Reflections on an iPad week

 Since last week I am the proud owner of an iPad. So what luxury you may think ;-).

Nevertheless I think working with this thing and typing this blog entry on the virtual keyboard helps to develop a better sense for what these kind of devices might be good for and what are wrong assumptions. Definitely Apple has put a lot of time and brain into how this thing looks, feels and what it is good for. So here some of my personal insights:

– Reading: First of all it is a great thing for reading, taking your PDFs or docs with you on the train or the plain reading them is awesome. Nevertheless the immediate second thing you miss is: decent software for annotation of PDF and docs. Why not to have the possibility to add notes? THis is what I do a lot with reviews, interesting articles, with nearly everything I read. Secondly about reading: so I got myself pages on the iPad to read some docs and annotate them but what a disappointment no integration with MobileMe (document synching via USB … Hä?, come on). Luckily you have stuff as DropBox and GoodReader to help out getting document out of the cloud. The weird thing I found is that you can share docs via but you can not access them directly from pages. Naja .. iPad is great for reading RSS feeds, annotating them and instant sharing them via Twitter, saving them on delicious and so on. I am still not which RSS reader is my favourite one, NewsRack, NetNewsWire, …

:addition after watching keynote: in the next update of iBook you can PDFs to iBooks and annotate and bookmark pages, great so hopefully that with cloud integration 😉

– Gaming and collaborative apps, this is where the iPad is really great for. Having a marble app which you can play with 4 people, a shared experience where technology real does not feel in the way but like an enhanced gameboard, still a small one but hey! Driving a car by holding the augmented display before your face and listening to music, real immersive ;-). I think a lot of innovation will come up on the shared power of the display by probably also combining two or more iPads or just using one in the traditional ways of game boards. I think very soon these things become commodity and then you just take the iPad as a book, mail client, a chess board, a RSS reader of public news and scientific articles to the beach.

– Drawbacks:

a) so as announced today in iOS4 we will hopefully soon get multitasking. As this is even more important for a tool like iPad on which you have already some basic workflows in place and need personalized cross app functionality.

b) give me the cloud: Better integration with the cloud, I think this is also essential as it is a " take with me … care about my content later …" device. It is not about copying all you music or document via USB sync to the iPad … Then I will just get out my MacBook.

c) a full browser, why should I looked at trimmed pages made for small displays this thing has a real display. Off course you can get third party apps but why does one need workarounds that also use WebKit.  

More to come …