The iPad – One Month In

Monday April 5th, 2010 at approximately 10:30a I received my 16gb Wi-Fi only iPad. I had just gotten off a plane in Portland, OR – a red-eye from Honolulu to Portland – and drove 2 hours and 30 minutes to Tacoma, WA to pick up my iPad waiting at my office for me. Then I…

Monday April 5th, 2010 at approximately 10:30a I received my 16gb Wi-Fi only iPad. I had just gotten off a plane in Portland, OR – a red-eye from Honolulu to Portland – and drove 2 hours and 30 minutes to Tacoma, WA to pick up my iPad waiting at my office for me. Then I drove another 44 minutes home.

I unpacked from being gone for two weeks, played with the cat and ate food. Then I did the ceremonial opening of the iPad and plugged it in to my Macbook Pro. Now came the longest hour and a half of my life as I synced the iPad and put music and videos on it.

For the next week of my life and really took the iPad everywhere with me, showing it off and using it for every possible thing I could. We have all read those reviews, some are great and some leave you scratching your head. I thought it would be useful for people to get a look at how I am using the iPad one month into it. I have broken my usages down by the time of the day as that seems like the best way to go about this.

Pre-Work (5:45a – 7:30a)

After I check some websites on my Mac, I read through my RSS feeds (Fever°) and save the ones I want to read to Instapaper. From there I grab my iPad and head to the couch (I don’t like to look at Fever° on the iPad as it is still a little problematic, but usable). Once I hit the couch I go through my apps, here is the order that I read the apps and email links to Instapaper:

  • TWC Max+ (weather info)
  • NYT Editors Choice
  • USA Today
  • BBC News
  • Guardian Eyewitness
  • Reuters Galleries
  • Reuters News Pro

When I see an article I want to read in any of the above I email the link to Instapaper for reading later. If I have time left before I need to leave for work I try to read articles in Instapaper.

Work (8:15a – 4:45p)

This is the period of the day that I rarely use the iPad. Not that it doesn’t have its business uses, just my work day is not tailored towards those uses. I rarely go to meetings – which is a place where the iPad shines. Most days I will use the iPad as a scratch pad (Penultimate) while on the phone and will take it with me to different places I go. If I find myself with some downtime I will flip on the Verizon MiFi and catch up on some Instapaper reading.

After Work (5:30p – bedtime)

The iPad shines during this period of time. Spend a lot of time on different websites, reading in Instapaper / iBooks / Kindle / Zinio. I post to WordPress, play games, and control VLC on my Mac mini (hooked to the TV). The entire night is spent on my iPad, rarely do I touch my Macbook Pro.


Take Pre-work and After work and press them together omitting the ‘work’ stage. That is my weekend usage. 10% is on my Macbook Pro and the rest is my iPad with about 0.5% being my iPhone.

Would I do it again?

One thing I think is most telling about a new gadget is to ask yourself if you would purchase it again given what you know today. The answer to this for me is an overwhelming ‘yes’ I would buy the iPad again no regrets. I also would not buy the 3G, nor do I need any more space than 16gbs affords.

The key to my enjoyment of the iPad is that after work period of time, whereas before the iPad I used to use my Macbook Pro until my wife got annoyed and then just my iPhone. With the iPad it is all sorts of different. I can turn the iPad off and on to start and stop what I am doing in an instant – allowing me to stop reading and focus on a conversation with my wife, picking it up again easily. With a laptop there is always a lag between sleeping and waking the computer – a lag that becomes annoying once you use an iPad.

Favorite Feature

Hands down the battery. Apple was not joking when they rated it at 10 hours of battery life. This device has an outstanding battery. While the life is nice, what the battery really means for the user is:

  • No carrying a charger
  • Doing what you want when you want it – you don’t have to save the last little bit of battery life for something that may be important later, because you always have battery life.

Wireless devices are great so long as the battery is charged. They are worthless once the batteries are dead, or you have to us them tethered to a charger. The iPad makes this a non-issue.

Worst ‘Feature’

I had a lot of trouble deciding what I think the worst feature to be, but I think I finally discovered. Lack of privacy is the iPad’s worst feature. I think Craig Hockenberry said it best:

The iPad was naturally passed around amongst the partygoers. Many people interacted with it during the evening, and I lost track of who had it at any given time. And therein lies a fundamental problem.

My iPad has a lot of personal information on it: email, business documents, and financial data. When you pass it around, you’re giving everyone who touches it the opportunity to mess with your private life, whether intentionally or not. That makes me uneasy.

I could not agree more so be sure to read that whole post to get the entire picture. We need better security when we show / share these devices with others.

Favorite App

Instapaper. Hands down, the reading, usability, speed are all top notch. This is the best app on the iPad no doubt about it.

Worst App

I can’t speak for all the apps, but of the ones that I have tried I hate the Wall Street Journal app the most. This has nothing to do with the subscription pricing, and everything to do with the look, and usability.

Why do I have to download the entire newspaper for the hour / day? Why does it take forever to download it, NYT and USA Today reloads quickly. Why do you feel the need to nag me all the time to subscribe when I already said no? Not to mention the giant pop up ads. Such an annoying app.

Moving Forward

I really am looking forward to the future of the iPad, more so than I am with the iPhone. I think OS 4.0 is going to give quite an amazing boost to the iPad. I think that future hardware updates are only going to make an already fast iPad into an instant iPad.

Also on another note the iPad has made me want an SSD drive for my Macbook Pro more than ever.

That’s my iPad take after one month of using it.

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