Friday, April 23, 2010

iPAD - Quick Take 2 - Thoughts and Impressions

OK - I have now had the iPad for about 3 weeks and I like it a lot.  It is a very unique device and is a great addition to my arsenal of I.T. tools.  It offers me quick access to SSH, LOGMEIN, my Web based HelpDesk application as well as my e-mail.

But the shine has worn off and I am met with a few regrets and maybe some future ideas?

First Bitch - The Cable that comes with the iPad works with all my iPods - so it is 'backwards compatible' - However, the same cannot be said for the other cables (of which I have a shoebox full of them).  This pisses me off to no end, because here I have spent a lot of money in support of great products and I have definitely gotten my money's worth (in terms of my iPods and iPhones), but the fact that I now only have 1 cable that will work with the iPad - is just stupid!  Apple's plan?  Buy a sync cable compatible with the iPad - $19.00

I don't think so - I have found (from a friend at work - thanks Tejas!) that a company called GTMAX makes a cable (Part Number IPODDAT002) that works perfectly well! And all for a whopping $3.95:

Second Bitch - My second bitch point is I foolishly bought two accessories (this, of course, is my own consumerist failings):
  • The Dock (MSRP $29.00) - What a waste of money - $29.00 for a weighted dock that fits the iPad - I thought it was a wise investment and I could prop up the iPad and have it charge when not in use... So what is the problem?  Two things: First problem is that it is just the DOCK - no cable.  For $29.00, I want the damn $4.00 cable too!  That is just a no brainer, Apple!  Second problem - that with the purchase of the 'official' Apple Neoprene cover heavily promoted and advertised - IT DOESN'T FIT THE DOCK!
  • The Apple iPad Case (MSRP $39.00) - In the beginning, this was a no brainer - what a great idea - new $500.00 device and a case for $40.00 to help protect my investment.  It doesn't quite 'stand-up' like the commercials show and more than that, it feels cheap in my hand.  What really ticks me off is the incidental costs of nickel and diming us to death with accessories we really don't need.  Now, in order to get the $39.00 Case to work with the $29.00 Dock, I had to cut the backside of the case so it would fit into the Dock - Not revolutionary, but functional
Third Bitch - This has nothing to do with Apple, but with the development community in general.  Since I have received the device, I have purchased about $40.00 worth of applications and none of them I regret - well thought out applications and I appreciate the effort it takes to create these applications.  

Then what pisses me off about the developers? 

The fact that a developer creates a separate iPad application and charges the same amount for it as it did for the iPhone version.  This may sound confusing, but let me give you a clear example.  I follow Major League Baseball with a passion.  I love to listen to the games during my lunch hour or catch a score while I am working.  So, I have purchased a MLB.TV audio subscription so I can listen at work on my computer ($15.00/season).  No big deal.  I have also purchased the MLB 2010 application for my iPhone so when I am on the go, I can also catch the scores, the play-by-play and the audio (also $15.00/for the 2010 application).  Now that the iPad has been release, the MLB folks could have created a universal application for the same $15.00 that works on the iPhone and the iPad - but no.  They created a separate version for the iPad - which means I have to fork over another $15.00 for the iPad version.

Sounds all fine and dandy, but I am here to tell you that many developers are creating 'UNIVERSAL' apps from their iPhone apps to work on the iPad with a 'new' interface for the iPad - POINT IN FACT - LOGMEIN for the iPhone and iPad.

Great company - great product.  I purchased for the iPhone about 6 months ago - and thankfully they created a UNIVERSAL app so when I got my iPad it 'upgraded' to an iPad version and it didn't cost me a dime.

That is supporting the community as the community supports them.

Now - MLB makes major money off of us all year round - you think they could afford to roll their app into a UNIVERSAL version for the fans.

Anyway  - I love my iPad and it is a great device - Just heed some of the warnings above and you will love your iPad too.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

iPad Day - April 3, 2010

It has finally arrived and I have to say that Apple has created another device which is truly going to be a game changer.  I placed my 'reservation' about a month ago and with baited breath, drank of all the reports and prophesies of the coming iPad.  Pictures of it in the wild - performance statistics - 'delay reports' from manufacturing and finally this week the great Marketing engine of Apple, itself, crank up into high gear.

I watched last night as the news reports highlighted the Apple Fanatics camped outside the retail outlets waiting for their forthcoming chance to obtain the new device.   I was worried.  Why?  Would I get there at 9:30 AM or 10:00 AM to find my reservation was for naught, like the infamous Jerry Seinfeld episode where Seinfeld reserves a car, but they don't have it and he starts to lecture the counter person on the meaning of a reservation.

I thought to myself - should I go down and sit with these people and commune?  Then I figured - what will be, will be.  Apple said they would have my reservation and I believed them.  I would show up when I could the next morning.

I did make it out at 10:30 and found that there were two lines - a very long one and a very short one - I prayed I was in the short one and as luck would have it, my reservation did pay off!  I was in the short line and after a brief 10 minute wait (unlike some of the people who would have to wait hours to get in), I was face to face with my prize.  I knew exactly what I wanted:

  • 32 GB iPad WiFi (3G isn't out for another 3-4 weeks and I didn't want another AT&T charge)

  • Apple Dock/Keyboard combo unit

  • Cover for my iPad


I was greeted by the Apple Representative and he (to be nameless) was very courteous and welcoming and we talked for a bit about the iPad.  He didn't try to push extra's or accessories.  I was direct and laid out what I wanted (in terms of the accessories) and he gathered them all up.  While he gathered, Andrew (my son) and I went to go play on the iPad's - my first touch!  AMAZING.  My first impression was staggering.   The one thing I could not get over was the intense speed of the device - how fast it flipped and did things.  I was eager to see the PHOTOS applet and before I knew it I was pinching and zooming my way to photo nirvana.

Our Apple Rep came back with items in hand and we quickly rang up my purchase.  He saw my e-mail address (bill@macgod.net) and we discussed Apple Computers.  I have been using Apple since 1988 when I obtained a Mac SE for my own personal usage (from my Aunt who worked at Apple).

He offered to register the device right there in the store and handed the device for the unboxing - that is part of the beauty of Apple - they want us, the consumer, to have the best experience possible.  It is in their best interest to keep us coming back for more.

After a short registration period - I was gone and walking with Andrew through the mall back to the car to quickly get the iPad home so I could really take it for a spin.  Once I was at home, I loaded it up with my accounts, my apps, music, some videos and photographs from my iPhoto.

But this isn't a totally glowing review or write-up of my iPad.  I truly do believe it is an awesome device - but I have a few issues with it:

  • Upon connecting to my iTunes 9.1 app on my brand new 21" iMac, it takes a good 4 minutes before anything is responsive?  I hope this is a minor issue and they fix it - it doesn't seem like it should take this long

  • My other issue is with the iPad developers - If I paid $15.00 for an application 1 month ago - I would hope that if you developed an iPad version that it would be free or become a universal application - this is an EPIC FAILURE by MLB (Major League Baseball) who not only charged $15.00 for the iPhone version, and recently released their iPad version and low and behold - they want another $15.00 for that version... Bugger Off

  • The case isn't as functional as I want it to be - it feels plastic like so I think I will invest in something more worthwhile like a leather carrier or something


Overall - a great device and I look forward to running it through its paces, both personally and professionally.

Have a great Easter everyone!