24 Hours with an iPad

I just spent 24 hours with the “magical and revolutionary” iPad. What’s so magical and revolutionary about the iPad? First, start with the battery life. Absolutely amazing! The iPad is still going strong 24 hours after its last charge. After a full day of browsing the Internet, watching videos, and running apps, the battery is still 37% full. If I used the iPhone under similar conditions, I would have hit the 20% remaining battery warning message a long time ago.

Now, the best way to describe the initial iPad experience is to compare it to the HDTV transition a couple years ago. After purchasing an HDTV, you probably searched for HD programming from over-the-air, cable or satellite sources because an HDTV without HD programming provides an unsatisfactory experience. The same goes for the iPad. Sure, the iPad can run iPhone / iPod Touch apps, but viewing the app in a quarter of the iPad screen feels so limiting. Even if you upscale the iPhone app to fill the entire iPad screen by tapping the 2x button, it just appears underwhelming. All the images and text are seriously pixelated. I understand why you cannot upscale graphics, but how come the iPad has to display the text all pixelated as well? That’s not magical!

So, I headed off to the iTunes Store to find iPad apps. Maybe it’s still early because only a handful of my existing apps had an iPad version. For those iPhone developers stuck behind a long list competing apps, here’s your chance to leapfrog the competition because all these iPad owners are looking for new apps. I was also searching for some children’s picture books. I found nothing in iBooks. I was surprised by the limited selection. Instead, I picked up the iReading HD app, which features Chinese / English versions of four children’s stories. Now, if I can only have an ePub version of all the books currently sitting on my bookshelf, that will really be the iPad indispensable.

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