Saturday, April 3, 2010

More iPad Thoughts

Sitting on the couch watching Red Dwarf and surfing the web on my iPad. This is probably the most obvious use case for Apple's tablet and it's nearly perfect. I'm still trying to figure out the most comfortable way to hold the thing. I think a folio style case would actually make it more comfortable, but I'm not sure.

Apps:
Brushes for the iPad is great, all the great features of the iphone version. But larger, faster, and more resolution. Really looking forward to using this app more.

Netflix for the iPad is a killer application. It's a great way to manage your queue on the couch or to watch movies wherever you have a net connection. ABC has a similar app that lets you watch several of their top shows.  I can't wait to see what Hulu does.

Pages, Numbers, and Keynote look and feel amazing. Word is that these apps were created using the same apis that are available to iPhone/iPad developers.  Thats a very inspiring bit of information. I think there will soon be an incredible array of creative solutions to problems that we don't even know we have.

Writing this from my iPad

Writing this update from my new iPad. I wanted to see how fast and well I could type on this thing and see if I could use it in a more productive capacity. Its also a good chance to write a post on my initial impressions of it.

Typing: Not bad at all, just like the iphone you have to get used to letting it do auto-capitalization and auto-correcting minor misspellings. It does slow you down to type numbers and some special keys that are not shiftable like they would be on a standard keyboard. It is also going to take some time to get used to the lack of clicking and the travel of a normal keyboard. The slight thump you get as you type on the screen is a little strange, but I'm sure that I will get used to it very quickly.

The Screen: The iPad has an absolutely beautiful screen. It is like the 3gs and will require semi-frequent cleaning.

Speed: Damn fast, very freaking fast.

iPhone application support: Not bad, but I would always choose an iPad specific app over an iphone sized app. The text is just too big and the screen space is waisted. Iphone games scale up pretty well and seem very playable. There are several apps that I have removed from my iPad because the web experience is better than using a zoomed up iphone app.

IPad specific apps: Wow, there is a lot of opportunity to create some really great apps for this thing. The apps that I have been using so far are working very well and some of them really show how good this device can be. I can't wait to see some of my favorite apps updated for the iPad. Hello tweetie!

Negatives: All the standard complaints apply, no camera, limited multitasking, locked down environment. The biggest complaint I have so far is iTunes. The syncing process can be painful and slow. I have rearranged my applications twice so far, the first attempt was done on the iPad and was wiped out by a sync. The second attempt was done on the desktop and seems to be correct now. I have had this same problem on the iphone. I'm having another problem with. Google calendar syncing, but that seems to be a problem with google.

I'll post more information in the future. Bye for now.

Back to Ubuntu - Thoughts on an OS

For my new job I had the choice of using Windows XP or Ubuntu 9.10 for my primary development environment.  It seemed that the developers were roughly 50/50, but the developers I was going to be working with primarily were using Ubuntu.  There is also the added benefit of being disconnected from the IT group when using Ubuntu, you install your own Software. Ubuntu it is.

I've used Ubuntu in the past, and liked it. It wasn't mainstream at all, It was a tinkerers OS, not something a non techie would normally use. After a couple of weeks with this new version I have a few thoughts.

Ubuntu has come along way.  The Installation experience, the interface, everything has been greatly improved.

I was really impressed with getting everything installed and running.  I didn't have to worry about compiling any special drivers or choosing a special distribution for the computer I'm using. This was almost like installing Windows.

It's a great solution for Software development.

The added control you have over the system and how things work is great. Nothing new about this.  Its great to have the ability to script and use the powerful tools a Unix operation system provides.

This ain't no OS X

Unix still get's in the way.  In OS X ( a unix based OS) you don't have to open the terminal or understand what a kernal is.  There are still complications when you want to install something non-standard. Download this script and this tar file. Modify this file in etc. Change the permissions on this file.  These are things that most people won't be able to figure out, or that they will mess up.

Don't et me wrong I think a locked down customized install of Ubuntu that can only browse the web and check email might be good for some average people, but I don't think I would suggest that anyone in my family should use this yet.  If your a tech savvy developer tho, go for it!