I’m late to the party, but I’ve joined the tablet computer brigade, having picked up the 16 GB white iPad 2 WiFi that finally arrived at my local Apple reseller after a two-month wait. I could have had a 32 GB model a week earlier, but have been resolved to go with the base model, reasoning that I don’t have large music or video collections, anticipate that the iPad will be very much a support machine complimenting my workhorse laptops, and even the most expensive iPad 2 will all too soon be yesterday’s news.
I skipped iPad 1, so using an iPad is pretty much terra incognita to me. There’s no iPhone service here in the outer boonies of Nova Scotia where I live, much to the bane of visiting iPhone users, and while it’s one thing to play around with someone else’s machine, or a store demo for a few minutes at a time, it’s quite another to live with one on a day to day basis yourself.
Having finally jumped into the deep end of the iOS pool, my first impression of My New iPad 2 was that I’m really glad a review copy of Wallace Wang’s new “My New iPad 2: A Users Guide” update arrived here last week. I’m print-centric when it comes to instructional documentation, although iTunes does a decent job of walking you through the basic iPad 2 setup process—at least it did after I downloaded and installed the current iTunes 10.1.3 to replace the iTunes 8-point-something I’d been using on my MacBook.
I’m going to be feeling my way for a while. I’m not at all touchscreen oriented, so navigating the iOS user interface is anything but second nature to me. I expect I’ll become acclimatized, but I deduce that getting used to the iPad way of doing things is probably easier for someone who is not a personal computer veteran than it will be for me.
However, another initial impression is that the on-screen virtual keyboard is truly abominable to use, not only for long form text entry, but in some ways even worse for short form stuff like entering passwords with alternating alphabet and numeric characters. I will definitely be shopping for an external keyboard.
That said, I’m glad Apple didn’t opt for an undersized slide-out analog keyboard, which would still be inadequate for serious typing and would have made the iPad a bulky lump instead of the sleek, svelte, and light device that it is.
How much I’m able to integrate it into my workflow remains to be seen, but I’ll be giving it a fair shot.