Last night I capitulated and ordered an iPad2.

Since blogging about whether it might be a good idea to get one a while ago, I have noticed mention of iPads cropping up more and more in my RSS feeds.  Of course, this is down to the release of the latest version of the iPad, but I generally find it easy to ignore the engadget hype posts about stuff I’m not all that excited about… for example I really don’t give a toss about the Nintendo 3DS and there’s a fair amount been written about those lately too.  More difficult to ignore have been the mentions in the academic blogs I subscribe to (such as the consistently interesting Profhacker) and recommendations from friends (such as @pam_psych).

Other contributing factors have included the construction of  a ‘reading nook’ in my office, having to over-ride my HP printer’s helpful out of ink notification (if you’re out of ink, why can I override you and still get perfectly readable printouts?)  and noticing my ‘to read’ GMail label pile up to over 20 items once again.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was seeing Alex Easton give a very smoothly presented departmental seminar on Friday, all administered using, rather inevitably, an iPad.

Steve Jobs while introducing the iPad in San F...
Look at his smug little face. Image via Wikipedia

Which has led me to quite a conflicted state of being.  I dislike Steve Jobs immensely.  I despise the arrogance with which he suggests that the iPad is “magical” (I invariably had to stop myself from spitting on the sign that proclaimed this ridiculousness outside the Washington University Bookshop).  I even bought an Android phone so I wouldn’t line his pockets.  But the allure of a well-designed, perfectly useful product has made me eat my words and give him some of my heard-earned cash.

So, I’m now looking forward to the day in May when I receive my magical and revolutionary product.  I’m eagerly awaiting the sense of frustration I’ll feel when I realise that its 1024×768 resolution isn’t quite good enough to read a single page of a pdf article in fullscreen.  I can’t wait until the perfectly standard use of Flash on a website I’m viewing fails to load.  I’m on tenterhooks to experience the pointed glances that scream “pretentious wanker” at my smug little face.  Because from within my £399 walled garden, I will have even more reasons to dislike Mr Jobs.


5 thoughts on “Despite Steve Jobs’ best efforts, I have ordered an iPad

  1. Pingback: Ten Things of Happiness « Make Yourself at Home

  2. I’m interested to hear how you’ve integrated the iPad into your workflow. I got one myself and it hasn’t been quite as useful academically-speaking as I would have liked. I don’t think I’ve gotten the hang of making it a useful tool though, yet.

    • My sole work use for the ipad it is as a pdf reader and annotator. It lightens the load on train and aeroplane journeys (for which I tend to save mountains of pdfs to read) and is a convenient, tactile source of additional screen estate when I’m fullscreen writing. It’s necessitated a bit of mental reorganisation on my part to work the ipad into my routine. Now that I’ve done that though, dropbox-Goodreader synced monthly pdf folders, and more project-specific folders (e.g. grant application guidance notes) have made the process of picking it up and opening a pdf to which I need quick access second nature. I’m reading more and I’m printing less, which is exactly what I hoped to achieve.

      I think I’d struggle to do anything else with it though. I’m not a mac user so can’t take advantage of apps like KeyNote without putting a lot of single-device specific work into the compatibility side of things.

  3. I don’t own an iPad and I’m just wondering if the things you thought would bother you, actually did. So was the resolution good enough to read pdf articles ok? Did the lack of flash hamper you? And does the walled-garden still make you mad?

    • Yes, it’s about time I followed up on this.

      1) Was the resolution good enough to read pdf articles ok?
      Yes, I think it is. Here’s a brief demonstration of what pdf articles look like on the 1024×768 screen:

      2) Did the lack of flash hamper you?
      It’s an obvious limitation, but it doesn’t bother me too much. It’s a royal pain in the arse navigating to a page that looks interesting only to realise that its content will remain invisible to you until you use a non-iOS device… even my HTC Desire smartphone manages Flash. Dedicated apps (such as BBC news and youtube) will often help you to get round it, but it’s a pain switching between them to search for a single news article or interesting video.

      3) Does the walled-garden still make you mad?
      Not so much. Comparing the Android and iOS platforms, I was quite surprised to find that there are some apps whose functions are much better than the equivalent iOS apps e.g. Sundroid. Given the amount of money sloshing around the Apple Market, I was expecting it to be one-way traffic in favour of iOS devices, but that’s not always the case, maybe partly because of the walled garden, but also thanks to the platforms different developers favour.

      A final annoyance I didn’t think about is the umbilical cord. Apple need to do something about the constant need to connect the device to a computer and iTunes. This will come in the next big iOS update, but it’s years too late already.


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