Notes on iPad

So, iPad.

I’m definitely getting one immediately, and I can see the family ending up with two pretty quick after first device, if it works like I expect. One for me, one for home. Some observations, some of which I can’t remember reading elsewhere. For other analysis on the device, I recommend reading Daring Fireball.

Kids

My daughter (1.5 years old) knows how to use the iPhone, as the pointing metaphor used in touch interfaces is the natural thing for her to do. I know she’ll be able to use iPad immediately, and will absolutely love it.

Having said that, the biggest deterrent for content she likes will be the lack of Flash support on the device. Ideally this will mean there’ll be a gold rush for kid content on the device, but I’m not sure devs will realize this. Time will show.

Flash

Aside from not having access to Poisson Rouge, the only Flash-based products that I can think of right now that I’ll be missing are Habbo, and the video service from the Finnish National Broadcasting company YLE. Youtube now supports HTML5 video and seems to have an awesome native app, so they’re covered.

Vast majority of Flash in the web is just poorly written ads, and I’m more than happy that the device doesn’t run that crap. In fact, I have both an ad blocker as well as Click2Flash installed, and I’ve noticed there’s no more than one or two Flash objects that I bump to daily, which I actively want to see.

So, I personally can’t see lack of Flash as such a huge blocker. Time to be glad I’m not addicted to Farmville, I guess.

Charging

The charger outputs 10 watts. The battery has 10 hour lifespan at 25 watt-hour capacity. The interesting bit here is that charging the battery from empty to 100% will take 2.5 hours, or one quarter of the time you can use the device for in one charge.

This is a very, very long charge time compared to laptops. For the sake of reference, the 15″ MacBook Pro has a 7 houts of life on 73-watt-hour batter, chargeable with a 85 watt charger, for about an hour’s charge time.

What this will end up meaning is that if you’re an active user of iPad and forget to put the device to charge in the evening, you’re screwed the next day if you don’t get an extended charging break.

Oh, and, you can forget about charging the device using the USB port on the computer. AFAIK Apple adheres to the 500 miliwatt spec on USB, meaning the charge time over regular USB would be 50 hours, so that’s not an option.

Interestingly Apple doesn’t disclose the wattage of the iPhone battery.

iPad Camera Connection Kit

Apple didn’t particularly highlight the fact that they’ll be selling an USB adapter and a memory card reader that allows you to download images from your camera to the device. This capability might not sound that huge, but if performance of the adapter is good, this is a killer feature for many people in itself.

Again, for a sake of reference, the Jobo GIGA Vu image tank with 40GB capacity is selling on Amazon for $460. If you get the features of this device by bundling the iPad with an adapter that costs a few bucks, the Jobo guys are screwed.

The one thing I can’t verify is if I can tag photos I’ve downloaded. I’m really, really hoping Apple has given me meta-data editing capabilities in the device or at least enabled development of such apps, as I believe the touchscreen will allow for very efficient data entry. I totally hate the UI for meta-data editing in all photo management interfaces I’ve seen this far, and I have almost 100k images waiting for tagging.

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