Behold the iPad in All Its Glory
Image via Wikipedia

Well, after several months eyeing up the range of iPads, during which time I thought long and hard about what I might actually use one of these things for, I finally took the plunge and bought one of these overgrown iPad Touches – in my case an iPad 64Gb with WiFi, but no 3G.

I’ve always been a bit suspicious of the iPad platform and its tie-in to the closeted App store – so why the change of heart?  Well, I guess it’s the realisation that a web-enabled media consumption device need not be thought of as a computer, and coupled with an upcoming trip to the USA for which the need for entertainment was key (particularly with the decent battery life the iPad reportedly has).

On first sync, the iPad picked up a bunch of apps I had installed on my iPod, plus the music already on the iPod.  Some of the apps weren’t really much use on the iPad, so away they went.  What apps have I installed?

  • Tweetdeck – doesn’t seem to full-featured as the Air version on my Ubuntu laptop
  • WordPress – an app from blogging to WP blogs
  • Stanza – nice, straightforward e-book reader
  • Mendeley – Research bibliography and networking
  • FeeddlerRSS – keeping tabs on my Google Reader account
  • Evernote – keeping tabs on the web
  • and a couple of games originally bought for my iPod
Enhanced by ZemantaI’ve uploaded a few movies – one is a brief video of embryonic nuclear divisions going wrong in Drosophila (made by a graduate student), while the others are pure entertainment for the aforementioned transatlantic trip.  And now, some early observations, based on 48h ownership:

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  1. The on-screen keyboard is surprisingly usable, except:
  2. Different apps and different tasks seem to call up slightly different versions of the keyboard, which I find a bit off-putting
  3. BBC TV watched through iPlayer on Safari works really well
  4. Videos work well
  5. As with the iPod, no manual supplied, you need to go online
  6. You can’t charge from a PC USB port, which flummoxed me for a bit
  7. It synchronises very quickly

On the other hand, I really don’t think it “magical” or “revolutionary” as much of the publicity blurb would have it – don’t forget this is an overgrown iPod Touch!