I Pad 2, a closer look

I’ve been using the iPad 2 now for about 2 weeks and wanted to share a couple more observations. In no real order then …

Multi-tasking is fast and responsive, I have not yet had to “re-boot” as no app has yet hung. I like the fact that it is possible to switch apps while downloading a new one from the app store and even pause the download – by a single tap- if necessary. It will be interesting to see if this platform suffers the sort of slow-down caused by installing and removing apps over time as a PC would. My whole frame of reference is by comparison with the Windows platform but operating system features are common across all platforms e.g. Multi-tasking.

I’ve even paused the download and terminated the install in-flight with no problem. The app store seems a fairly fool-proof way to obtain apps and provides a good level of protection against malware and viruses, although with the rapid increase in units sold the idiots that waste their skills writing this stuff may see it worth their while to expand their horizons. Recent posts re a virus checker for this platform being one example.

File Systems: where is it? For someone brought up on FAT32 and NTFS it’s a bit unnerving not to have some sort of “file explorer” app. Or perhaps there is and I’ve not come across it yet. First saw this when using the NOTES app and the absence of any save button, although most apps seem the same in this regard. Is this another way to “smoke and mirrors” the O/S and make it harder to hack. I have to say I haven’t yet bitten the bullet and installed iTunes on a PC (or more likely a VM first, if this works) as I may just wait for iOS 5 and the iCloud as I’m not really intending to use this as a multimedia machine. So file-synching issues will have to wait.

Apps: Some of the productivity/utility apps still seem scarce on documentation, esp. SimpleMind a mind-mapping app. Although the best way to attack this appears to be by voting with your feet and awarding negative feedback for all to see.

Text editing is fairly easy. Pinch, enlarge and re-focus does a good job but I am still having problems with the “2-fingered scroll” needed to scroll text within a text box like that use in writing this WordPress post. More practice needed.

App development: appears to be via the Mac platform only as the iOS SDK only installs and runs on Mac OS, maybe there’s a windows based emulator? This seems a bit of a shame and might cause windows-converts who are considering the platform to baulk.

Folders: The “desktop” (and I’m going to get hate mail for calling it that!) is simple to customise. Wallpaper and recently taken photos being an easy source. Creating new folders, organising groups of apps and dragging apps to the dock also works well, although the 11 screen limit seems a little odd – probably a magic number at the bottom of it somewhere 🙂

Finally, the Apple Smart-Cover is an excellent accessory and I’ve still yet to make use of the Griffin A frame I bought, although this might prove useful with the MoleSkine app which annoyingly only works in portrait mode! This platform could well turn out to be a PC/laptop/windows killer as those people that only need web browsing, eMail and a bit of word processing may never need anything else. Certainly a serious contender for new purchases albeit in the higher end price range.

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