Ask the fellow who bought an iPad on launch day

I know there is some interest in the iPad on this board, so I thought I would answer questions my experience with it, if anyone has any.

I bought the 32-gig wifi model yesterday - got in line at 7:30 AM, got the iPad around 9:45. So not a terrible wait, though I still wouldn’t buy an Apple product on launch day again. The exuberance of the staff was … kind of creepy.

The iPad itself is neat, though - I have loaded it up with books and movies, which it handles well, and the onscreen keyboard is acceptable. I wouldn’t want to write the bar on this thing, but it’s fine for posting to the Dope.

So - fire away, if you like!

Glad you are happy with it so far.

My basic rule is never, ever buy Version 1 of any hardware or software. Let the others be the “beta” testers.

What do you plan on using it for? Where do you plan on using it? How often will it stay home? Where do you anticipate taking it?

Do you have other computers in the household? What are they and what rooms are they in?

Do you need an existing computer to sync it to or could someone have this as a standalone appliance without syncing to another computer?

Can you organize the app icons like you can on the iPhone or are they locked into alphabetical order?

I’m using it mainly as an ebook reader and web-browsing device, with a bit of gaming and movie-watching thrown in. Since I’ve got a lot of books on it already, and I’m an avid reader, I plan to take it most places I go. The battery lasts a good ten or so hours on a charge, so I can take it pretty much anywhere and count on having access to reading material. With the case (not included with the iPad), it’s pretty reasonable to just carry the iPad around as you would a book.

I have two other computers - a Mac desktop set up in my bedroom/office, and a Dell netbook that served as my old living-room computer. The iPad will probably be taking over that role.

You don’t technically need an existing computer to use the iPad. It wants to be synced to a computer on first power-up - but if you want, the folks in the Apple store will do that for you, setting up your email account and so forth. I didn’t bother with that, but if you did, you’d walk out of the store with an iPad ready to browse the web, install apps, download music from iTunes, and so on. So, the iPad could work as a purely stand-alone appliance - but it’s designed to be used with a PC, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some nasty glitches pop up if you couldn’t ever connect to one. (For example - OS updates can only be done through syncing).

And yes, you can organize the app icons as on the iphone/ipod touch.

We who are about to experience the blue screen of death salute you! :smiley:

Do you have a Netflix account? If so, have you tried out the app yet?

When I found out about that yesterday, my head about exploded in a red hot desire to spend $499.

Yes, I’ve tried it. It does exactly what it says on the tin - Netflix, streamed flawlessly to the iPad. It’s very neat, but I actually would’t call this much of a “killer app” on the wifi-only iPad models. If you don’t have wifi, you don’t get to watch Netflix. :slight_smile:

Netflix is actually claiming that they intend to release an app for the iPhone - that, to me, would actually be a bit cooler. [Samuel Jackson] Netflix - on a train! [/Samuel Jackson]

Why wait over two hours in line on day one? If I wanted one, I assume I’d buy it on day two by just walking into the store.

Re Netflix:

Can you watch streamed movies on a plane or do they require a constant web connection?

Some airlines are offering wifi on their flights, so there’s that…

That’s where I usually stand, too. Plus, technology usually comes down in price if you wait, and I rarely need some new tech so badly I have to have it RIGHT NOW!

Which is not to say I don’t appreciate the Mr.Excellents of the world. :slight_smile:

Partly because I thought they’d be sold out by day two, but mostly because I thought it would be interesting to see what an Apple product launch was like. It turns out it’s really creepy - lesson learned!

You need a constant web connection.

Haha - thanks, Cat Whisperer!

Just stopped in to say that the siren song was too much for me to endure. I popped over to the Apple store this evening and picked up the cheapest one.

I really like it!

I’ll probably give it to my wife because she only uses her laptop for email, Google, and Youtube - three things that this device does well in spades.

We’re looking at getting the 3G version (wireless internet access through the cell phone networks for the no0bs) when that version becomes available. We’re considering this for a few reasons:

  1. Neither of our phones currently have internet access, which is a drag. The 3G service for an iPad is cheaper and more flexible than upgrading both our phones and getting data service for both lines.
  2. functionality as a GPS unit (ours was stolen)
  3. functionality as an e-book reader (better than a Kindle)
  4. functionality as a digital drawing pad so the husband can do basic stuff for his freelance job on the go. (a sketchbook you can email!)

Since you’ve had a chance to lay hands on one, do you think it could accomplish these tasks as well as the commercials claim?

Also, Minor7flat5 mentions youtube streaming and internet cruising. Have you noticed any major drags with the iPad not supporting Adobe Flash?

Youtube uses HTML5 and h.264 for the iPhone OS.

The lack of flash hasn’t bothered me so far. As for the GPS thing - well, mine doesn’t have that, but I’d be very skeptical about using an iPad as a GPS device on foot. It’s the size of a hardcover book, and heavier than most - in a car, that just means it’d be a bit clumsy as a GPS navigator, but it would be pretty darned impractical on foot, I think.

There are several drawing apps out for the iPad, ranging from fairly basic to pretty advanced. I haven’t used them, and I doubt I will - my artistic skills are more-or-less limited to stick figures. But I imagine they’re sufficient for basic work.

A note on internet access: You might want to reconsider getting internet on your phones instead of the iPad. You take your phones everywhere with you, so getting internet access on them means you have always-on internet access, everywhere. You’re not likely to take your iPad with you everywhere you go - you’ll probably choose to take it specific places. A lot of the time, those places (bars, cafes, even some public parks) will have wifi. I’m sure that the 3G on iPads will work fine - Apple knows how to do this, and the web-browsing experience over wifi is solid - but I’m not convinced 3G on an iPad actually is all that useful.

I have only used the iPad for a couple of hours so far, but I don’t miss Flash. Of course, as a long time iPhone user, I’m used to the apps and their limitations.
Since I don’t play Flash games, it seems like all I am missing is the annoying Flash ads.

One more Flash gap was recently filled when Netflix came out with their free iPad app. I downloaded that and watched about five minutes of a streaming movie last night (it was getting kind of late) and was very pleased.

I am stoked :cool:

ETA: Just to echo what Mr. Excellent just said, the iPad is pretty darned heavy. It’s petite, but those big fat batteries give it some substance. The iPad is probably twice as heavy as the Kindle.

Slide on down to the local Apple store and try one out; it’s the only way!

I think you’ve forgotten the true Only Way. It involves orbit, and nuclear weapons, and the certainty that results from the combination of the two.

I’d honestly like to know, are there good PDF viewers for the iPad? And is there a way to store a bunch of PDF files on it for offline viewing? I tried the iPad at a store yesterday but the built-in browser/viewer didn’t do a very good job with PDF - rather sluggish and slow, even after the whole document had loaded.