I awoke this morning with the scheme in my mind of running out and buying a wifi-only iPad. The Best Buy in Fargo, ND (where I am visiting family for the holiday) would surely have some in stock, and it opens at 9 am. At 8:50, I sat in my hotel room, telling myself to let it pass. So at 9:40, I assumed the store would be sold out, but have display models available. So I went to play with a demo unit, just to say I had touched an iPad.

Well, Best Buy had received 30 of each capacity, instead of the rumored 15 total. I called my wife. She said, “It’s up to you.”

iHave an iPad.


Regarding the Keyboard

The portrait style keyboard is small. Whereas on the iPhone I prefer the portrait style keyboard, the landscape keyboard is superior. The portrait keyboard is too small to treat like a normal keyboard, but the iPad itself is too wide in portrait to hold and thumb-type at the same time.

The landscape keyboard darn near perfect for those of us used to the MacBook family’s keyboard or the Apple Wireless Keyboard. I can nearly touch type.

(Speaking of wireless keyboards, you can connect them via Bluetooth to the iPad. I haven’t tested this as my wireless keyboard is several hundred miles away.)

Regarding iPad Apps

Astonishing. Sure, many that I have tried have slight bugs, but considering nearly all of them were built on a simulator and not actual hardware, I’m amazed. Twitterrific for iPad is fantastic, but you can definitely tell that it was rewritten from the ground up in 60 days. Delivery Status Touch is eye-catching. The Kindle app for iPad is far superior than the Kindle hardware itself! All of this is amazing. It’s inspiring to see how many iPhone apps were made more functional just by allowing a larger canvas on which to paint.

Regarding iPhone Apps on iPad

Garbage. The only pixel-doubled app that looks good is Canabalt, and that’s because it’s intentionally pixely to begin with. Everything else looks like garbage. iPhone apps need to be given a facelift to compete on iPad.

Heck, you can tell the iPhone apps are pretty much running in a simulator on iPad, (akin Rosetta on the Mac) because when you go to enter text you get a pixelated iPhone keyboard instead of the iPad’s keyboard.
Regarding Browsing

Joy. Browsing the web is a fantastic joy. The Facebook app (which hasn’t been redone for iPad) has been all but obsoleted by the fact that works great on the iPad! Except for chat.

Websites render quickly and, most often, correctly. I expect many of the fraction that doesn’t render correctly soon will. Yes, I’m looking at you, Sites Made in Flash.

Regarding Reading

Reading is so nice on the iPad. Even outside. Outside there is glare, but text is still crisp and readable. The Kindle app is very nice, but iBooks takes the cake. It comes with a complimentary copy of Winnie-the-Pooh, which is nice, as I have a toddler. It’s also a classic.

The interface melts away and allows you to focus on reading. And I actually like the page curl animation, and how the page turns only as fast as you turn it.

It doesn’t feel exactly like a paper book, but it’s not supposed to. It does, however, feel like a digital book should — casual.

Final Thoughts

There is so much more to cover on the iPad than I can possibly handle in the first brain dump. Overall, I am convinced that the iPad is the forerunner to the future of computing. I imagine that at the end of this decade, personal computers will look more like the iPad than a laptop.

The iPad feels less like a large iPhone, but rather a more casual MacBook. When Apple first described it as magical, I thought it was a little corny. I stand corrected — the iPad is a truly magical experience.

One More Thing

This review was written in Pages on the iPad, save for then being edited on my MacBook Pro to insert some links and header formatting, as the Squarespace app hasn’t yet been updated with an iPad interface.