iPad - A few modest recommendations

I quite like my iPad. It’s what I expected, plus a little more in some areas and a little less in others.

  • Every iPad commercial I’ve seen highlights the iBook app. So why didn’t it come preloaded? Sure, it was free, but I had to go hunting for it on the app store.

  • And speaking of iBook, why wasn’t the iPad user guide preloaded on the device? The only format I’ve found it in is PDF, and I had to install a PDF reader to read it. Some of the taps & gestures aren’t as intuitive as I’d hoped.

  • I’m underwhelmed by the case. I would have had a way to prop it vertically (portrait mode), and a little pocket where you could tuck in a business card to show who the iPad belongs to.

  • Speaking of which, I know I can spend a little time on Photoshop to accomplish this, but it would be nice if the startup screen could be set to display the name and phone number of the owner.

  • It would have been nice to be able to set a different wallpaper for each main page, so it was obvious at a glance which one you were on.

I’m sure I’ll think of some more. In the meantime, fellow iPad owners, what do you wish they’d done differently?

I like all of your suggestions. I made exactly the same complaints about the case.I even tried to fit my business card in that funny slot thing until I realized what it was.

My biggest complaint - iPad in it’s case doesn’t fit in the keyboard dock!!! Argh! That seems like borderline negligence to me.

A few more niggles:

  • I wish there was an easy way to go “back” an app. Especially when I click a link in an email and it opens safari. It always takes me a few seconds to realize what happened and figure out how to get back to reading mail. I would like a “back” button or gesture.
  • I wish the autocorrect button would realizevthat wordsbwith a v or a b in the middle were so supposed to have spaces.
  • I didn’t realize how much I missed cursor keys until I got the keyboard dock. Lord! I wish I had cursor keys!
  • It annoying that the controls are at the top on the iPad and at the bottom on the iPhone. Top or bottom would’ve been fine - it’s the inconstancy that makes me mad. Don’t make me think!
  • lack of multi-tasking doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would except in a handful of cases: rhapsody, Skype & IM

It’s a bookmark in safari.

I thought of a couple more.

  • I wish there was a gesture for “go to end of page”
  • I wish copy-paste was a little easier

Actually - I think gestures in general are a ripe area for improvement. They haven’t made great use of the multi-touch capabilities and I expect that apple has an army of designers working on better gestures as I type. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

There’s no way to know for sure, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t done yet when they finalized the firmware – they were negotiating with publishers right up to when the device shipped.

Agreed. This is actually at the top of your bookmarks in Safari (and readable there), but it was days before I noticed this. A web link on the main screen would have been enough.

The Apple case sucks. You can’t fit it in the dock with the case on, either (I fixed this with creative use of an x-acto knife, by the way. Just cut around the dock outline, and it works fine and still looks decent). But with the case in “prop mode” (flap tucked in), it’s designed to be used in portrait mode, too. Setting it “on edge” is sturdy (even in portrait mode), and leans the case back at a nice angle for viewing. There are some picture of this on the Apple site, but it’s not obvious.

The little page control (the row of dots at the bottom) shows you this, but I agree that the wallpaper would be a better idea.

Mine: I’d have roughened the back. I haven’t dropped it, but people coming into my office to play with it hold it comically gingerly (of course, two of them have already run off to buy one after playing with it, so they apparently got over it).

Where’s the bloody alarm clock app? Talk about the one standard app that I use daily, and that can’t be duplicated by current third party developers until the multitasking stuff comes in 4.0. The other ones (relative to the iPad Touch) missing, I can live with (most I have better free replacements for already), but ‘clock’ is a harsh blow.

More apps per page would have been nice (it’s REALLY sparse), but we’ll get that in 4.0, too.

I could go on all day about iTunes App Store: it needs a switch for “iPad Apps” (as opposed to iPhone/Touch ones) that lasts past the first page, the “feautred” page (what’s the difference between “hot,” “top,” “noteworthy,” and “staff picks,” anyway?) makes it very hard to find anything that’s not one of those. It’s slow except in the wee hours. The “Browse” view (the only useful one in my opinion) has been hidden in a small gray link at the bottom of the page. They’ve been making incremental improvements since release, but they’ve got a long way to go.

Hmmm… Where’s my knife…?

I wish the app store did not close when you install or update. It gets pretty annoying when you have 4 or 5 apps to install and it keeps closing on you.

Now you have me puzzled. Which controls are you referring to? The physical buttons or software controls?

Assuming that you mean the software controls, I think this is deliberate (it’s recommended in Apple’s developer guidelines specifically). Phones are held by the bottom and used with the thumbs. On larger screens, they’re held high, and people are used to thinking like a computer instead, and reach toward the top where a menu bar would be.

I’m sure a lot of this is in flux right now (UI in general is inconsistent, especially on third-party apps), and will settle down as new idiom gets entrenched. Until then, you may have to keep thinking, sorry.

I asked about the hardware controls because I just realized the other day that I could flip the device and put the Home button at the top. This is more convenient when using the device in portrait mode in my lap.

Is there a way to set the text size or font in notes? I’d sure like to be able to make it bigger.

Speaking of notes, my grandson likes to sit and type on it (he’s two), and he keeps losing the on-screen keyboard. I tap all over the darned screen and can’t get it back. I have to exit notes and come back in. This has happened three or four times now.


They should have made the keyboard attach to the device by way of a hinge, so it would be like a mini-laptop and the keyboard would protect it when folded closed.

It should have been something like this: http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/

But with Apple quality and interface.