I recently gave a little interview to Wired Italy about how I use the iPad (in Italian) and I thought it would be interesting to share some other reflections I’ve had after a month of using the iPad.
I won’t replicate the article here (here’s Google Translate for an entertaining English translation) but one thing I will share:
Is there a reason not to buy it?
In my opinion, I don’t think it’s a perfect solution, today. But you need to think of the iPad (and the iPhone OS in general) as an organism that is continually developing and improving and therefore is becoming more interesting every day.
WhenI bought my iPad, it didn’t take long for me to get up to speed with it. If you’ve ever used an iPhone or iPod Touch you’ll be instantly familiar with its interface and special functions.
I wanted to add some quick thoughts and feedback after having an iPad in Italy for more than a month. Note that the iPad has been released in Italy only on May 28th.
- I’m still not comfortable using it on public transportation.
As a woman using public transportation every day in a city where safety is not a guarantee (a woman was raped a few hundred yards from my house), I’m hesitant to pull out the iPad on the metro unless I’m pretty much alone. Sometimes when I’m reading out in public I disguise it behind one of those free newspapers. I suspect this will ease after the iPad comes out in Italy (May 28th), and I can get a case that will make it less conspicuous.
- It’s the most interactive gadget I’ve owned, including my computer.
When I say interactive, I mean it morphs into what I need depending on where I am and especially who I’m with. It manages to involve the other person in a way no other gadget I’ve owned has done, which in part is due to the screen size, but also to the variety of features and applications available. I have yet to find a person whom I can’t excite by showing some fun things or how I’m productive using it.
- The speakers
I was expecting to have to use the device exclusively with headphones like I do with my iPod, but the speakers are pretty powerful. I watched a movie at home on it – we don’t have a television. I also listened to music in the office. It’s not a stereo system, but sharing music and giving a quick listen with friends becomes much more enjoyable.
- The screen
Yes, it gets filled with fingerprints easily, but I carry a microfiber cloth with me (to protect the screen in my purse) and in a few swipes, it’s clean once again. Summer is just now getting into full swing, so I’m curious to see how it will be at the beach. I often read with my iPod Touch at the beach by shading it. I don’t expect it to work in full sun, which is a negative, just like I don’t expect to read a paper book in the dark (whereas I can read on the iPad in the dark).
Some side effects
- I stopped pulling out my Moleskine for quick notes.
A lot of times I wrote in my Moleskine for ideas and designs, and then transferred a more organized or final version into a presentation or email. I find that I’m using the iPad more and more an enhanced note-taking device.
- I’m reading fewer books.
Since the introduction of the iPad, things have gotten worse for the ebook market. Prices have gone up, availability has been reduced across the popular ebook sites and many apps available on the iphone are still not available on the iPad which means those books I bought can’t be read on the iPad. Most iPhone apps can be enlarged for use on the iPad but text is one of the things that suffers the most. The only two apps ready for the iPad in this moment are iBooks and the Kindle app. Stanza, a popular app used to read ebooks and is owned by amazon is still only available for the iPhone. Update: Stanza was released for the iPad on June 3.
- I play more games in dead times.
I’ve never considered myself a gamer but with the iPad I am definitely gaming more – I play a quick game of air hockey with a colleague or 10-pin bowling by myself when I just want to let off steam. This point is a direct consequence of the above point. In the past when I might have opened up the latest book I was reading, now I might play a quick game.
- I make more playlists on the go.
One of the things I didn’t like was the On-the-Go function that small screen, and searching for a particular artist or song took forever. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Now the iPod function is almost exactly like the iTunes experience – I can do a quick search in my library to find an artist, keyword or song title, and make an instant playlist. I can edit playlists very easily with just a few taps.
- The iPod Touch screen seems really, really small.
After using the iPad for a few weeks, I sometimes go back to my iPod Touch to read some books with apps that aren’t available for the iPad yet, and it feels very small, something I never noticed before.