ipad newbie - some thoughts

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by kurosawa79, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Hi all

    New to these forums and I never really post anything about how I feel about a device but I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on my new iPad and see what you guys think.

    I bought an iPad 2 3G a couple of days of ago - mostly for work as my company has recently allowed push email on iOS devices through Lotus Notes. So I thought, great, I can keep up to date with my emails on the move. And for the most part I've been very happy about most things on my iPad and it has served it's purpose on the whole. I think outside of emails, games have been great and it's an awesome device for video and content consumption in general. Plus it's a very well built machine - you can always count on Apple to deliver something sleek and visually pleasing.

    Having said all this, I guess a couple of things shocked me about iOS in general. I have a ipod touch 4G, which ive had since launch, but never really do much on it other than the odd casual game and very brief web browsing. But ever since my ipad purchase Ive had to use iOS a lot more, especially for productivity.

    I use an Android phone so maybe my mobile experience is shaped by it to an extent. What I was shocked with iOS is the completely awkward approach to file management. Things like not being able to attach multiple files to emails, not being able to hit reply to emails and attach files without going through numerous steps, changing fonts and colour (I wouldnt normally care but my company uses a company font and its not Arial - maybe I should complain to them!). I shouldnt need extra apps or take extra steps to do these things and I find it quite infuriating. For me these are givens of a basic OS. I know that Apple ring fences their apps so that they each have their own file system and are not easily accessible to other apps for security and performance concerns but I still cant get around it in my head. Maybe its just a completely different approach to traditional OS standards but I have to say, in it's current iteration, iOS is not particularly designed with productivity in mind - but the thing is...it so easily could be. But aside from just productivity, customisation is a problem I've encountered. I literally cant change anything of substance on the ipad. I cant use widgets, notification management is poor, everything looks very uniform and one thing that surprised me was no desktop preview (Exposé: something that OSX pioneered for the mainstream market - been a Linux functions for eons)

    I think the iOS experience can be summed up like this - it completely overwhelms me with how pretty everything is and how simple some tasks are to perform...but I cannot get away with the feeling iOS is at the same time treating me with kid gloves and telling me "dont be silly, you dont need that function." I'm not saying Android is any better...stability, compatibility are just some of the issues for android, but I feel like the OS treats me like a grown up for one of a better way to describe it. It lets me have the freedom to do what I want.

    People will say if I jailbreak my ipad maybe I wont feel so restricted by iOS. But unfortunately in order for the security to work properly on our company email, jailbreaking is out of the question.

    So I come back to it, iOS is fantastic in what it allows you to do, and infuriatingly dictatorial in what it wont let you do. And the worst thing is that for a lot of the things it wont let you do weve spent a lifetime using for granted.

    I will keep my ipad as its great fun for games and media consumption. But beyond that I think unless Apple decide to be more generous with standard functions Im not sure Ill buy another iOS product. I can see the market for these things (youngsters, older folk) but for a guy like me that loves tech I can control, it's at odds with the way I see how tech should be progressing. I hear a lot of iOS users asking for the most basic functions and Apple duly gives the community 3 or 4 new functions in each iOS iteration. I dont like to beg for what I believe are functions that we're are entitled to :)) yes, entitlement!)

    Not sure what you guys think...I know theres a lot of Android vs iOS debate/flaming and really thats not the point of my post. Rather its iOS vs all OSes the way I see it.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I think Apple has picked a lucrative niche -- streamlined features that simply work -- that some users love and others find restrictive. Those who find it restrictive will be better served by Android devices.

    That's the nice thing about the marketplace: choice. No one has to buy Apple devices, and Apple doesn't seem to suffer from people opting otherwise.

    As much as I like my iPads, I'd rather that many people buy Android. I'd like to see more competition. If Android hardware makers can get it together, they should deliver something better than what they've been producing. Right now, Android hardware makers don't have a shot at my money, because what they deliver is next to useless to me.
  3. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Hi Kaykaykay

    I'm interested in why they deliver things that are useless. I guess I mean function-wise, what's missing on Android tabs? They havent always got the best press so Im interested in your opinion...as far as I know I'm not sure the hardware makers are at fault but rather Honeycomb needs better optimization. So it's probably a case of Google getting their act together.

    I'm all for competition too. The marketplace would be so dull if there was only one choice. But in essence we still have only two dominant players in the mobile market - Apple and Google. Im not sure if that is optimal for innovation. Not withstanding the fact that they seem to like fighting each other in court over patents every other day. Money to patent lawyers and buying patents = less money for R&D.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  4. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Each time a new Android tablet is about to come out, I read with hope, because I don't like many of Apple's business practices. I'm not going to waste my time messing with a stunted Android tablet just so I can avoid buying Apple, though.

    When I buy an Android tablet, I will not want to wonder whether apps like Netflix will work, as they didn't with one Android device or another, because each Android hardware maker must work out deals and details with content providers. That's just one example of a deal-breaker for me. I also don't want to wonder whether my hardware maker is going to gift me with the latest version of Android, or whether I'll be left without.

    I will keep reading reviews and I expect I will switch to Android sooner or later (probably later at the rate they're going).

    Sure, I'd like to customize more, but the core features I buy a tablet for have to work reliably first.
  5. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Makes sense to me. I dont have much experience with things like Netflix as I dont live in a country currently where I can use the service. But seems mad that they have to negotiate separate deals to just use an app??? Blows my mind :)

    The upgrade question is the annoyance with android and yes manufacturers are annoyingly slow at releasing updates. I think theyre unifying a lot of stuff under Android 2.4 so that fragmentation is not so much of an issue. But I will have to see it to believe it. There's always the option of using custom roms (which if served by a big community of devs, are generally a lot faster and more stable than stock roms) to ensure you have the latest of Android.
  6. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I think Android hardware makers are improving, though too slowly for me. For instance, this link talks about Netflix being available on more Android tablets:

    Netflix app on Android updated to work on 24 models including Galaxy S, Droid 3 (update: tablets too!) -- Engadget

    The thing is, if I buy a tablet, I expect that kind of app to work. It's not supposed to be great news if it does, lol.

    I know there are lots of things you can do with Android, if you make the effort. But I'm like most users: I'm not interested in DIY tablets.
  7. info
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    info iPad Junkie

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    I think I understand your frustration, but a couple of days using the iPad is not nearly enough to get a good idea of what the device can do. Give yourself some time to get used to it, there is a lot more there than meets the eye.

    Regarding your email problem, if you use the GoodReader app (an example, perhaps not the best) to "manage" your files, it will allow you to select and send out multiple files in an email quite easily. It may not be what you are used to; but, as you explore different ways of accomplishing things, you are likely to discover synergies along the way that may more than make up for what appears to be missing at first sight. It does take quite a bit of time though, as none of these operating systems are perfect and all appear to be quite different.

    Welcome to the forum!
  8. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Well, it seems like it works on a lot of models so its a matter of taking your pick. If you want something to work across all Android hardware then you prob have to wait. With so many different hardware configurations its not that easy to just make things work in one go.

    I think I feel the same way as you but opposite if you get what I mean. I feel like I'm DIYing with my iPad trying to look for ways for it to perform what I consider standard functions.

    In the end I think different users have differing needs and mine just dont quite match well with the iPad on some things. For others it's great. And like you, I will wait till the Android tabs mature to a level where I feel confident in purchasing one. In the meantime, I use Android phones anyway and will continue to do so as IMO they do everything I want them to do and more.
  9. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Thanks!

    I will definitely give it more time (I'm not returning it - for most things I do the Ipad does very well).

    I have goodreader installed now so will see how that goes. All OSes are built differently for different audiences - I will continue to seek out what it is that makes iOS shine and appreciate it. If I wanted a homogeneous market with a lack of choice I'd just go back to DOS :)
  10. jduncan
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    jduncan iPad Enthusiast

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    I try to keep an open mind about things that are different. It's easy to compare to something we are use to using because we are familiar with it. It's hard to appreciate something we are not accustomed to using. That being said, it's a fool who fails to recognize how something could be improved. That is the mother of invention. I think these tablets will become very similar in the not to distant future. One must admit that Apple does have a tendency to shun there nose at the "normal" ways of doing some things. Perhaps they will see the benefit of making their OS do some of those things, perhaps not.
  11. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Yes, at this point there are no Android tablets that meet my basic requirements. Netflix was one example, but there are deal-breakers with every Android tablet I've read about. And the ones in the link just recently got Netflix, so they've come very late to the party.

    Meanwhile, I've bought two iPads and others as gifts. I went with iPad because it at least does the basics that I require. There's lots of room for improvement, though.

    For me, an iPad is more for information and entertainment than work. I went into it with that expectation, knowing the limits from reviews, etc. I do my work on PCs and laptop, and I don't expect that to change.
  12. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    My background is similar to that of the OP. Use an Android phone, a powerful 15" laptop, and an even more powerful quadcore desktop system, both Windows PC's. I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by four large screens, a netbook, and my iPad 2. Obviously, these devices overlap one another in terms of functionality. And if I were "starting from scratch" I might eliminate one or another device. But I'm not. I purchased each device as I needed (or wanted) some particular feature or functionality.

    I've had many of the same frustrations the OP describes. The absence of a file system is a pain in the a**. Yes, there are workarounds. But it's not as if I can get along without file system management on my laptop or desktop, both of which I use every day. So learning a "different way" to do things on a device that can meet only some of my needs is, if not a waste of time, at least a low priority. Especially when that "different way" is so cumbersome.

    And yes, I, too, resent Apple's paternal attitude in terms of how my UI should look, which keyboard I can use, the absence of widgets, etc. etc. For the most part I understand why Apple has designed the iPad as it has. But it rankles me that Mr. Jobs insists that the decisions are based on a superior post-PC vision when in reality they're based on either anti-competitive strategies or imposition of limits that enable Apple to get the best performance from limited hardware.

    So why am I so happy with my iPad? First and foremost is that I have a seven year old daughter with whom I share the iPad. If every other aspect of the iPad were inferior to an alternative, I'd still have chosen it because there are so many educational and entertainment apps for kids. While I could get along just fine with the apps already available in an Android environment, my daughter would have very few choices. She doesn't care about customization of the interface. She gets along just fine without an adequate file management system. But she couldn't possibly do without the app that lets her design underwear.

    And there's an important point here. It's not that the iPad has so many more available apps; it's that in some specific categories, important only to some users, the iPad has a wealth of alternatives compared to Android tablets. Those users might be medical professionals, pilots, engineers, or, as in my case, simply a parent with a kid in elementary school.

    If it weren't for my daughter's requirements and I were in the market now (rather than six months ago) I'd look very carefully at the new Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet introduced today. Comprehensive USB support, a built-in digitizer pen and handwriting recognition app, a folio case with a Lenovo keyboard, better corporate email integration, built-in security features the iPad lacks, and a slew of included business (e.g. Documents to Go) and entertainment apps (Angry Birds, Netflix, etc.) All for a price identical to the iPad.

    I don't expect it to be an iPad killer. But for a business user, especially one who needs to integrate a tablet with Microsoft systems in a simple manner, it may well be a better choice. I still won't be getting one. My iPad does all I need it to do and provides hours of enjoyment with my daughter. But if I had a different lifestyle I'd be considering it.
  13. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    @jsh1120

    Your experience really reflects mine. I also have a young child who loves messing around on the ipad and my wife loves it too. For me that's enough. I have so much computer hardware I could probably equip 4 households of their IT needs so if I find the ipad falls short in one area or another I know I have many other choices.

    I dont mind Apple at all and I think they make products that are great for the masses. However, I cant stand Steve Jobs and his God complex in his ivory tower presiding over his democracy of one. I've had many friends work for Apple and subsequently resigned due to what I understand as a place that is pretty relentless on their people. Maybe that's what it takes to run a wildly successful company. So I know my iPad is designed and made with blood and sweat and I appreciate it ;)

    I know the above is a little off topic but it got me to thinking why for years I have stayed away from Apple only to fall in line as I've gotten older. Maybe I'm getting too philosophical but I think that the world has two kinds of people. One kind doesnt like to be told what to do and sometimes suffers the consequences as a result, and the other kind that doesnt mind being told what to do and is more compliant, so as to live a more stress free life.

    I think I'm the former, especially with tech, and most Apple ardents are the latter. I like flexibility to do what I want to do even if it means I get sub-optimal performance from time to time.

    But if only I listened to Sir Steve I would obviously have an easier life and wonder what all the fuss is about. He'd probably say, "Basic functions of an OS? It's just a figment of your imagination kurosawa...this is my vision for the masses and my bottom line shows my vision is right."

    In my older age, I embrace them all. But I'll be keeping a suspicious eye on that tyrant Jobs for sure. :)
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  14. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    That's funny, because my work is very high stress and I love it. As far as gadgets, they're there to make my life easy, or there's no reason for me to buy them. I see Apple doing unpleasant stuff I don't care to bother with, like yard work. I get that some people like to mess around with gardens (or tech), but to me it seems like unpleasant, unnecessary work.
  15. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Haha nice analogy. For us more geeky types I think the ability to mess around and do "naughty" things gives us nerd chills :)

    But I can definitely understand this kind of behaviour is not for all, though I believe everyone has nerd tendencies. Just mine relates to tech.
  16. Billee
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    Billee iPF Novice

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    The original post by Kurosawa79 was the most accurate and insightful review of the iPad I have ever read.

    As with most systems (including governments), you can have freedom from problems and worries if you are willing to give up freedom of action.
  17. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    You're conflating politics with tech. You surrender "liberty" in all sorts random things if you choose to look it that way. For instance, if you drive a car that requires gas, you're buying into geo-politics, so maybe you should build your own car, which doesn't require gas. Or if you buy food from supermarkets, you're buying into agribusiness, so maybe you should grow your own food. If you buy Android, you're still buying into Google and friends.
  18. Billee
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    Billee iPF Novice

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    I don't drive or eat. I just play Angry Birds on my iPad.
  19. Mountainbikermark
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    Mountainbikermark iPad Addict

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    They see revenue.
    I had to spend over $50 on apps to get my ipad relatively close to the ability of my phone out of the box performance. Good Reader, icab mobile, xsysinfo, Splashtop, etc are nice and all that but to have to buy an app to attach to email responses, buy an app to put email shortcuts on my home screen, buy an app to upload, buy another app to see my bank statement because it's a small bank and uses the F word, to buy another app to not have to spend 5 or more minutes closing all my apps, to buy another app for my daughter to manipulate the desktop so she can play the free games on Kid Mode because it uses the F word, to buy another app to do just about anything on device with my photos. This doesn't include the chain to my desktop because of itunes that ios turns into a wireless ankle bracelet.
    I agree in the future similarity. Around the time ios5 hits the Apple devices Android will be doing the same thing with its os by releasing Ice Cream Sandwich, which will make all things Android run 1 os instead of the 15+ versions available now. That will be a win/win for everyone as both platforms take large leaps forward.

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  20. kurosawa79
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    kurosawa79 iPF Novice

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    Freedom vs security (stability)

    It's a simple enough concept and has relevance in tech too. Google gives me more freedom, but also gives me less security. The opposite for Apple. It's a simple analogy so take it at face value.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying either apple or Google have the ability to alleviate poverty or create a disenfranchised underclass through their policies...

    Or do they? Apple are now richer than the US govt I hear and Billy Gates is crusading around Africa.

    Politics is everywhere where choice is understood.

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