7 Minute Miles

My Trouble with iPad

Posted Saturday, January 5th, 2013 03:53 pm GMT -5 in Technology

Yesterday I picked up another iPad for work (along with a Mac mini to be used as an intranet server). I bought an original iPad when they first came out, but have never really used it (the girls usually have it in their rooms). We’ve had a couple at the resort – one for slot accounting and one for the marketing director. I’ve ordered large batches for give aways – most recently as Christmas gifts for all of our high-end players. Everyone seems to love them, but they’ve lacked appeal to me personally.

I’m typing this on my 13-inch MacBook Air that I’ve already written about as my dream machine. There are a few things I would change on it: retina display, larger SDD, more RAM and built-in LTE (preferably with a shared pool of data with my phone), but I still love it. I find the physical keyboard and trackpad vastly superior to any of the iOS screen-based input methods and the size and weight are ideal for my needs.

When it comes to iOS, I’ve come to mostly like my various iPhones. I’m currently on a black 32GB iPhone 5, which has been a decent compromise for size, capacity and overall utility. I still hate typing on it for anything longer than a tweet, but I wouldn’t want physical chiclet keys like a Blackberry either. Pinch, zoom and swipe are still very cool, but text selection and editing continue to suck, in my opinion. LTE has been great, but battery life? Not so much.

So what is it about me and the iPad? The out of the box experience has improved, as you can now do everything without connecting to a computer. I still hate the whole Apple ID mess: work account, personal account, what to use for each kid, what to use for employees, etc. One app license for five devices is a nice change from traditional Mac OS, though. Of course everything with Apple IDs is moving to that platform too, so I’ll just have to manage it as best as possible.

What about the hardware? I find the retina iPad too heavy to use for long periods of time. The screen is sharp and bright, but I hate the smudges and fingerprints that require constant cleaning. The speaker is terrible (hey iPad, I’m over here) and I still find it somewhat weird having the home button on one end when you have to switch between portrait and landscape so often.

Is the iPad mini the answer? Yesterday was the first time I held a mini in my hand and I instantly thought it was a better tradeoff – easier to hold in one hand, the “right” amount of screen area compared to the iPhone and a decent pricing structure. Heck, I didn’t even mind the lack of a retina screen. It’s not much of a surprise they are still sold out. I’d like to get one soon for a long-term trial.

Lastly, there is an area of discussion that I’ve always had a firm opinion about: Flash. Always hated it and was glad to see iOS help it die faster. I’ve uninstalled it on the Air and only use it via Chrome (where it usually makes the fans go berserk). The trouble is, the casino and online gaming world still uses it extensively (along with way too many other little realms). Efforts in this space to use HTML5 (and whatever else) for the most part pale in comparison. The reality is I still need it, almost daily.

So I’ll stick with the MBA/iPhone combo for now, continue to supply regular iPads to those who want them and get a test iPad mini when I can. Also curious to see what happens with the next major OS upgrades to both platforms – the first since Tim and Jony took over, if I recall correctly…

Originally published by DK on January 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

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