Chris J Powell

Four Weeks with my iPad…what’s next

Four weeks ago my employer rewarded me with an iPad2 for going above and beyond the call of duty and I must say that I am suitably impressed with both the form factor, speed and usability of the device.  I do find the screen just a tad over sized and the limitations of not having a file system that allows me to have it be a true Desktop or Laptop replacement is a bit of a pain but I have enjoyed my time “going to the darkside” and the world of proprietary software (and yes I have become a bit of a FanBoy @djuusola).

Now the big question is, would I have paid the $519.99 CAD for the device…probably not.  Would I have given a kidney like the kid in China…absolutely not.  But I will say that the buzz that my clients have about the iPad and tablets in general are definitely on the right track.

But the tablet space is getting VERY crowded and I figured with the Microsoft Announcement of Windows 8 being very tablet centric I would take a dive into what my wish list for a next generation tablet would include:

OS Dependence: In a perfect world I would not be locked into deciding to leverage iOS, Android, Windows or WebOS I would be able to run what I want when I want.  This could easily be accomplished by leveraging the capabilities of a VDI Vendor like Oracle, Citrix or VMware to build a connector and let me operate the device like a real Computer Replacement.  Would this be for everyone…no but would it allow for much easier control of these devices in the Enterprise…OH YEAH.  Mobile Management is a conundrum that my clients in Education, Government, Primary Industries and Health Care are all struggling with.  There would be sufficient horsepower in most of the 2nd Gen Tablets to be able to handle this.

Expandable Storage: I understand why Apple locked down the File System in the iPad and for most “normal” users this is perfectly fine but I want more from my tablet and I don’t want to have to fiddle around with Dropbox or Airshare or any other third party app that still does not do what a simple SD Card would!

Now the question must be asked why would Apple put an SD Card slot on their tablet when they have the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options available???  That is not the point, my workflow and choices that I make are limited by not having the option to bring my considerable collection of PDFs directly to the iPad and the conversion to ePub has been less than a success.  I have not been impressed with the functionality of the 3rd Party Apps out there to allow me to do this and if I am say riding a bus…I am SOL as I have a WiFi only iPad!

Flash Compatibility???   I have been looking at HTML5 for a while now and I truly think that the world of plugins like Flash or Silverlight have had their death bell rung but there are still 1000s of sites (facebook especially) that leverage Flash Technology.

There was a funny story that came out of the Microsoft Camp a few days ago about the compatibility of browsers to this new HTML5 Standard.  The Microsoft Search Engine “Bing” released an update that would not be available for their Windows Phone 7 devices but would be available for iOS, Android and Blackberry Devices because of delays in Internet Explorer 9 for the mobile device.

Real Apps: For iTunes…build a better way for me to actually find what I am looking for.  I get lost in the 600,000 apps and really for the most part give up because I just can’t find what I am looking for most of the time.  To Apples credit…for the first time in 10 years I actually paid for software with iTunes cards!  I realize that building a iPad, Android or WebOS app is new and the major software houses are still playing catch up to this technology but I have been quite impressed with the quality from some of the Adobe Products for the iPad and Android Tablets.

A Decent Camera: I don’t know if it’s just me being spoiled with my 12.3 MegaPixel SLR camera but the camera on the iPad 2 just sucks and any future tablet that I invest in will need to be significantly better quality.

Now will this camera replace my SLR or even the camera in my phone…no but there are times that it would be nice to be able to take a nice pic with the iPad because it is in my hands and ready to go.

Tweakability: I like to customize more than just my desktop background.  I like to change how I interact with the screen and the views that I am presented with.  Sure the iPad lets me build Desktop Folders and drop my apps in there but after doing that I don’t go back to those apps.  The ever expanding Home Windows doesn’t cut it either as I am now up to 8 swipes and that would be easier if I had a menu to operate from!  This is one of the great things about the Ubuntu Unity interface…it combines the best of the desktop to the compactness of a netbook or tablet.

If Apple, Samsung, LG, HP, Acer or any other Tablet maker is reading this and wants to send me a test unit…I would not say no but realistically much of what I would like will just be a pipe dream for a few years yet.  iOS5 and Android 3.1 will likely cover some of these challenges but I will have to wait for a while before passing the iPad on to my daughter “officially”.

Cheers and have a great day…the Weekend is almost here!

Chris J Powell

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