Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

iPad First Impressions: It’s Magical

In January we heard Steve Jobs proclaim that the new iPad would be a magical device. It turns out he was right!

I am actually blogging this post on my iPad using the updated WordPress for iPad application. My main complaint is that copy and paste within the app does not appear to be working yet, which makes it impossible to add embed codes for Flickr photos. That is an issue for the WordPress developers to remedy, however, and not a negative reflection on the iPad itself.

The most amazing thing about the iPad, in addition to its stunning image quality, is its weight. Wow. I would love to travel and work with a device this light! It DOES feel “just right” in my hands, and I can tell I’ll be reading and watching a LOT on it in the months ahead.

My biggest surprise for the iPad was the announcement on April 1st that a new Netflix streaming app is available. It works great, and I am SO pleased Apple allowed that app to be approved for the App Store.

Apple is selling a VGA adapter for the iPad. Some brief testing tonight showed it does work to show iPod videos on an external VGA device, but NOT video from applications like Netflix. So, iPad users can stream Netflix movies to watch on the iPad screen, but not on an external screen. For that, I am sure Apple wants us all to buy an Apple TV. 🙁 The iPad VGA adapter is NOT compatible with the iPhone 3GS.

One big video difference between the iPhone and iPad is the iPad will play YouTube videos in their embedded location on a webpage. On the iPhone Safari closes and the YouTube app launches when you click on a video. That is not the case on the iPad.

I did spring for the $10 iPad Keynote app today, and used it to create a test preso. Reportedly the VGA adapter CAN be used to present from Keynote, but I have not tested this yet. I was very pleased when I clicked to download a Google Presentation in Safari on my iPad, it gave me the option to open it in Keynote. The iPad does support copy and paste from Safari for images as well as text into Keynote. The biggest limitation at this point, from what can see, is that the iPad does not support Flash. This means the embedded YouTube videos in my Google Presentations don’t show up or play, in either Safari or in the downloaded Keynote version. Slides without video look gorgeous on the iPad. I am not betting Apple will change this anytime soon. They appear determined to unseat Flash as the predominant web video format, and instead encourage developers to embrace HTML5 with MP4 videos.

The iPad onscreen keyboard actually works really well, and I am pleased with it overall. I am not sure if I will be able to type as fast on it as I can on a “regular” full-size keyboard, but I am fairly optimistic it may be possible. I hope MarsEdit developers create an iPad app.

iBooks looks and works great. The iBooks app comes with a free Winnie The Pooh book. All the Project Gutenberg books appear to be available through the store. The Kindle app looks great too. All our family Kindle books are available in our Kindle Amazon archive, and I downloaded several to the iPad. I wonder how my wife will like reading on the iPad versus her actual Kindle? The iPad can do SO much more than the Kindle, of course, I’d guess she will really prefer the iPad. We’ll see.

Some of the downloaded video podcasts I previewed today look GREAT. Chris Betcher’s K12Online09 video is amazing on the iPad. I downloaded several videos from K12Online and iTunesU to watch tomorrow when my daughter and I travel back to Oklahoma from Maine.

After using several iPhone apps which have not yet been updated for the iPad’s resolution, I can tell the developers are REALLY going to want to. The resolution doubling feature of the iPad is nice, but most apps look very pixelated with it.

Evernote’s new iPad app looks great and is functionally a big improvement over the iPhone version in several ways. I do like the updated WordPress app for iPad too. It will be even better when copy and paste works!

The patented multi-touch of the iPad is the thing I expect will set it apart from other tablet competitors, which are coming to market soon, in addition to the App Store. It will be interesting to see if Google or someone else comes out with an app which allows direct editing and building of presentations on the iPad. I don’t see the iPad as a complete laptop replacement at this point, but it certainly looks to be a great platform to replace a lot of the laptop’s functionality. It is fantastic as a media consumption platform, and more than passable for some content sharing as well as creation.

The iPad does come with a microphone built-in, but not a set of earbuds. The built-in speakers sound remarkably good.

My favorite web app on the iPad so far (not surprisingly) is Google Reader for iPad. Put an “i” after the URL to view and use the iPad version, which is different from the regular “m” mobile version.



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15 responses to “iPad First Impressions: It’s Magical”

  1. Scott Weidig Avatar


    I think that have an answer for you on the “no flash” youtube video issue for your presentations… go here… YouTube has been running an opt in beta of h264 for a year or so now… you can also: “If you append &fmt=18, YouTube downloads the video as a MP4 (H264 with AAC audio), encoded at 480×360.” although I have not tested this recently (it worked a couple of ears ago when Google was first testing h264 non-flash versions… But I am not sure since the opt in beta program started. For the record, I agree with Jobs that Flash is a buggy resource suck with huge security holes that just doesn’t need to exist anymore…

    Please keep posting about the iPad. I am waiting on the 3G version in a “few weeks” before I make the plunge.



  2. Scott Weidig Avatar

    P.S. how do I change my avatar… I always look unhappy when I post on your blog…

  3. KarenJanowski Avatar

    Thanks for posting your reactions as I’ve been anxious to hear first thoughts. Have you tried the ShapeWriter app to input text? It’s a totally different way to “type;” I’m especially curious to hear about it for my students who struggle with handwriting and keyboarding due to various fine motor/visual motor issues.

  4. Mister Lopez Avatar

    Great review! I’m using my iPad to test a potential 1:1 program at our middle school in the fall. So far, looks good, although little things like App store access and a 9 inch glass screen concern me. Still, we do have Macbooks in our classrooms and those are largely unscathed. Like all products of this sort, it is all about the software and apps, and would like to see what the textbook publishers come up with. Pages, Keynote and Evernote are swell on this device.

  5. Zatz Avatar

    I’m working on my blogging work flow as well. Trying to figure out if an iPad is right for me. Typing in the WordPress app is a no brainer, but I’m wondering how to deal with photos? Would I email them to myself from somewhere else or purchase the camera adapter? Once I have the photos on the device, will I have a tool to do some simple editing with? Hmmm. Any insight you could provide is appreciated!

  6. John Peters Avatar
    John Peters

    Thanks for the good review Wes. Interesting comment by Scott I think about Flash. That was one of my concerns.

    I inquired about a VGA adapter at the Apple store in San Antonio the other week. I would like one for my iPhone and I think with Keynote, that would be a cool way to make the iPad a cool classroom tool. At least that’s the argument I gave to my CT&E Director on why she should purchase an iPad for me to test!

  7. Jeanne Hancock Avatar

    Thanks so much for posting your thoughts! Waited on buying a Kindle or Reader to check this out. This will be a great addition to my I-Pods and I-Touch – it’s definitely going to be added to my wish list…

  8. Jess Avatar

    Now I’m really jealous of you. I really want to have my own iPad already. Too bad it’s not out here in our country yet. Nice review, though.

  9. Amy @ Momstoolbx and MomsTravelTales Avatar

    I just copied and pasted using the WordPress app on the iPad. Hip-hip-HOORAY!
    Looking forward to using that app quite a bit.

  10. mike Avatar

    Nice review! Check mine at the below link..

    Gear Lust (part one) iPad –first impressions

    Like so many other Apple users I’m enamored with each deliciously-designed product that they release. But I understand what they are doing to us – they are changing the way we think, compute, consume and buy. As a futurist and early-adopter of most technology I’m ok with these changes. But Apple seems to be single-handedly launching us into new markets long before the public knows what to do with them. On one hand it’s the entrepreneur’s dream to have a new wild-west to conquer. But as consumers we are easily tricked into putting money back into Apple, AT&T and so many other companies’ products to feel like we are on the cutting edge of technology in this brave new age of computing. My first impressions of the iPad are exactly these thoughts. It’s not a matter of is it cool (it totally is) or do I want one (couldn’t wait.) It does everything I wanted and more. It’s got a few limitations I find frustrating. But once I got my hands on it I was drinking Apple’s kool aid once again and didn’t put it down for about 14 hours. Below is a brief review of the product and some initial impressions of the philosophy behind the technology, some questions about productivity and some excitement about the possibilities.

  11. Neville Avatar

    Are they developing a copy paste app, how would i get a photo or image Fromm google to my iPhoto?

  12. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, etc) currently DO support copy and paste. When you find an image on the web, you can click on it and save it to your Photos app on your device. Then you can use it in applications that let you access your photo library, like email, Facebook, Flickr, etc.