Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I play with an iPad

I have held, touched and even played with an iPad. All without buying one. It’s the newest toy the CEO bought for the office, and I’ll even get a day to take it home and play with it. I’m looking forward to it, but I can tell you the end result is — as cool as it is, right now I’m not going to buy one.


I’m a writer. It’s what I do. Hand me a new tech toy and my first thought is “how do I write a novel on this.” We’re talking technology here. I can even make notes for my novel on my phone (and it isn’t even an iphone) using Google apps. The problem is, the iPad doesn’t seem much more useful than my phone for noveling, despite the somewhat larger screen.

The big problem isn’t the apps. Although it doesn’t come with Word Processing software, the “Pages” application on runs $10 and seems to be designed for writing and or noveling (Charles says he'll buy it for me so I can try Pages on my iPad discovery day). But still, compared to MS Office, that’s a killer price. Though you’ll need to get the novel out of it and into MS Office if you plan to submit to a publisher. But that isn’t the problem — yet.

No, the problem is the keyboard. Or what works as a keyboard which is the touch screen. The screen is sensitive to, well, touch. Any touch. Move a finger from C to E and you’re likely to hit D on the way. Let any finger rest on the keys for the briefest second and you’ve hit another letter. I keep hitting the “A” key because my left pinky dips down if I don’t focus on holding it off the screen.

So, typing is a painful effort of holding every finger up and moving to exactly the right spot before touching anything. And still doing a lot of backspacing. I did become better with practice, but for a day of typing I’d need to buy the separate keyboard. And a stand. And then I’d essentially have a netbook. I already have a netbook. It even multitasks and runs Flash applications. Or and I can read ebooks on it.

The iPad is cool. But it seems everyone in the office who picked it up had the same reaction — Cool. But what would I really need it for?


Arlene said...

So, using it to write sounds frustrating, but what about reading? Is it as user friendly as the kindle? There's some funny videos of cats and dogs having their say about them.
That's sweet to have a boss who likes sharing the latest techno thingees.

rebecca said...

We have one too and you can buy a keyboard for it :) Nevertheless I agree that it is unlikely I will use it to write. It is a good ereader (in my opinion) and fun for surfing the net. Unfortunately, my 3 year old has a better time with it than me!!

Cate Masters said...

A friend of mine was excited that you could actually "turn" the pages of an ebook like a physical book, and according to him, the iPad will revolutionize the industry. Hm. Remains to be seen. If I had an ereader I'd definitely read more ebooks. When I'm on the computer, I tend to write more than read.

Marie Dees said...

Someone was debating to get the iPad or the Kindle as an ereader. I'd say the iPad is more flexible as far as uses but larger and heavier than the Kindle.

Keep in mind, I'm still lusting for my turn to play with the new office toy. Just not enough to plop down $500 of my own money.

Isabel Roman said...

I admit it...I was one of those who bought the iPad when it first came out. I returned it 3 days later.

I may still get the newer version when it comes out in 6+ months, but this one seriously lacked very basic 21st century technology. Sure, it was cool and all, but I love my Kindle for an eReader and hoped the iPad would be for writing. Saving and transfering was downright impossible.

Here's hoping the new and improved version is better.