Now that I got your attention, read on and understand what exactly I dislike about the current version of the iPad. In short: its weight, the curved flip side while typing, the reflecting display and the absence of multi-user support. So, what does this mean to me?
Weight and Typing
When I held this device in my hands this morning my first reaction was “oh, that’s heavy”. And in fact, after holding it a few minutes between my thumb and forefinger while swiping and touching through the apps this impression got stronger. Its weight becomes even more annoying while typing when you hold the device with one hand and type letter by letter with the other one.
“Not a problem” you might say, “one can place it on the table to type”. Well, yes and no. I was suprised how stable it was on the tabletop despite its curved flip side. The keys are way larger than those on the iPhone and typing with two hands would be a pleasure if there wasn’t the space bar. Each time I hit the spacer with my thumb the device slightly revolved around its own axis. Only cloth could prevent this.
“Why not using two thumbs for typing”, I thought by myself. This is what I do on the iPhone the whole time and it might work well on the iPad even though it’s larger. I was looking at the virtual keyboard to hit the proper keys with my thumbs and kept quite happy for a few letters. To conquer those larger distances with your fingers is one thing. To focus text and keyboard with my single pair of eyes simultanously simply doesn’t work. The keyboard at the bottom and text at the very top of the screen are so far away from each other on that huge display, this technique doesn’t work anymore. The seesaw between text and keyboard made me feel like I haven’t typed before at all.
In the end, only few postures on the sofa where you place the iPad on your lap worked fine for me.
At first glance, this might only be an esthetic issue. Having finger prints all over the display is not really the end of the world. It’s just in the eye of the beholder. Right, but having reflections of your ceiling light, sunblinds or windows in general is more than annoying. When one finally found a way to type successfully on the iPad, there are not many options to prevent those reflections anymore. There’s no turnable display lid like the one on your laptop and you cannot easily change the angle between your tables and your windows – once you figured out how to type with two hands.
No Multi-User Support
I think of the iPad as the obvious extension of your living room. Your guests can look-up the soccer results, browse on youtube, pass it around to complete the pizza ordering or even check their facebook status. And the latter is exactly the problem with the iPad. As anything else in your living room the iPad is open to anyone. But what about your mails? What about your browser history and your stored logins? And what about your beloved calender, twitter, facebook or baking apps that grant access at a single finger tip?
Do you really have to lock the iPad? Is it just a toy and must not be used for serious data?
I am still fascinated by the iPad. It’s an amazing (some argue “magical”) piece of technology. I will get used to its weight and will learn how to type and look at the glossy display. But the lack of a “guest profile” or an equivalent way to hide away sensible data is something apple has to work on. Under these circumstances there’s only one option for me to use the iPad in future – I will need two of them.