I love the fact that the iPad has no preferred orientation. I find myself often turning it upside down. I have the apple cover and with the stand up and upside down it sits really nicely on the lap when I'm sitting on the couch.
The keyboard is definitely usable for typing. In fact I love the fact that it autocorrects as I type. I loved this on the iPhone and it is even better on the iPad. We'll see if I still like using it for content creation in a week or so.
Consuming media is compelling. It's beyond the first flush of awe that you get when you use it for the first time and it's the sort of thing that will only get better as the apps mature.
The NPR app is a killer app - I've read and listened to more content there today than in a long time. And i can see it being like a paper - the sort of thing that becomes part of the daily ritual, listening to a story as I have breakfast, or get ready to go out.
The battery life is superb. I've been using it all day and it is still only at 50%. When that happens on the iPhone I start looking for a power outlet. I guess it's going to take a while for that habit to die.
For all the amazing apps that are out there (and they are *amazing*) there are some rough edges and false starts. Since no one has actually had the chance to use one before developing the apps it is amazing how good they are. I can't wait to see what the next generation apps are like.
Now for some observations on the apps.
Omnigraffle is still much like a mouse driven app. The gestures associated with drawing are not yet intuitive. This is going to take some experimentation, so despite the power of that app on the desktop I think the space is open for a competitor who gets it right.
Many websites display the old desktop versions on the iPad. So for example you get the desktop version of the BBC. Now it is great for reading those sites, but one great thing about the iPhone sites was that it forced sites to trim down the extra guff and concentrate on content. It feels strange to have a third of the page filled with an advertisement on the New York Times iPad app. And the BBC website is much nicer on the iPhone than on the desktop version. It will be interesting to see if people start optimizing their sites for iPad as they now do for iPhone.
The Magazine and newspaper apps are a revelation. It's like the newspapers in the Harry Potter books (or the book in Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age for the geeky) in that photos become videos, you can expand them, you can play them, all in place. It really does feel like magic. And it is surprising how much of the web is already accessible despite the lack of Flash. Flash is dead. Sorry Adobe.
So what about the closed nature of the iPad? Well I pretty much agree with what Joe Hewitt says as reported here.
It is all very well to complain that apple is closed and a walled garden etc. But like it or not, apple are inventing the future here. So unless you want to be the Lotus 123 of the touch era, you should take every opportunity you can to learn how this new platform will work. That knowledge will be transferrable in the same way that Microsoft's learning from developing the early Macintosh versions of Word were. This is a brand new human computer interface, from the company that designed the last new HCI back in 1984*
* yes I know, the WIMP interface was developed at Xerox PARC. But the desktop metaphor, overlapping windows etc. were all Apple. And they brought it to market. It doesn't count if no one used it.
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