I know it’s a bit late to be doing a review with hundreds out there but I know it’s sometimes nicer to get a friends point of view or just someone who is not in the media industry.
One of the first things you notice about the iPad when you turn the device on is the screen, it’s absolutely gorgeous and the viewing experience on this device is definitely one of it’s best points! After a while you start to realise the iPad is a very pro-consumption entertainment device apart from the iworks apps including your pages, numbers and keynote, this device is not meant for a creational means and for it’s money you would expect a little bit more from that, but maybe it’s too early to say, the iphone and iPod apps didn’t kick off a while, there maybe a lot more apps to come.
In terms of it’s entertainment there are wide range of apps including one if my favourites, the YouTube app. I prefer over the website, streaming video in HD and it has a very natural feel to it. There is a brilliant marvel comic app that presents comics beautifully and they are many more to suit your needs. However in terms of entertain there is definitely something missing, catch-up tv, I mean come on, iPad the best selling tablet in the world and channel 4/sky can’t be bothered to at least make a HTML5 version of there catch up tv? At this point I envy the Americans and their netflix, a Internet subscription service where you can stream tv shows and movies – similar to lovefilm, it’s like the top app which us UK users can not use it which is perfect for a device like this. There is however Sky sports mobile but at a hefty price of £35 per month per iPad (which is sky sports 1 and 2) or £8 per month per iPod/iPhone (sky sports 1, 2, 3 & news), I can’t imagine the iPad version being a popular package.
Surfing the web which the device prides itself on is very nice, sleek and fluid. However, flash… Yes, you may of heard the “it don’t have flash, it’s shit” from obsessed window fanboys who don’t quite know what they’re talking about. I agree that lack of flash means lack of web experience, however I also agree that flash is buggy, power consuming and unstable. When you hear that fan in your computer sometimes going crazy and really loud and the computer goes red hot when your browsing, that’s flash at it’s best, can you imagine what it would do to a small tablet, it would eat your battery like a snack. On the other hand HTML5 which provides the same sort of web experience is on the rise so it may be worth it in the end.
A few other things; iBooks in my opinion is not worth using, the screen just isn’t fit for reading a book, the kindle is a much better e-reader with the best electronic ink, the apps are all lovely to see on a big screen. General functions are good and the keyboard takes a bit if getting used to, but I could type this review fine on it.
My main problem is this notion of having a copy of everything on every device. I don’t want iPod apps on my iPad, and vice versa whether there compatible on both or not, I don’t need two copies of it! So my dislike, I’d prefer it if the iPad was more independent in that sense, or at least easier options to separate iPad apps from iPod apps (it took me a good 20 minutes to figure it out, even then it was tedious!).
To conclude it’s a brilliant device I found myself the past few days picking up this for general facebook, youtubing and what not. I event started reading The Times because the app is so easy and natural to use. But it definitely isn’t and doesn’t claim to be a replacement for a laptop.
P.S Your BBC iplayer fix is available on BBC.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen as well as tvcatchup.com a Internet free view site where you can watch a decent choice of channels on the go from iPad or iPod (tv license is needed at the address you register with).