So. Howsit goin?

Well, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I have been completely swamped putting together another film. We’ll start production officially this Monday, WWDC day. Whew! Cutting it close…

Anyway, I have been on the road – in LA to be exact – for weeks now, with only my iPad (and iPhone 3GS of course). I have to say – on the whole, you can pry the iPad out of my cold dead hands. I am NEVER going back to toting around a laptop. For me, it’s simply not necessary. The battery life on the iPad is completely ridiculous, the weight and form factor miraculous, and SO MUCH of the overall experience is simply phenomenal. A++++!!!

However, that’s why the remaining issues are so annoying! How Apple could’ve gotten this “so right” but missed the mark so badly in a few key areas is baffling. I can only hope this was a prioritization/resource allocation thing and that much/all of this will be addressed soon.

In no particular order, here are my biggest new and continued thoughts and gripes:

– The spacebar is too short left-to-right, and the .?123 keys are too large, particularly the one to the right of the spacebar. I would say that the vast majority of my typing errors are caused by inadvertently hitting the .?123 key instead of the spacebar. And the auto correct displays no ability to parse this error. Grr. Otherwise I flat out FLY typing on the keyboard in landscape. Why not make the keyboard easily configurable so we can adjust the size of those keys?

– The lack of a proper file system is still annoying but using goodreader as my primary file system app, with air sharing for printing duty (until that feature is added to goodreader) continues to be good enough for now. Goodreader continues to blow my mind in general. SO much functionality for a ridiculously cheap price.

– I saw that DocstoGo release their iPad app. I am tempted bc of its integration with various web services, and of course native ability to chew on Office files (not to mention Pages’ formatting issues and Numbers generally strange UI – more on that below). However, i am going to wait until OS4 is fully revealed, along with a hoped-for MobileMe overhaul, before switching my current workflow. WWDC is tomorrow. I can wait at least until then to see what news comes, if not for the actual OS4 release on the iPad itself.

– The ABC app crashes on me. A lot. Yes i have the latest version. Both wifi and 3G use cause the same problem. It freezes and I have to do a full reset to shake it loose. That takes too long btw.

– Pages is decent but Numbers is strange to me for now. I am learning, and i’m sure that sooner or later it’ll feel intuitive. But for now it sort of feels Iike I have to figure out simple navigation every time I use the thing.

– Autocorrect is strange. Why doesn’t it correct im to I’m instead of IM? And why does it think that hVe is a word? Oh and did I mentioned the caps key is too small? And why doesn’t it correct the letter i consistently?

– The word press app blows. No formatting tools. Can’t see stats. Etc. Is there a better tool?

– This thing attracts a LOT of attention, even in LA where I thought it’d be largely ignored. Nope. It’s a people magnet. Everyone wants to know how I like it. And everyone seems to be thinking of getting one. I know I have sold at least a dozen since I got here 🙂 “Leo” as I like to call him, glanced over it at Soho House (true story).

– I hate that you cant move messages from one email account into a folder for another email account. Hopefully the unified email inbox will fix that. Hate that you cant collapse nested email folders. (why didn’t it correct can’t in that last sentence?). Hate that you cant search in the body of emails (there it goes again with can’t).

So that’s it for now. Still love it. Will love it more as it improves.


About Tony Moody

I make movies. I wield a Les Paul and an iPad. I consume media - copious amounts. And I dabble in assorted nonsense. What do you do?
This entry was posted in Features, Hardware, Musings, OS operating system, Rants and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to So. Howsit goin?

  1. I hear you, bro. I love my iPad, take it everywhere, and do everything with it. But the few shortcomings and omitted features are kind of maddening.

    My own wish list includes a word-count feature for Pages. Much of the writing I do requires hitting a certain word-count. As an interim measure, I’m using the app myTexts — an absolutely minimal text processor — for my weekly column in Down East magazine. It provides word- and character-count but not rich text, which the developer tells me is not yet supported by iOS (!?).

    One measure of how well I’ve adapted to the iPad keyboard (the onscreen one) is that I’m making a lot of mistakes sitting here with my iMac and its traditional physical keyboard. The key to working with auto-correction, for me, is to type in short bursts and keep my eye mostly on the screen, not the keys. This seems to give the processor time to recognize things like “I” and “can’t,” and my brain time to recognize bogus corrections and not accept them.

    Other than that I’ve gotten to like the virtual keyboard. I bought both a bluetooth keyboard and the keyboard dock along with the iPad, but they’re pretty much just sitting around gathering dust. I’m actually working on my novel-in-progress (which was due a year ago) on this thing. 50,000 words and counting.

    But that’s me. I wrote a novel on the original 128K Mac, back in 84-85. Due to memory and software limitations (MacWrite 1.0!), it had to be written in pieces no more than eight pages long. This gave the book a distinct pacing which I believe served the story well. I’m hoping the iPad has a similar, positive effect on my new book, by forcing me to type somewhat more carefully, therefore weighing every sentence a bit more heavily.

    Best of luck, and please keep posting.

  2. loupetron says:

    Well, after two weeks, I am in love. This device is so fantastic! Sure, I miss the filesystem, wish for more integration with iDisk, and have sent about 20 enhancement requests to Apple’s Feedback pages but, for what it is, it is so amazing. Its lightweight, long lasting, simple, and fast interface is perfect.
    Teaching from it has been great. My attendance and marks are in Numbers, my presentations are in Keynote, my notes are in pages, and advertisement draft PDFs are in GoodReader to show to others. (Hell, I have even found recipes and cooked with directions from it in Epicurious and Betty Crocker.) I find I am barely using my desktop! If I didn’t teach Windows (ugh) and Microsoft Office for Windows (Even more ugh), I wouldn’t need my MacBook pro.
    Typing is so nice. I bought a wireless keyboard for it and I barely have used it. I have even typed a 10 page document on the iPad and not felt any difficulties.
    Sadly, my only problem is that it makes my iPhone so tiny that it’s difficult to use now. 😉

    • yoyoyankees says:

      Thanks for posting. So glad to hear you are having such a positive experience. The Good really is so Good that it makes it okay to live with the Bad/NotSoGood, isn’t it?

  3. Kingv84 says:

    Thanks fir the update. I love reading them. I can’t wait till iOS 4 for iPad hits the market.

  4. Thomas Moore says:

    I’ll play Devil’s Advocate here and try and put the brakes on this keyboard thing. I know you don’t mean to come across as negatively as you both do. What we have here is a thin, touch-type interface, that has internet anywhere, that can be anything you want it to be for a small fee for the application.
    Holy CoW! Are you freaking kidding me? It’s a GPS replacement, it has replaced certain books that weigh a ton, I stay organized with a shared calendar, and even files that I can access anytime, anywhere. I watch movies when my wife wants a new pair of shoes, I stay up to date on the current events in the world (necessary for my job), I track the comings and goings of flights of certain people all over the world, I can see traffic all across the metro area, even watch the traffic cams, I can check out the weather to see if it is going to rain. Heck, I watch ABC now just because there is an App for That.
    Every time I look at mine it makes me smile. Reminds me of Christmas, but the newness hasn’t worn off yet. I was not and probably will not own an iPhone simply because I now have an iPad. For the very first generation of something, this is awesome.
    I concur, typing on it is not as easy or convenient as a keyboard. But WOW. The rest of it is just freaking incredible! Now if I can only figure out how to carry it around in a manly sort of way without looking like a fruitcake. Well, if it comes down to a choice I’ll go ahead and wear those plaid shorts with the white socks and sandals. The iPad stays.

    • yoyoyankees says:

      Thanks for posting Thomas. I am not sure that I was as negative as you seem to be reacting to, or at least it certainly wasn’t my intent 🙂 In fact to the contrary I have been nothing short of amazed at how productive I am on the onscreen keyboard (in landscape). And I am so productive that I can easily see and feel the source of the errors that still occur. I am nothing short of amazed at how fast I can type.

      Beyond that, its been a joy overall.

  5. Falcon4AF says:

    Returned to your blog today, hoping to find a new blog post about your opinion about iOS4, and if / how it fixes issues. Does the unified inbox solves the issue where you couldn’t drag emails into folders from other email inboxes?

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