The iPad 3G review

So I’ve had my iPad for about a week and a half now. I think I’ve gotten enough use time out of it for a bit of a review. Overall : I like it. No, I love it. It goes where I go, it acts as an excellent remote terminal (issh, logmein, vnc all make this possible), it does me email (imap on one account, exchange on the other), calendar and address book are well done, and the apple esthetics are glorious. I’m actually using the wordpress app to write this review. I have, for the most part, stopped lugging around my MacBook Pro in favor of the iPad for most, if not all, of my daily computing needs. With pages, numbers, and keynote, I’m able to do most of my document viewing and editing on the fly. I have the VGA cable, and can project from it, which is very, very, cool. The 3G model I have let’s me get my stuff anywhere and damn near everywhere.

iBooks is AWESOME. I’ve loaded it up with ePub docs, and a few choice free selections from the iBookstore. And they eat kindle for breakfast, IMHO. I cannot wait for more publishers to support the ePub standard, or offer their books in the iBookstore.

My gripes are, for the most part, with the third party apps. I have Things and 1Password on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. They sync to each other, so i can have the data wherever. However, they only sync if they are on the same local wifi with the Mac – the primary sync point. Minor complaint, but it means if I check something off on my phone, or add a password on my iPad, until I get all three devices together, it’s, well, out of sync. Now, if I add an address, it shows up everywhere no matter where I am, thanks to MobileMe. And I wonder – why don’t third party apps use something like WebDAV or iDisk or dropbox for this? Omnifocus does it with their iPhone and desktop apps, why not others (and I’d use omnifocus, but it isn’t iPad capable – yet).

Also, why are so many vendors bypassing the Universal app (i.e. Both ipad and iphone versions in one app) capability? Suggestion to developers : sell the iPhone only version for, say, $5, a Universal app for $15, instead of an iPhone only app for $5 and an iPad only app for $10. You still get your $15, I get one app that works properly on both – unlike having to look in iTunes to figure out which “AIM” is for the iPad, and which is for the iPhone. See those three remote admin apps up there, iPhone/iPad developers? UNIVERSAL. Cost a bit more than the iPhone or iPad only versions, but I’ll pay more for a single app that does both.

But that’s it for my gripes. From a user perspective, I am totally in love with this device, and cannot wait to get on the road this con season and do more with it.

Now I have a LOT of friends who gripe that it’s not an open platform, that the hardware isn’t accessible, that the os is locked down. And yes, all that is true. And I can say that in some ways, i’d like it better if the platform were more open in those areas. But I also see that as a good thing – when one company makes an exceptional device that’s closed, the community answers within a year or two with something better. Which means the closed vendor has to try harder and innovate more. Which pushes the community harder, etc., etc. Competition is good for everyone. And the challenge to the open platform community is this : build something better, that is more open, that will have me leaving this platform and not looking back.

About Kevin Sonney

Kevin Sonney - who, contrary to popular opinion was NOT raised by wolves - grew up in central North Carolina. He fell into the technology field by accident in 1991, when he gave up the wild and crazy lifestyle of an on-air AM radio DJ to become a mundane technical support monkey. The technology industry has never really recovered from this. Kevin has worked for such names as IBM, Red Hat, webslingerZ, and Lulu Technologies (we won't mention the ones that didn't survive the experience). He currently works as a Linux Administrator for Apptio. In his spare time he rescues stray animals and plays video games with his two sons. His wife, we're sad to say, helps him get past the really hard bits. Kevin is still not very mundane, he just got better at hiding it.
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