TJM & Apple’s iPad

So I finally got an iPad. I’ve been holding out on grabbing an iPad ever since Apple first announced their foray into the tablet scene. And while you’re probably thinking I bit the bullet and shelled out the five hundred dollars on Apple’s incredible new retina-fied ‘New IPad’ (i.e.: the third generation iPad), to make a long story short I’ve inherited a first generation and here’s my take.

For three years I’ve admired the iPad world from afar. I’ve played with them at Apple stores, I’ve seen all of the commercials, hell, one of my closest friends has one. You may wonder why I’ve never owned my own iPad, well here’s why. As you might have noticed from my blog and my Twitter activity, I’ve become an avid user of Apple products. Two years ago I was probably only using OSX forty percent of the time, compared to Windows 7 at sixty percent. I was also still a Palm Treo user. But since then, I’ve gained a MacBook Pro (13-inch), an iMac (21.5-inch), I’ve been through two iPods, and three iPhones. Not to mention the first- and second-generation Apple TVs, and the Airport Extreme I still use. I also used to use Apple’s MobileMe service for calendars and contacts, and have since traded up for iCloud. Even with all of that Apple paraphernalia, there’s been no iPad in sight.

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Well now. I officially own one.

While I think the concept of the iPad is amazing, and I’ve drooled over them just as much as the next Mac-head, I’ve always thought that there was no reason for me to spend all that money on one. Back in 2010, Steve Jobs finally admitted to the long-awaited tablet that Apple had been rumored to be developing for years. He also pointed out that there was clearly and undefined area in our everyday lives that resided between our phones and laptops — devices Apple would like to think are your iPhone and MacBook. While for me there was indeed a space between my iPhone and MacBook Pro, who’s to say that space needed to be filled? Long story short, I’ve invested the $1000+ in a MacBook Pro, and every year or so I invest $200 or so into a new iPhone. Now why should I invest $500 in a device whose usability is already fairly overlapped by my iPhone and MacBook?

When I’m outside the house, be it at school, at work, or just out and about, I’ve got my iPhone in my pocket. And when I’m in that lazy, ‘watching TV at home’ mode, nine times out of ten, I’ve got my MacBook. Either way I’ve got my iPhone. So my question was, where does an iPad fit into that day? After having an iPad to myself, with my own data on it for a week now, I can honestly say, I still don’t know if the iPad has a real use in my everyday life other than to be that notorious ‘cool new Apple device’, and Lord knows I’m a sucker for new Apple devices.

That’s enough of my philosophizing the iPad, here’s what I think after using it.

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve gotten a first-generation iPad, not a retina display iPad ‘3’, not even an iPad 2. It’s 16GB, non-3G, and running the latest version of iOS as of this writing, 5.1.1. Right on the heels of WWDC 2013, we also learned that this is probably one of the last versions of iOS that the first generation iPad is going to run. Apple announced iOS 6 and all of its wonderful new features that only the iPad 2 and ‘New iPad’ will be able to run (alongside the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S & iPod fourth-gen). Apple made it clear, the first iPad will not have iOS 6 compatibility — and that’s a blessing in disguise.

With that said the first thing I’ve noticed about this iPad is its performance. Wile this is probably old news to most, it’s my first time experiencing iOS 5 on this generation of iPad. I’ve used an iPad 2 with iOS 5 before, and have noticed that its seamlessness rivals that of the iPhone 4 and 4S. I never thought I’d say this about an Apple product, but in some instances it’s almost an awful experience. The numerous crashes, the sluggishness. It’s abominable at times. With that said, all of this negative commentary is coming from someone who uses iOS 5 on an iPhone 4S everyday. The 4S is probably the fastest iOS device that Apple has released aside from the ‘New iPad’. The fluidity of iOS on these two devices is expected from Apple in this day in age. From the transitions between apps, to the silky scrolling in Safari, Apple has perfected the harmony between software and hardware to a point to where it’s unnoticeable. Apple has made these feel so natural, and it has everything to do with the power that they pack in these devices, and the software that is built to run with that exact hardware in mind. All in all, iOS 5 on on the first-generation iPad kills that notion of harmony between a device and it’s operating system.

iOS, the iPads and their hardware have been probably been reviewed hundred of times on name-worthy sites and blogs, so it’s probably of no use to go over here. I just felt the need to speak out on my journey into the iPad world. And with that said, I’m looking to get an iPad as soon as possible.

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