wRiTtEn oN tHe iPaD 2

Media

We seem to have an iPad 2 in the house now, and as I’m knocked out with a man-flu and staying in bed, I foolishly thought I’d write up the blog on it.

A virtually impossible task, as it turns out. I really wanted to love it – but it’s not a computer, more like writing something on your phone, complete with the double-keyboard layout that requires you to toggle to another screen to put in an apostrophe. And just like the phone, if you have big hands you won’t be able to do much at all without endless rewriting.

But that’s just the start of the pain. Yes, it’s pretty but it feels fragile and slippery, and weirdly awkward to hold. Reading a book quickly becomes hard work.

Many of the apps available so far feel as if they’ve been rushed out. The Times subscription app is shockingly bad, with a handful of articles peppered by ads. And either the Guardian app has been adapted from its phone app or someone got the size wrong. It’s miniature.

There’s no Flash, which for UK users is disastrous, as our websites tend to make more of the moving image. Most of the free apps are teaser ads for purchases, peppered with millions of pop-ups. Fine, but you can’t try many of the purchases to see if you like them. So you end up endlessly browsing back and forth like a bored, fractious child on a rainy day. The best app I found was Flipboard, but I couldn’t get it to load photos.

Ultimately though, what is it for? I felt like someone in a hairdressers, flicking backwards through a gossip magazine, but a magazine where many of the pages are glued together and can’t be opened.

So, a very nice toy, then, but very definitely a toy and nothing more, in the sense that after a few minutes you’ll be trying to think of something to use it for. Good for children’s games, though.

(I finished writing this on a computer, because it was driving me mad)

7 comments on “wRiTtEn oN tHe iPaD 2”

  1. Rick says:

    Good to have your savvy take on this. Given you are already MAC-friendly, I am surprised you have found it incompatable. Perhaps you should load some videos on it to get through your Man-flu! I have noticed many in the film industry are now using them for pitch presentations and for reading and jotting notes on scripts with a stilus, which (apparently) converts to a type-font. I suspect you will find some apps that make it fun to play with or – god forbid – usefull!

    I am still tempted, but…

    Feel better soon.

  2. Mike Cane says:

    Tch, tch. I blame the man-flu. Obviously you are delirious.

  3. Ken says:

    I too find it hard to read on the ipad. main difficulty is that it’s so hard to focus when you get email alerts, double tap to switch to twitter, have a round of angry birds…

    if ever there is an award for world’s most distracting device, the ipad gets my vote

    perfect for travelling with though

  4. A bit off topic but did anyone else see this?

    http://bookotron.com/agony/news/2011/04-11-11-news.htm#n041511

    I found it amusing that not one work of fiction from the horror, fantasy or sf genres were listed yet according to the photo, apparently Sue Perkins approves of The Day Of The Triffids, a sf classic.

  5. I’ve been using my iPad for several years and love it, especially for writing while I’m travelling. I use the Pages app, a PDF editor and a couple of programmes for file transfer and remote printing. I do understand the flash limitation and expect there should be a flash-to-HTML5 converter available from someone before too long, but then again I don’t use the iPad as a laptop, though I do use it for presentations and as a scratch pad for taking notes and recording meetings.

    At home it has it’s own keyboard/dock, but for travel, the one concession I had to make was to purchase a case with a built-in bluetooth keyboard.

  6. Wayne says:

    At Last a truth teller !! Don’t believe the hype, The iPad is what you say it is a very expensive TOY.

    Sorry Gwendolyn but its so so hard to use for more than just game play, net browsing or viewing Photo’s If you just have the Pad its self. A friend lent me one to “try before you buy” and i am glad he did i was so unimpressed. I had a two week trial with the thing and agree with everything our “Man flu” writer has said.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Hope the flu is moderating and that the iPad smash was therapeutic. (Have you noticed that computers do not like any of the computer based terminology?)

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