Having spent the last few months as a dissenting voice regarding Apple’s iPad, yesterday I found myself in a shop handing over £700 for one. Now, before any of my friends call a doctor, I must add that it’s for a project at work so I needed one to evaluate – honest. You’d not catch me spending my own cash on an over priced etch-a-sketch!
I’ve seen lots of people using iPads on trains and planes and having recently got into watching movies while travelling rather than just reading or working, now seemed like a good time to check this device out despite my reservations about Job’s Mob. I will even admit to a slight twinge of excitement when I got the box home. The ultra smart packaging was indeed enticing but the overwhelming feeling was one of disappointment when I took it out of the box only to find there was no case included. £700 for an ultra thin device which is 50% polished screen supplied with no protective cover? Surely not even the most rabid fanboy can defend that?
So, resigned to spending a further 30 quid on a case, I switched it on. Much is made of the useability of Apple products and as a long time Windows tech, this would be my first glance into the world of “it just works”. Sadly, this brought me straight to my second annoyance. It turns out that you cannot do anything with it until you install that abortion of a program iTunes. Why can’t I just drag and drop stuff to it?
That said, the setup was nice and easy, wifi setup was simple and I was on the net in no time. I had my work mail configured in a thrice and so decided it was time to head for the couch and mess with it while watching some TV. My first port of call was my sadly neglected contacts. These have been in a mess for some time so I decided that sorting them out would be the perfect accompaniment to an episode of CSI that I’d already seen. So, under “A” there were a bunch of people who were either ex employees or who no longer like me . Being an Android phone user, I’m used to just touching and holding an item to get a context menu with a “delete” option but, after more touching than a randy teenager, no menu appeared. It turns out that to delete a contact you have to select “edit” and then scroll to the bottom of the page for the delete option. Intuitive? I think not. After much pecking at the screen, I got to a page where there were several contacts that all needed to be deleted (it would appear that my relationships with people whose surnames begin with “C” have been going through a bad patch of late). What I had hoped to do was select the items I needed to delete and then just delete them. No such luck – you need to do them one by one.
And sadly, that was pretty much how the rest of the evening went – one frustration after another. iTunes won’t recognise any of my avi files. A few of my mp4’s get the thumbs down with the error “because it cannot be played on this iPad” despite working fine on my Android phone and Windows laptop.
I actually want to like this device. It’s sleek, stylish and downright pretty but I cannot like it for these things alone – it actually needs to do something for me. Maybe I’ll like it more tomorrow?