There have been a lot of blog posts about people’s personal experiences with their new iPads, but I wanted to add to the noise and write one of my own… I got my iPad (32G Wifi+3G) on Thursday and spent the first day and a half (Thurs and Friday) on cloud nine – enjoying the fact that I had one and filling it up with applications. I did notice, because someone asked on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, that brand new, without a single app on it, it had only 28G of space free. I was OK with that, though – I was in lurve!
The first apps I got were the utilities that I use all the time, Evernote, Dropbox, Kindle and Netflix. I connected my email (Gmail, of course) to the email application that came with it, replaced the Calendar app (which will only sync with Outlook) and got an app that will sync with Google’s calendars. On the suggestion of a family member who had an iPad, I picked up RDP (a VNC client) and a couple of other utilities. On the suggestion of a friend who has an iPhone, I got an astronomical identification program and a game or two. I also picked up PacMan and Osmos (a very nice iPad specific game that has entertained me greatly over the past few days).
After I’d gotten some familiarity with the machine, I got a PDF annotator (Noterize) a sound/notes application (SoundPaper) and the WordPress application that I’m using to compose this post.
One of the first things I did after I got my iPad was to hook it up to my computer and sync it with iTunes. I noticed that the machine came fully charged, but not fully up-to-date – it took a while (almost 2 hours) to do the syncing thing.
So far, I’ve used it to keep up with my friends on FriendFeed, get Facebook updates (pushed via the iPhone Facebook app) and to watch my Netflix streaming videos. As a content consumer, the iPad is damn near perfect. It’s heavier than I (or anyone else who’s gotten a hold of it) expected and it caused some left arm aching on Friday as I got used to having it set on my arm as I watched or played with it. With the prop-able case, though, that is pretty well an occasional thing, because I can just set the case up to hold it for me if I’ve got a flat surface nearby.
Getting content on it is more difficult. I keep all my photos on Flickr, not my computer, so there is a distinct lack of pictures on my iPad (so far) and I own no other Apple products, so I don’t have a lot of native content in iTunes to transfer over. Typing this up without the dock + keyboard accessory would be difficult. Short bursts of text (FriendFeed comments, for example) are fine – any more, though, and a full keyboard is pretty necessary.
Saturday night, though, I think I made my biggest mistake – so far – of my iPad owning time. I bought Plants vs. Zombies. This would be a complete time sink for me, except for the fact that my son has discovered it and I’m having a hard time getting a hold of the iPad today (Sunday) all day… I may have a problem in the future, making sure that my iPad stays mine! I’ve picked up a few other games, but I think that PvZ is going to be the killer app on my iPad for a while.
The upshot of this post is that I’ve decided I was not completely remiss in being so excited while waiting for my iPad to arrive – it’s just as exciting to have it in hand as it was to anticipate it. Content creation is difficult (Google Docs support would be lovely, too), but not impossible, as evidenced by this blog post. I got some of my Flickr pics on it and the slideshows are just gorgeous – even reading PDFs is really pretty on this screen. The games that I’ve tried are fun and utterly beautiful on the big screen. I’m very pleased with my purchase and think that this will be a useful item to have around for a long time!