I’ve had an iPad for seven months now and I was thinking about how much has changed with how I used computers and the little frustrations that still pop up.
The biggest change is that I don’t carry my Macbook Pro anywhere but to the office where it sits on my desk all day until it’s time to go home. I used to take it to meetings with me but now I just take my iPad. Because battery life is a non-issue with the iPad I don’t have to fight for a spot on the conference table outlet any more.
I also spend more time using applications that let me store the data remotely. Because I’m always switching between different computers and the iPad and iphone I find myself more often using apps that are cross-platform (across Apple hardware, not Windows of course). If an app is iPhone only or MBP only or won’t let me share data out of it easily then I’m probably not going to use it.
But that brings up some of the frustrations. Too many applications don’t share data easily and it’s still too difficult to sync files across multiple machines. I’m using Dropbox a lot and it does a marvelous job of syncing but (and I’m looking at you here, Apple) too many apps still don’t support it. Also I find myself switching computers in mid task frequently and it sure would be nice to have a more transparent way of accomplishing that. With Google Talk, for instance, I can easily switch IM sessions between computers on the fly. Also, the bounce feature on Colloquy is great because it lets me stay logged into IRC on my desktop at home and then connect to it seamlessly from my iPad or iPhone. I only wish the desktop version of Colloquy supported access to bounce.
Some of the worst non-sharing applications come from Apple. iTunes is horrible and iPhoto is almost as bad. The kluges required to use and share libraries across several computers are crazy.
In an ideal (for me) world my data would either be automatically synced in real time or stored in real time on line so I could switch on the fly between computers and applications.
One last thing, the notifications on the iPhone and iPad are made of complete fail. Assuming I get them at all and in a timely manner (which rarely happens) they’re almost useless. Apple, please look at how Android does it and do that but better.
So, many good things but still some frustrations.
On the other hand I love the iPad and I can’t wait to see what happens next in tablet computing. It’s gonna be a fun time.