Last night after dinner with the kids in Emeryville, we stopped by the Apple store to look at the iPads. I’ve been sort of bitter with the Apple store after a bad experience at one in Walnut Creek and hadn’t been back to one since, so I’d yet to actually touch an iPad and last night was my first time. I wrote a post a few months back on why I wasn’t so hot on the device, but actually got to hold one last night for the first time there at the store.
I only got to play with one for about five minutes because the store was closing and we were ushered out by Apple employees (the “good news” is that they are opening back up tomorrow, they told us). All of the kids and my wife got to play with one as well though, albeit briefly.
Touching one didn’t actually do much for me. I found typing on the onscreen keyboard crowded. It seemed like it would be lot more difficult for me to type on the device. I’d say after holding one I’m probably even less likely to buy one than I was before. My main reasons for not buying one would be:
1. I dont’ want to pay for another 3G account with AT&T whose super slow 3G network I’ve grown to detest. Who would win in a race between a turtle and AT&T’s 3G network? Well at least the turtle would show up to the race.
2. As a photographer, the device seems ill equipped for my photography needs. I like that I can transfer photos off my 64GB Sandisk CF card using a firewire 800 reader super fast like to my Mac Book Pro. Without a firewire 800 connection this is problematic. Also the unit doesn’t have very much storage or a powerful enough processor to run something like Adobe Lightroom. (Yes, I know that this is not what these devices are for, but photography’s a big part of my life personally speaking so it’s how I personally think, and I think a bit different than others sometimes).
3. I don’t like that I can’t get flash internet pages on the thing. I feel like I should be able to get the *entire* internet on any device I own and not be a causality in a personal pissing match between Apple and Adobe.
4. I read an article over the weekend that alleged Apple had rejected an app request for a political candidate. While I might be able to sort of look the other way as Apple censors porn on the device (not really, but just saying), reading that they’d actually censored an app over what felt like politics to me felt especially wrong. Yesterday’s TWIT episode was a good one. Cory Doctorow and Robert Scoble were on with Leo Laporte and censorship of the Apple app store was brought up on the show. Talking about the need to have apps approved by Apple individually, Cory made the statement that “”human evaluation of ’stuff’ doesn’t scale very well.”
5. When I played with the iPad it sort of kept doing that back and forth thing between vertical and horizontal rotating of my screen that my iPhone does. It’s not that I don’t want that functionality, it’s just that I don’t want that to happen as much when I don’t mean it to happen. Not sure that makes any sense or that there is any way that Apple could design a device to do this less, but that’s just a feeling.
6. I didn’t like that it didn’t have a DVD player in it. Especially since I wouldn’t likely buy 3G service with one, I’d want to be able to watch my Netflix movies on it when I wasn’t connected to the internet and lot of my Netflix content still comes on DVD.
7. With entry level units priced at $499, I could get a full fledged MacBook for only $500 more. Seems like a better value to me and that I’d get a lot more than I do with the iPad.
8. If I bought one the kids would probably fight over it. My son Jack might also drop it from his bunk bed and break it (he dropped a laptop from his top bunk once). As it stands now they use computers mostly that are desktop units that can’t be taken into the bunk bed to drop, either that or they use our iPhones.
9. This is just a feeling, but it feels to me like Apple is innovating less. I haven’t been very impressed with the things I’ve read about the new upcoming version of the iPhone (and will probably be moving over to Android when my AT&T contract is up in July, and oh, AT&T, raising your early termination fees on your phones over the weekend doesn’t help people want to buy a new iPhone).
10. A better version of this will come out later (maybe by Apple, maybe by somebody else).
11. I don’t like seeing charges for apps show up in my emailbox that the kids buy. I don’t really think that they *need* them and the charges feel like they add up. Here was the first email that I woke up to this morning: iTunes receipt: “Item Number Description Unit Price 1 150 Awesome Sound Effects with Timer, v1.9, Seller: george hubka (4+) Write a Review Report a Problem $0.99″ If we had an iPad I’m sure I’d only get more of these sorts of emails. Last night my daughter Holly asked me if she could download apps on my iPhone as long as they were free. I told her sure.
12. The little company (well not really) that used to tell people to “think differently” doesn’t quite feel like the same company these days. I remember the first time I saw the Apple “Rip, Mix, Burn” billboard back in the olden days. That somehow felt good. Apple telling me to sort of bypass Hollywood and make my own CDs. These days it feels like Steve Jobs has become “the man.” I was turned off by his “freedom from porn” comment (even if I felt it was bogus for the journalist who quoted that statement of his in a private email to do so).
Now that said, I’m just one member of my family, and the rest of the family had a completely different opinion than I did.
My nine year old son Jackson was especially *thrilled* with it. It’s like a *huge* iPad dad, he said. I “sooooooooo want one.” He spent the entire car ride home trying to get me to buy him one. Then he started strategizing about whether it was too much or not to ask his grandmother for it for Christmas (I told him it was) when he realized that I wasn’t going to cave in and buy one.
Playing (some game that he said that I don’t remember) on an iPad would be “awesome” apparently. I told Jack that it seemed a bit expensive for a device that couldn’t even play DVDs and that you for only $500 more you could get a full fledged MacBook that was a full computer, and he said, yeah, but dad, $500 more is a *lot* of money, my wife chimed in that $1,000 was way too much to pay for a laptop.
I mentioned that I didn’t like the keyboard and my wife said that she definitely did and then proceeded to complain about the sound that my typing makes in bed on my MacBook Pro at night. It’s so grating she said, it’s even worse than when you chew ice. The keyboard on the iPad would be so much quieter, she added.
So there you have it, an updated post on why I still haven’t purchased an iPad. I don’t plan on buying one anytime soon… but, the natives are definitely getting restless and my wife seeing her friend reading a book on one at my son’s baseball game on Saturday certainly doesn’t make things any easier for me.