First iPad experiences

Anyone remotely familiar with this blog will have picked up that I'd finally taken the plunge after months of admiring the Apple iPad since it first came out early in 2010. But it was never an easy decision. Even when the launch of the new slimmer, faster iPad 2 coincided with my small win on the Premium Bonds and the magic words from Linda... 'I suppose you'll be getting that iPad then?', I still agonised over whether to stump up the £500+ for the kit I'd need. Yes, the iPad itself (in 32gb mode) is under £400, but then there's the Smartcover, the camera/SD card connector, the apps... Oh yes, and the latest bit of kit, a Just Mobile alupen.

Was it just another toy? Although it had been out for over a year, with tablet PCs just taking off was there a price to pay as an early adopter? Would one of the other models being launched be a better option?And most importantly... could I easily blog from an iPad? Lots of adverse comments about this... until Blogsy was launched. That's what swung it for me.

So how has it gone? You'll gather from the fact there's been no post for a week or so that it's been a bit of a tussle. I only started to use Blogsy on Monday, having struggled with a whole set of other challenges first as follows...Setting up the iPad was a breeze. Started up no problem, charged up OK, connected to my WiFi easily. So getting up and running was a piece of cake, and using the iPad is a dream. Always on so no hanging around and no frustrating and mysterious delays, unbelievably thin and smart, much more intuitive to use with a brilliant display.

Then came the selection of apps... and a Microsoft Office equivalent was reasonably pressing since I had some minutes to do for the Allotment Association. Went for Quickoffice at £8.99 (what a refreshing difference to Microsoft's price of from £60 to £400 with no free updates!) since could import and export files in Microsoft format and was about half the cost of Apple's own equivalents. Not sure if I've made the right choice... word processor is pretty basic and having read about the spreadsheet struggling to import reasonable sized Excel files, my first attempt with a file hit a problem I've not yet had time to delve into.

Further apps followed to give me what I need at present... Brushes for artwork, Notes Plus for a more comprehensive note taking app than the one supplied for free from Apple, Accounts for personal finance management... oh,and of course Angry Birds to keep the grandchildren (and me) amused. Only one I think I'm missing is a combined calendar and task list... might use the calendar supplied with the iPad since it looks attractive, though it doesn't lend itself easily to listing tasks.

The biggest problem I've found is the difficulty of archiving files. Apple make it very easy to do this for photos and music, but to safely store other files is a bit of a struggle. Upload buttons on web sites such as Windows Live Sky Drive or Picasa don't work on the iPad. Although you can connect an SD card using the camera connection kit you can only back up photos and music. My solution has been to set up a special Hotmail email address for anything I want to archive. At least once a week I'll hook up the iPad to my laptop to back up apps and check for updates. At the same time I'll access the archive emails and store them on Sky Drive. That enables me to then download those files onto the iPad when I need to update them.

And then there's the general pain of getting used to a different operating system. For example, using a Windows system to email a file you go into your email program and attach the file. Not using an iPad. There's no way to attach a file in the email app. You have to go to the file's app and drag the file onto the email icon, or open the file and use the send option.

Am I at last on top of things? Not quite... I've yet to see if I can post this entry in the blog as something that looks half decent. Blogsy works differently than what I'm used to and it's certainly no Windows LiveWriter. There's no WYSIWYG functionality and what help it gives you is pretty basic. Want a table... you're into HTML coding to do that. So I'm going to have to spend more time fiddling about in HTML to get the look I want.

Oh, and I've yet to transfer my appointments and tasks from my mobile 'phone ('cause I'm fed up of the alarm on the mobile regularly going off) and get all my contacts transferred.It's proving to be a long hard slog... hopefully worth it in the end 'cause it is a beautiful bit of kit.

Update: You might also be interested in reading how I'm getting on with my iPad one year on in the post Apple of my iPad.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for sharing, im considering an ipad also. Probably will be looking at a windows based system however.


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