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the ipad has arrived…

The interwebs are buzzing stateside about the (final) release of Apple’s latest and greatest, the iPad.

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 03 17.24

Reasons to buy an iPad:

  • It's very cool and very gorgeous.
  • They have a Kindle app and I have a Kindle, so I can read my stuff on iPad too.
  • Ten hour battery life.
  • 3G wireless coverage.
  • It's very cool and very gorgeous.

Reasons to not buy an iPad:

  • I already own a MacBook.
  • I already own an iPhone.
  • Only 64GB max storage.
  • Doesn't play Divx video. I'll need to convert everything I own in order to watch it on the iPad.
  • They put the headphone socket on the top of the device. So, users are looking at headphone cable.
  • No camera.
  • No sign of it in Ireland yet.
  • No flash. The following is an excerpt from engadget.com’s review:

It is without question one of the best browsing experiences we've encountered. But is it the best? Well, not really.

Why, you ask? Well that answer is simple and extremely complicated at the same time. Currently, there is a web standard called Flash, developed by a company named Adobe, which allows for the easy insertion of rich media into webpages. That's everything from streaming video and audio files, online gaming, to entire websites made using its broad and deep development tools. The penetration percentage for Flash on PCs around the world is something like 98 -- that's almost everyone -- and many, many sites employ the standard on their pages. When we say many, we mean most if not all of the pages you typically visit use Flash to display some of their content. The iPad browser doesn't support Flash, and won't support Flash, perhaps ever. Apple has not only turned away from what is the industry standard for rich media in webpages, but it instead is pushing a newer standard called HTML5. Apple has been very successful thus far in moving its agenda forward and bringing websites into the fold of HTML5, but we're talking maybe, say, one percent of websites on the internet. Probably way less.

So what does this mean for an end user? Well it means that when you visit a site like Hulu, HBO, NBC, Lala (which ironically, Apple just purchased), Engadget, Gizmodo, or many, many others, you will have a broken experience. That means there will be certain elements of these sites (in the case of HBO, the entire site itself) that simply won't work. Now, we're geeks. We get it. We know what's going on when a site shows the broken plugin icon, or says we need Flash. But to the wide world of "everyone" that Apple wants to sell this product to, this will result in a confusing and frustrating experience... a broken experience. That may be fine to Apple, but it isn't fine to us, and shouldn't be fine to the rest of the world. As an aside, we've been surprised other iPad reviews have not been more forthcoming in pointing this problem out -- this is not a small thing; it's is a major deficit in the iPad's browser. Now keep in mind we're not saying we love Flash and want to marry it -- in fact, we'd love to see a less CPU intensive format take its place -- but HTML5 isn't that format, at least not yet. It's important to understand that a lot of users will see the lack of Flash as a drawback, even if Apple doesn't like the standard, and even if Safari on the iPad is a brilliant experience (which it frankly is).

You can read the full review here. Click.

I haven’t held one in my hands yet and I’m fully prepared for the thing to win me over with it’s good looks – but right now (while I’m rational and lucid) I think my mind is already made up.

Since the two greatest uses I would have for this slab of loveliness would be web browsing and watching videos, and both of those activities are seriously flawed... I can't justify spending on it. Yet. If someone hacks the shit out of it, I'll be first in line. Or maybe Apple will make some changes to the device - but given their history, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Ray

8 Comments:

  1. Shane said...
    You defo going to give this a miss for now Ray? I've a friend going to the states in about 3 weeks and was thinking of getting her to get one, but reviews seem to be a little negative. Sucks donkey balls about Flash though. :-(
    Matt said...
    Engadget seem to me falling in love with the iPad since their initial consideration about it.

    I mean falling in love in the creepy, stalker-esque and derogatory way.
    Ray said...
    Shane, IMO the reviews are too positive... but I haven't read a lot of them.

    Matt - I read Gizmodo and Engadget and they sit on the fence WAY too much about all of the major gadget releases. I think they're more about presenting all the angles & facts rather than calling a play and saying "it's shit" - either something to do with their size as a site or their advertising sources/ownership?

    There is too much love out there for this device if you ask me - and it's too fucking easy to make it perfect. But yet Apple won't.
    Shane said...
    There's an interesting pre-review on Cnet.com and they are saying a lot of positive things about the ipad but it is hard to justify getting it if you're using an i-phone at present. The lack of flash is fine on the iphone but not really on a tablet.

    Did you read Stephen Fry's article in the Times (I think) about going out to Apple to try the ipad? Great read.

    I've been turned off getting one for now I think too! Maybe the 2nd or 3rd iteration will add a few more desirable options!
    Matt said...
    yeah i mean to be honest i've seen them review much better products than the iPad but simply because theyre not Apple they dont get as much attention or hype that the iPad does.
    Vic Barry said...
    Wanting, not needing!!!!
    JJ said...
    Completely agree with engadget, I thought it was pointless from the launch; without flash and owning an iPhone its just not for me. Its about time they sorted out this flash issue or be repeatability called on the fact that a huge chunk of the web isn't accessible. I hoped they would sort it for the iPad and thus send a patch for the iPod touch/ iPhone, but alas...

    Sometimes the beauty of the new product and the perceived perfection of Apple clouds the truth, and I think that is contributing to the overwhelmingly positive reviews I've seen so far
    Sean said...
    One of the comments that is reoccurring over here in the US is that the Ipad is quite heavy (about a pound and a half). So if you quit the gym and work on the guns using an Ipad you will save money on the long term. That is the only justification that I can come up with to buy one.

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