Overall, I am still extremely happy with the device. It has become my primary personal device when I'm at home eliminating my Microsoft Windows 7 TabletPC I was using before the iPad. I have also travelled with the iPad twice since the initial purchase, and I have found it a great device for reading material (books, PDFs, magazines, saved offline web content, etc) and for consuming videos (podcasts, TV shows, and movies). Taking the iPad on travel vice the personal TabletPC has also meant that I had over 6 pounds less in my backpack than normal. This made travel much more enjoyable.
NY Times' BOB TEDESCHI recently did a review on his impression of travelling with the iPad. The only thing I found different from Bob article is that TSA at both San Diego (SAN) and Washington Dulles (IAD) wanted the iPad in a seperate container to scan vice stored in my backpack.
Things that continue to make this device enjoyable:
- Excellent form-factor, screen, and battery life
- Internal speaker is well suited for casual listening
- Consumption of media when and where I want to is ideal
- Applications customized for the iPad are compelling
The one thing I did have to figure out was how to seemlessly as possible listen to "new" news and video podcasts directly on the iPad without having to do a regular desktop sync. I tried using Safari and Google Reader to manage the feeds but playing MP3s in Safari has proven to be buggy for me. Safari would play them for a while but then become unstable and quit, especially for large shows over 15 minutes long. I then moved those specific news and video podcasts to my desktop iTunes to get the subscriptions loaded on the iPad. Once loaded you can then play them from the iPod application. But if you want new podcasts you need to click "Get More Episodes ..." which then launches the iTunes application. You then need to click on the Free icon for the newer podcast items you want to download directly. The Free icon then changes to Get Episode which when you click on that icon will download. You then need to application context switch back to the iPod application to play the new content. It works but definitely not seamlessly. But the benefit of using Apple's iPad and iTunes applications on the iPad is that you can listen to content and launch other applications.
The biggest negative continues to be lack of multi-processing. Switching between applications is fast but swapping context is mentally challenging. Plus, I'd love to be able to run Pandora in the background and then go about whatever else I'd like to do.
My top ten most used 3rd-party iPad apps seem to be:
- TweetDeck (Twitter app)
- Kindle (eBook reader)
- iThoughtsHD (MindMap tool)
- Evernote (online notes and reference library)
- Toodledo (projects and tasks management)
- Goodreader (PDF reader)
- The Weather Channel MAX+ (check the weather)
- Dropbox (online, multi-computer file storage)
- Atomic Web (multi-tab browser)
- QuickVoice (audio recorder)