Apple’s iPad: The Bad

Apple Ipad Camera Connection kitContinuing our little review of the iPad, we find that things aren’t as rosy as we might think. Despite having a great experience when unboxing and when using the iPad, there is a real sticking point when you first turn the iPad on.

So, what is wrong with the iPad;

  • When you first turn the iPad on you are greeted with the connect to iTunes logo. You can’t do anything else until you connect the iPad to a computer. There is no chance to look at anything, just a big roadblock.
  • Connecting to iTunes is a pain. iTunes is slow and unintuitive. The iPad will connect and then you need to create an account with Apple if you haven’t got one, followed by needing to update the iPad software, which takes a while. If you are lucky it will be 30 minutes or so after plugging the iPad into your computer, before you can unplug it and use it for real.
  • Connectivity is poor on the iPad. There is basically one proprietary socket, which you use for connecting the iPad to the charging/sync cable. You can buy various other connectivity adapters but of course they are extremely expensive, this is the ‘Apple tax’ in action. The worst case of this is simply because viewing photos and videos on the device is so great. Using a decent camera to take pictures is great, but in order to get them onto the iPad, you need to import the pics into iTunes and then connect your iPad to sync them, or you need to upload the pics to the photo-sharing app of your choice and then download them to the iPad over the internet. The simple addition of a memory card slot would prevent a lot of this. The camera connectivity kit which consists of 2 adaptors costs £30 or so.
  • Trying to introduce young children to the iPad can be difficult. The default setting on the iPad is to allow multi finger gesturing, which means that you can exit apps by using various gestures. It is easy to load up the fisher price apps and have your child cause all sorts of unintended actions because they are hitting the screen or trying to grab things on the screen. You really need to turn these gestures off which you do through the somewhat complicated settings section.
  • The appstore is what you use to go and download apps to your iPad, and it is apps which provide all the functionality of the device. The appstore is quite clunky and not really very good at finding apps you might want. For example, there is a kids section but it was only because we knew that fisher price had apps that we managed to find them on the store. There is no section for younger children, and no real way to discover related apps suitable for our near 1 year old.

So thats what we thought was bad about the iPad, and we would warn anyone thinking about buying one that you really need to have a decent computer as well to run iTunes and to store all the stuff that’s on your iPad, as they are synced every time you connect.

Stay tuned for our next installment, when we look at the ugly of Apple’s iPad.


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