Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
- Steve Jobs
Don't take this the wrong way. It's awesome in many regards. My only intention for starting this thread is to draw attention to the areas that I believe the iPad could be made better. I do believe Apple is innovative. To be innovative you need to be in touch with your customers day-to-day needs and desires. I also know there are ways to accomplish some of these through hacks, jailbreaks etc. I don't want to deal with the questions that surround every software update release Apple puts out and wondering what will and won't work if you take an update and such. I'm talking more about what I believe would make the iPad better right out of the box. These aren't in any order of importance. Just started a list while at work last week and this is what I came up with in a few days.
- Multiple User Accounts – While I understand that there is no single device that can meet all of the needs of every user, I initially started down the path of exploring the iPad as a device to replace an aging Apple Powerbook G4. Purchased in 2005 this device has been an invaluable tool to our family however over the years as we invested in newer hardware (iMac & Mac Mini), the Powerbook has gradually become our “living room” machine. By that I mean it’s still used quite a bit more than the other devices in our home, however it’s sole purpose is almost entirely dedicated to surfing the internet, checking email and ordering take-out meals. It serves it’s purpose quite well for a device that is coming up on 6 years old. It actually does remarkably well compared to even my 1.5 year old Dell that I use for work. The only reason we considered replacing it is that it’s battery is shot and the power cord after having been tripped over a half a dozen times or so, works only when positioned just right. It’s difficult to justify dropping another $200-$300 into accessories on a machine of this age. Cosmetically it’s a mess. The aluminum shell looks as if the machine was used on a construction site (the joys of having 4 kids). Having said all that, the idea of not being able to set up multiple user accounts on the iPad is somewhat of an issue. We subscribe to the MobileMe service. Mainly because I can host my family's actual website at no additional charge. Both my wife and I use the calendar, contact and email syncing. The iPhone and iPad can only sync one account for the Calendar and Contacts. This means one of us has to use the online version of the calendar and contacts if we want to each use the iPad. That or we need 2 iPads.
- Access to file folders - Having some sort of access to file folders is beneficial or at least the ability to create a “My Documents” folder to send documents and files. Storing documents only in the application itself limits the iPads purpose. This really comes from the idea of truly “holding the internet in your hands”. In order for me to truly do this I need to be able to do everything I would normally do on a typical computer that accesses the internet. My thought is it would be ideal to be able to save different documents such as pictures, PDF’s etc. Where I see the biggest need is for instance creating an auction on eBay. I would like to be able to do this on a device such as the iPad. If I create an auction I need to be able to upload pictures to eBay to present in the auction.
- Need to be able to print - Seems like a logical request. We have a device that has WiFi built in. When I’m home and I’m on the network I have access to my WiFi enabled printer through all of my other machines. I’d like to benefit from this printer with my iPad. I do realize there are printing applications out on the App Store but all of them have some pretty mixed reviews. Printing should be built in as a feature on the iPad.
- Ability to sort Apps by function - I know that OS 4.0 has the folders feature coming. It would be great if this feature can sort applications by type. I’m on my 3rd iPhone. Ever since the App Store launched I’ve never liked having to sort the applications. I’m an App Junkie and I don’t have the time to be sifting through them and sorting them by page so I have for instance all of my media apps on one page. It would be great to have some sort of auto sort feature that puts all of your Photography Apps on a certain page.
- Give me back my weather and stocks apps?!?! - I want them back. I'm talking about the weather and stock apps that come standard on the iPhone. These two apps are on my first app page on the phone and are accessed religiously. I want Apple to add them to iPad.
Aesthetics & Physical
- Bigger Screen - Not to be confused with bigger device or widescreen so don't take this the wrong way. I think the screen is almost a home run however…. It sure would be a lot cooler if the engineers could’ve squeezed another 1” diagonally out of the screen. There would be challenges I'm sure. Battery life, where to put the home button etc. I read the thread about users wanting widescreen. Widescreen is not nearly as important to me as more usable working space. If I'm going to immerse myself in the movie experience it's not going to be on anything less than 50" diagonal.
- Expandable Memory- I can understand the basis for launching the iPad with a max of 64GB. Price considerations come into effect when a manufacturer looks at using the highest available memory component in a device such as the iPad. With 128GB now becoming available you know it will only be a matter of time before the memory find it’s way into the iPad. My first attempt at syncing my 64GB resulted in the iTunes sync error notifying me that all of the media I was looking to transfer exceeded that of the device. The result was a lot of selective choices being made on what I truly needed/wanted on my device. In an ideal world my perfect iPad would come with expandable memory, a slot for external storage.