Unexpected iPad

Unexpectedly—and delightfully—I have an iPad. Some quick thoughts.

Unboxing, setup, speed

  1. The box it comes in is far bigger than the iPad itself to accommodate the power brick, small as that is. Maybe Apple want to start with a big box so they can boast about reducing its size in the next update. (And, less cynically, it's easier to invent a not-so-small box first and then put in the effort to shrink it later.)
  2. None of Contacts, Calendars, Mail accounts, Bookmarks, or Notes are automatically synced. I find that strange.
  3. I'm finally going to need to sort out a multi-computer solution for email. I've been using local mailboxes in Mail for years.
  4. Finally have a reason to put movies into iTunes. Speaking of movies in iTunes, I can't stand the often false distinction between "Videos", "Podcasts", "iTunes U" content, and so on. Please let me organise things as they make sense to me.
  5. Apple's Remote isn't native??
  6. Processor speed is fine but not blow-me-out-of-the-park. Can stutter on PDF scrolling, for example. (Not that my MacBook doesn't have troubles sometimes, too.) I figure if you think about it as a large iPod, the speed is impressive. If you think about it as a small Mac, the speed just feels like what you'd expect.


  1. It's annoying when iPhone apps sync in their iPhone form, and you have no idea that there's an "xyz-app for iPad" waiting to be bought in the app store. Almost duplicate iPhone/iPad apps are not so great.
  2. Dropbox is a great method for light-weight file organising. They should really work their viewing features so that other apps such as GoodReader don't have a reason to exist/eat their lunch.
  3. Badly need a BibDesk-like application for less light-weight file organisation.
  4. Instapaper is absolutely fantastic for translating casual browsing on my MacBook into long-form reading for some time later.
  5. OmniGraffle is A$60? I'm so tempted but that's a tough call.


  1. iBooks not available for Australia. Bum.
  2. Amazon Kindle app is very nice, even the buying process is easy despite going though the browser.
  3. I want to start reading magazine/periodical/newspaper content, but I don't really know where to start. I feel like my reading tastes are too varied/particular to subscribe to entire magazines-worth of content.
  4. Pretty impatient for ebooks to take off in a big way. I access to any book whenever I like. E.g., three random books I've always wanted to read but have never seen in bookstores: Momo, Mr Pye, Broom of the System.
  5. I dislike but will accept using different apps for different stores. It would be nice if there could be a universal interface to all ebooks regardless of their origin.


Preface: I'm not a game player, usually. I used to play Peggle, until it ate up too much of my time.

  1. Totally hanging out for Mimeo. Any suggestions in the meantime?
  2. I would love to play the old Warcraft games on this thing. Warcraft 2 was the last game I really played intensely.
  3. Typing with thumbs in landscape mode is bareable. Haven't tried real typing yet.
  4. I just found Prince of Persia from the old days. Oh wow, gotta go now.


Future Apple iPad/iPhone products

Things Apple will eventually ship:

  • iPad with 300dpi resolution

When? I give them 24 months. On the other hand, larger high-dpi displays are one of those technologies that simply hasn't emerged as quickly as one would have thought.

  • MacBook without DVD drive (i.e., becoming the same product as the MacBook Air)

I thought this would have happened by now. Obviously, though, it would have if it were sensible; I'd be really interested in seeing the market research that justifies the current scenario.

  • Magazine distribution app.

I just can't see Apple being happy with the idea of mags like Wired using the functionally impaired — albeit pretty — Adobe technology to produce its iPad content.

Things Apple probably won't ever ship:

  • Dual screen (‘notebook style’) iPad.

I watched the Courier demo the other day. What a great concept. What a terrible waste of time and money to make the demo without plans to build on it.

  • Stylus support.

Speaking of that Courier demo, it really did look justified to use a stylus for certain kinds of input, especially diagramming/drawing. But Apple'd never complicate the device to have stylus use as a supported option.

  • MacBook with an iPad instead of a keyboard.

Come on, you know this would be cool.

  • iPhone mini

Imagine if the height screen were its current width and scale down the whole phone accordingly. Keyboard landscape only. Only enough space on-screen with the keyboard to display a small amount of text above for text messages, but otherwise functions fine with iPod and phone functions. Requires re-written apps if any.


Backup drive

It’s a shame Disk Utility can’t try that little bit harder:


I guess it’s time to buy a new drive to back up my backup.


Something wrong, somewhere

Something’s not quite right in my world at the moment:


It could be Chrome; it could be a font I installed; it could be Mac OS X. Who knows.