuen for movies) and no special talent other than the retina display. Anyhow, I hope my love for iPad could increase a bit after Siri being available on new iPad in OS6.
*UPDATE*: another disappointment about new iPad - it takes ages to recharge. I use the 10W USB power adapter and I closed the smart cover (sleep mode) when I was charging the new iPad. I tested the battery at 3 different times, and it is roughly 10% increase per 35 minutes, which means it will take roughly 5 hours and 50 minutes to charge from 0% to 100% full, which is very close to PC world's report. On another note, the techs at Apple store told me that apps and bluetooth draw a lot of power, so that I should close them if I want to save battery.
*UPDATE 2*: on the postive side - I downloaded the GPS drive app and it actually works without data plan. The catch is that you have to get the direction while you have internet access, and then it will take you to your destination without continuous 3G/4G or wireless connections. However, you won't be able to get another direction to a new place unless you have internet, nor can you find the nearby restaurants, gas station, etc without internet connection.
*UPDATE 3"(8/2/12): Amazon Prime videos are now available on iPad!! The video quality is pretty good, but I don't think it is HD quality.
*UPDATE 4*(9/27/2012): I updated my iOS to version 6, and I like it so far! Siri is now incorporated to my iPad 3, and I've been talking to her ever since. Youtube app is gone from my iPad, Apple says their contract with YouTube is expired. So for now, I have to use Safari to watch youtube. Google maps is gone and replaced with Apple's new map system. It does voice turn-by-turn direction, but I haven't really tested it out yet. As for other newly released apps, for some strange reason, iPad 3 owners did not get to have passbook app. I guess Apple figures that I won't be carrying my iPad around to the airports, concerts, or watching a movie, or going to a ballgame, which I do....
*UPDATE 5*(10/28/2012): Apple just announced few days ago that they have a new iPad (for convenience, let's call it iPad 4) - by looking into the technical specs, I think the only two changes are: the chip (upgraded to A6 from A5), and the power adapter (from the 30-pin to lightening connector). In the future, someone has to comment on whether the lightening power adapter is able to charge the iPad faster than the 30-pin adapter. Otherwise, I don't see any benefit of changing power adapter, as the the lightening charger won't work with previous versions of power docks. People who are interested in buying the mini iPad should also know that the mini iPad does not have retina display (it is 163 ppi), and thus no HD. On a separate note, I've been testing the Apple's new map system recently, and the results are so far so good! I think in some ways it is better than Motion X HD (a paid third party GPS app). To summarize: First, the color system in Apple's map only has four to five colors, but that is not a issue to me, as it looks plain but clear. Second, you can only get one voice: the voice of Siri, but it sounds great, so no complain. Third, Apple's map gives much earlier warning compares to Motion X in terms of the next direction. I had many experience that Motion X was late on telling me to take an exist or make a turn. So kudos to Apple's map. Overall, I don't know why there are so much criticism against Apple's map (most complaint is that the map system is not as mature as Google's). I mean, it is possible that Apple's map won't work for you if you are going to somewhere remote, but you can always double check on Google's map using Safari. I think if you mainly use Apple's map in places other than country side, then you should be fine! After all, you don't need to pay extra (Motion X is $10/year) for voice navigation.