I recently had a chance to work with an iPad. The different kinds of UI is exploding as Mobile devices, e-readers, netbooks and other devices gain in popularity. No longer can I design for 1024×768 or better on a modern browser. Now, I have to think about gestures on mobile devices too.
The iPad is an interesting device, but mostly unsatisfactory. It really is just a big iPod Touch. My main source of frustration is figuring out why I would use it versus another device. For example:
- I tried using it to read my work email. I can’t figure out how to connect it to our exchange server. I will keep trying, but if it can’t show me my work email and calendar, then why would I bring it into a meeting. Unless I figure this out, I will have to use my Asus eeePC netbook.
- I installed the Kindle reader on it and showed it to Katie. She said, “ooh that’s sexy!” (and the iPad is not bad either! ba dum bump!). Then she tried to actually read a little on it and said, “Hmm..it’s too big and heavy.” The kindle is smaller and fits in one hand. It fits in her purse. The iPad is just too big. She will continue to use the Kindle.
- I used it to read Gmail, which thankfully worked. Typing on this thing though is making my wrist hurt. It’s worse than typing on the netbook, and that’s no joy for me either. Also, the iPad is a bit heavy for it’s size. The netbook balances on my lap, but the iPad is this tweener size where it’s not big enough for my lap and too big to hold with one hand.
- Games on it that were for the iPod Touch work in 2X mode (so they are big). New games still need to be developed. It’s very possible that the newer games will kick ass. Games are not my thing, but I will try some out.
- Note-taking is an interesting use, but I don’t exactly know how I am going to sync the notes back to my desktop or Outlook. I have multiple machines I use and I am not sure how the whole sync will work.
- I installed the Skype application for it and it works, but I would never actually use it as a phone. The call quality was terrible.
Overall, I am frustrated. I want to use it. It’s cool! But I just can’t find a good application for it. Maybe if I keep at it, something will present itself. I will update soon.