Went to the Apple Store in Northridge to pick up my new iPad. The first thing I noticed (aside from the number of people) was that Apple had created TWO lines: one marked “Reserved” and the other for all other purchasers. Interesting.
One of the people from the store walked down the line with a clipboard, checking in the “Reservistas”. Another handed out bottles of water to everyone. Seemed like many extra employees were on hand.
The Reservistas got to go inside first, in groups of 5 or so. A number of tables were set up for demos, question and answer, etc. This was a great idea, and the workstations were packed.
Note that the other store displays for computers, iPods, and such were nearly deserted.
Purchasing was painless – except for my wallet, of course. I also purchased the VGA adaptor and the “book” cover. I had previously ordered a small carrying case from Amazon – it is actually a netbook case, but works just right.
The iPad hardware works flawlessly. It is fast, easy to use, and the screen is colorful and contrasty. My only significant complaint, as with all glossy screens, is that reflections are a nuisance. I really like the way the image flips regardless of orientation – and that this can be locked in place if needed. Great idea.
Movies play smoothly, and look great. I can’t think of a better personal movie viewer out there.
The speaker is small. Interestingly, the sound quality is better than I expected. Sure wish they included two!
Note that not all computer USB ports carry enough voltage to recharge the iPad – including my not so new Macbook Pro. So you’re restricted to a newer computer, or the wall charger.
The iPad book reader is, in brief, a category killer. Comfortable, quick, intuitive, and backlit! Very comfortable to hold with the book cover on. Not to be mean-spirited, but why would anyone consider a lesser device?
Apple says there’s thousands of books available, but I disagree. The selection of desirable downloadable books available is thin, thin, thin. A lot of so-so titles, with some good ones too. I’d really like to see this improve, and quickly. Having some of the classics available free is great fun; I’m reading the Jungle Book right now. Cool.
Syncing is done through iTunes. I’m hoping that one of the app developers comes up with a workaround for this, so the iPad can be used as an external drive as well. Working through iTunes could be better in many ways (are you listening, Steve & company??), particularly file format compatibility and ease of use. The usual suspects, folks.
Photographs are imported through iTunes. iTunes does process the image so it can be digested by the iPad. As far as I can tell, it leaves identifying metadata (such as IPTC) intact. This is a must-have for serious photographers; I just won’t send an image to a client without it. Also seems to leave the embedded color profile intact, too. Whew.
The photo app included with iPad will create slideshows from a stack, and include music too. Slide timing controls and music controls are rudimentary. I purchased the Keynote app, and I’m going to try this next.
Portfolio presentations were the number one reason I purchased an iPad. The first two I created look GORGEOUS. I love ’em. This is going to be a great tool for working with clients.
The Mail app is the best yet from Apple. Nuff’ said.
Here’s my big thing for today: save your money on third party Apps for a while. I’ve purchased a couple, and they are either buggy or are outright junk. I’m not touching them for a long time – already threw away ten bucks or so – no more. The Apple Apps seem fine (Keynote, for example), and Apps from major players like NPR are also fine.
All for now. Last tip: if you don’t need networking or 3G turn em off; they do suck down the charge on the battery. And run, don’t walk, and get an iPad. A great tool for photographers.