Monday, May 31, 2010

My iPad is awesome

Usually when writing a blog post I try to come up with a witty pun on words to use as the title; sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're smutty, sometimes they're rubbish. But for this post I've decided to go with something that is simple and effective - because my iPad IS awesome.

I've been foaming at the mouth with desire for an iPad since they were first announced back in January, and just when I thought I was days away from getting my hands on one in April I then had to endure another month of buttock-clenching anticipation because of unexpectedly high demand for them in the U.S. (damn you yankees!).

But then, finally, on May 10th I was at last able to pre-order my iPad. I was a happy bunny, although the days between pre-ordering and actually getting it were quite frankly among the longest of my life … although maybe not quite as long as I'd initially thought they would be…

Y'see, last Wednesday I just happened to click the 'Track your order' button on the Apple website and it said that my order would be delivered on the 27th. Yes, the 27th, just as I'd been tol- Wait a sec! The 27th?! That's the day before the UK iPad launch! I almost EXPLODED with excitement, and subsequently went to bed very early in anticipation (it felt like Christmas Eve).

So on the 27th I got up early, raced into work, and sat at my desk pretending to be busy all the while keeping a beady eye fixed firmly down the stairs at the front door. And that's how I remained for about four hours. At one I headed out to lunch, walking through the backstreets of Hammersmith with said beady eye now on the lookout for the UPS delivery van.

I returned to the office an hour later: NOTHING.

I harumphed, and got back to work (ish). And then I heard the front door open: it was a man in brown. I raced downstairs, looked at the UPS guy and shouted "YOU'RE MY HERO!" (I'm not writing that for comic effect, I seriously did). He was obviously used to such insanity on this day and replied "yeah, I've heard that a lot today!" I almost hugged him. I almost gave him a KitKat, and lord knows I do not part with my KitKats easily.

The iPad arrives! (the envelope on top is a separate package containing the iPad case I also ordered)

I'd already made the decision that, as you need to connect your iPad to your iTunes to zip all your goodies across (music, video, apps, etc), I wasn't actually going to get it out in the office. Also, it would've been a massive distraction and I was WELL busy. And I didn't want all my colleagues getting their grubby finger marks all over it.

I did, however, tease myself because I'm naughty.


The excitement at having received my iPad the day before its actual launch was bittersweet, however, as while I would've loved to have shot home at warp speed to start playing with it, I actually had a prior engagement that evening - a family outing to see John Mayer in concert at Wembley Arena.

And so I boxed iPad up and headed off to meet the fam.


An aside:

John Mayer was very good.

The things that man can do with a guitar. Let's just say that Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Anniston are VERY lucky ladies.

Anyway, after dropping Sparky Ma and Pa home at quarter past midnight, I headed home. And while any sane man would've popped straight off to bed, I decided that I would CRACK OPEN MY iPAD!

Quite frankly because it would've been rude not to. And, of course, I even took the time to document it!

Notice how I framed this image to look a bit like the obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey (unintentionally).

I *heart* Apple packaging - it's so minimalistic and devoid of bulky stuff you've then got to throw out.

FINALLY - IT'S WITHIN MY GRASP! The iPad actually appears a bit smaller than you'd imagine it to be, but that's not a complaint - it feels so very right in your hand.

How perfect, minimalist, and so utterly right does the design of this thing look? It truly is like something off of Star Trek.

Zipping my stuff over. Within 15 minutes of getting it out of the box I'd popped some movies, music, photos, and apps (all the ones I'd listed in my earlier post) on my iPad. All my contacts, calendars, notes and settings synced seamlessly too.

Just for completists sake, here's the box for the case.

While I don't use a case for my iPhone now, I did think it was wise to use some form of protection for my iPad. I went with Apple's own case because I liked the design of it, and I figured they'd know better than anyone what's best for the gadget they created.

Some people have dismissed the iPad as being nothing more than an oversized iPod Touch, but I can say this: they clearly haven't used one. Yes, it uses Apple's iPhone OS, but it's so much more than just a bigger version of the iPhone/iPod Touch. I literally lost four hours to surfing the internet on it on Friday evening; websites I've been reading for years suddenly seemed new and exciting again as my fingers - not just one finger like I'd use on my iPhone - but all my fingers danced across that beautiful vibrant screen, hitting links, starting videos, zooming in on pictures - and the iPad kept up with the incredible pace of my discoveries, loading pages every bit as quickly as my iMac does.

The onscreen keyboard that pops up when you want to enter text is just brilliant, my initial hesitancy in tapping out words quickly giving way to touch-typing just as quickly and efficiently (for me, anyway) as I would if I were using a regular keyboard. Seriously, how long before Apple introduce a multitouch keyboard, or at the very least an app that lets me use my iPad as one?

Oh, and apps … lovely apps. I'm currently obsessed by this:

And, of course, all my existing iPhone apps work on the iPad too, either in an iPhone-sized window in the middle of the screen, or by using the double-pixel option that boosts them up to fill all the available space; admittedly when using this option they're not quite as gorgeous to look at as an iPad-specific app, but they're still perfectly usable.

I'll also be using my iPad to read my very first eBook (or as Apple call it, iBook) at some point, having downloaded my complimentary copy of Winnie-the-Pooh.

To sum up, then, I'm amazed by this device. Since I got it I've barely turned on my iMac (seriously, any comments I've left on blogs, Facebook, or Twitter over the last few days have all been done on my iPad), and I love that I can sit curled up on the sofa or in bed and reply to emails, surf the net, or play games.

But there is one slight downside…

…my iPhone feels *really* tiny and just a little bit clunky now.


CyberPete said...

You could have called it Damn Yakees but then, it wouldn't be as fitting as the one you picked.

I'm thrilled that you love your iPad. I'm a little afraid I wouldn't be using it much if I got it but the iBook feature intrigues me a lot.

Tara said...

I'm guessing your iPhone is feeling a bit lonely, too. Poor little thing. Oh well, onward!

That is a beautiful new gadget for sure. This damned yankee wants one now, too. :) The only Mac thing I have is the iTunes application on my PC.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

You mentioned the minimilist packaging, but all I see is a ruddy big box. Why is it so thick? What else was in there?

I suppose I'm glad that you're happy with your new toy. Yay, and all that...

Tim said...

Cyberpete - Get one, you'll find uses for it!!

Tara - Nah, my phone still gets attention! And you should get an iPad - it's so much fun!!

Inexplicable Device - its not a ruddy big box! The iPad fits so snuggly within it that there's actually a tab to lift it out because you can't get your fingers around the edges! As for the depth, that's because there's a plug and cable sitting underneath the iPad - y'know, so you can charge it!!

I don't know why you're so anti-Apple - I thought you witches loved them?

Inexplicable DeVice said...

* tut *

Apple products still use electricity? Pah! They should get with the times.

As you so thoughtfully pointed out, we witches do love apples. Especially those that are ripe for poisoning!

Ooh... That gives me a fabulous idea!

* prepares poisonous virus for Tim's iPad *

Tim said...

My iPad scoffs in the face of your virus.

CyberPete said...

I would get one if it wasn't so expensive. If there is one thing Apple does REALLY well, it's pricing their products way above reason.

They are lovely though, and I do quite fancy them (except for their computers of course) and I dread the day they make a keyboard because they are lacking a lot of keys.

Tim said...

Um, they do make keyboards. And I've never noticed any missing kys.

CyberPete said...

Oh yes of course they make keyboards. Duh! I meant for proper computers.. According to my evil bro, his airbook I think it is, doesn't have certain keys that his PC has like the delete key etc. Which are a must.

Tim said...

Is this the brother you don't like? I think he's messing with you a bit. They've all got the proper keys, but for the Bluetooth keyboards Apple dropped the extra numerical pad that usually goes on the righthand side.

Everyone was up in arms for about a minute, then just got on with their lives. My keyboard's got it though.

CyberPete said...

That's the one! Well he's the only one I've got so..

Maybe he meant the numerical pad. He was all up in arms that's for sure.