Home 9 Things I didn't know about the iPad

9 Things I didn't know about the iPad

  1. The keyboard design isn't as slick as the iPhone keyboard design
    It's not quite a MacBook keyboard layout and it's not an iPhone keyboard layout either. Commit actions like, done, go, search aren't colored like on the iPhone. The dashes, dots, commas are hard to distinguish. On the iPhone a typewriter like key pops out so you can visually confirm that you hit the right key. On the iPad there is no feature to deal with occlusion.
  2. How you hold the device really alters the user experience and how apps should be designed.
    On the iPhone the design is done in such a way to accommodate the way you hold the device.  For example in mobile Safari and in email the command buttons are along the bottom of the screen. This puts many buttons in thumbs reach. On the iPad key buttons in both email and Safari are across the top. This means that if you're holding the device along the bottom you can't reach many of the buttons without moving your hands. Since the home button tends to be along the bottom there's no comfortable rest-state.
  3. About my laptop
    It starts out with just email and some web-browsing but pretty soon you realize that most of the things you do can be done on an iPad. Not all, and this gap is closing. In particular heavy typing tasks (blogging for me) and heavy editing, especially visual and graphics editing is still better with a laptop. That being said I am much happier bringing a light iPad to a meeting then a heavy laptop.
  4. You don't use this device like a giant iPod.
    I've never read a book or a magazine before on either my laptop or iPod.  I've never played a four person multi-touch game on either of these devices.  The experience is different and fun. In a new way.  Magazines and books are key here. This is the future of digital content.
  5. Certain people could use this as a replacement computer but I can't.
    Email and web browsing without compromise. (Well maybe the Flash thing) Other then that you have a pretty nice device for doing the core things my mom uses her computer to do.  For technical users the iPad doesn't do enough to replace their laptop.
  6. Screen orientation is flipping me out
    When you hold the screen in vertical orientation you get 4 icons across and 5 icons down. When you flip the screen you get 5 across and 4 down. The annoying part is that the icons re-positions so you can't use spacial memory to find an icon.  Was that icon on the top right? Ohh, sorry now it's in the middle left.
  7. The web is not ready for the iPad (yet).
    There are still plenty of sites with embedded video/flash and when I hit these sites I am likely to move on. I almost never stop what I'm doing to go grab my laptop.  As the iPad sails past the 1M mark the tech-savvy sites will transition over to H264 video. The issue is primarily video although other flash goodness will still be missing.
    Flash sucks but HTML5 is worse then Flash on many things, more on that in another post.
    Subscribe to this blog to hear more on that.
  8. The battery lasts a freakishly long time
    It's nothing like a Kindle but compared to other bright-screen electronics. Wow. That's all I have to say about that.
  9. A different user experience is fundamental to touch computing
    I remember a program manager from Microsoft talking about the Tablet PC back in 2000. He said, in the history of computing there has never been a product category that has failed as often as tablet based computing. From the Alan Kay to the Apple Newton and even Windows for Pen Computing.  The history books are filled with these 'slate' computers that have failed. He then went on to explain how the Tablet PC would be different because it focused on the input experience.

    The truth is that the tablet/slate experiences of the past were not that different. It was Windows with a great input editor. It's too early to tell if the iPad will succeed or fail but the iPad user experience is so different in a fundamental way that it will change how people interact with computers.

    How do I know? My two year old is now reached out and trying to scroll the screen on my laptop. If that's not the future I don't know what is.

    This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.