Now that I’ve had my (or, more accurately, my wife’s) iPad for a while, I’ve been able to dig a bit deeper into its functionality. It deserves to be repeated that the screen is gorgeous; you’ll recognize that right away. Remember how looking at the iPhone screen suddenly made every other cell phone’s display technology feel like it hadn’t advanced beyond 1986? The iPad’s HD display does the same thing to the iPhone. But there was a problem.
After connecting the iPad to my MacBook and setting it up in iTunes, I figured I was good. I unplugged it, found my WiFi, hit Safari, and was immediately told it couldn’t connect because there’s no Internet. This, while the upper left of the screen showed a very strong WiFi connection. Did I miss a setting? No. Everything was at it should be. No help on the Internet yet, of course, so I just keep messing around the settings; turning them off and back on; disconnecting WiFi and reconnecting. Nothing.
So, I called Apple tech support. And of course, the moment I began to describe the situation, I was connected. This is not the first time that’s happened with Apple tech support. I doubt it will be the last.
After turning off the iPad and turning it back on later, I had the same problem, albeit for a much shorter period (about a minute or two vs. 10 to 15). It does this when waking up from sleep, too. My guess is that for some reason the iPad is able to find WiFi before it can actually do anything with it. Or maybe it’s my WiFi set-up. We’ll see as more reports come in and I’m able to do more testing.
Once on, I was very impressed with the Safari experience. The touch screen controls (swipe, pinch, etc.) are much more responsive than on the iPhone. Safari screams, comparitively, pulling up pages much more quickly and scrolling at an amazing speed. It’s fantastic. Same messy bookmarking system, though.
I also like what Apple has done with apps. In iTunes, your iPad apps are separated from those for the iPhone and iPod touch, so they’re easy to find.
Same goes for syncing between iTunes and iPad. As with the iPhone (and separate of that), you simply check the apps you want to sync up…provided you didn’t tell iTunes to do this automatically when you plug in your iPad.
Unfortunately, the apps aren’t separated here between iDevices, so you may have to drill through a lot to get what you want. Hopefully, Apple adds that in soon.
Your movies and TV shows now get their own app, which is great; easier for the kids to find what they want, since they’ll be doing the movie watching on this thing. Although the screen looks great, I’m still spoiled by the Samsung LCD and Infinity surround system in the living room.
Beyond that, a lot of the functionality is the same as you’re used to with the iPhone and iPod touch. Holding down an app icon allows you to then drag it around the screen or to another, swiping to the right from the home screen takes you to the search feature, and hitting the on/off switch and the home button at the same time takes a screenshot. Like this:
Someone will have to tell me, though, why the upper right of the screen displays “Not Charging” when my battery is at 90% and the iPad is plugged into the computer via USB. It charges just fine when plugged into the wall.
Time to go use it some more, but check back here at Appletell for more commentary (with video, before too long). I do want to leave you with a bit of advice, however…learn to use that screen lock switch on the upper right side of the device. Screen rotation is quite sensitive on the iPad, and you’ll want to lock in so your books, movies, etc. don’t keep switching orientation.