Current iPad Score Stands at 80%

You have to admit to a rising excitement as you unbox your first iPad. As a devotee of netbooks over the last 18 months I was hoping the iPad could take over substantially from toting a netbook at meetings, having coffee, travelling on trains, and so on.

Switching on the iPad and connecting to Wi-Fi I was met with the familiar iPhone interface and was quickly in production mode with email, calendar, contacts, maps, and web browsing. Inheriting all my iPhone apps gave me instant access to online notes (Evernote), tasks (Remember the Milk), my stock portfolio, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.

Downloading a few specific free iPad apps improved Evernote, Tweetdeck, Bloomberg and access to the Google suite. Add the highly impressive short response times of the iPad and the smooth access to audio and video playback my iPad score was running close to 100%.

Then I turned to my high-productivity cloud creatives, Google Docs and Google Sites. It was at this point the iPad wheels started to fall off. Opening up my Google Docs I was at first pleased to see a view optimised for the iPad, but I looked for the create document button/menu to discover none. I tried opening a Google ‘word’ document and could see the content but all editing functionality is missing. My information creativity was dashed.

Surely Google Sites could be my saviour? Yes, the Edit Page button is visible, things are looking up, Touching the edit button brings up the editing toolbar, but touching the edit area fails to make the keyboard appear, a sinking feeling again. But wait, switching to HTML mode does allow me to edit at last so all is not lost. However try typing “<h2>Header</h2>” on the iPad keyboard – the blood boils quickly with 3 levels of keys to manipulate. The same scenario pans out on my WordPress blog – oh where is Windows Live Writer for the iPad? So I have to knock of 30%.

Next I turned to Apple paid iWork apps and tried Pages and more recently Keynote. These are beautifully designed and smooth in operation as expected with a surprising range of functionality. But where are the created documents and presentations stored, and how do I share them with cloud-based storage and other computer platforms without forking out through the nose for Mobile Me? The answer proves to be ‘with difficulty’ but that is another post. Nonetheless I raise the iPad score by 10% so the result stands at 80% – not quite a higher distinction.

Being an iPad newbie obviously raises doubts that I have not discovered sufficient tips and tricks yet. Please comment on this post and put me right. I want to raise the iPad score.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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