I lost my iOS virginity today! My first impressions!
Hello all. I've been an avid Android and Windows users for many years, and I've never had an iOS device. I couldn't really justify the price for one, when there were much cheaper alternatives out there. But I've always wanted to try out an iPad. Well just recently Best Buy was offering the iPad Mini 2 for $250, so I finally got my chance, and I picked up TWO of them (one for me, another for a 7 year old). Here are my thoughts on iOS, both the good and the bad. I'm not going to reiterate the most common pros and cons since those have been beaten to death - rather, I'm going to give you all the tiny details that only a real user (not a reviewer) would experience.
- Smooth, stable OS. Definitely the biggest pro of iOS. In comparison to Android and Windows, it crashes less often and is more fluid.
- Beautiful hardware. 'Nuff said.
- Fast processor and good graphics. In Geekbench, my iPad scored a 1377/2488, which was way higher than I anticipated! It's even faster than my old Asus X202E laptop with a Sandy i3, which scores 1118/2332. Single-core wise, it blows away my Dell Venue 8 Pro at 789/2527. And it's competitive with my Nexus 5 at 902/2848.
- Awesome stand-by battery life. My Dell Venue 8 Pro will go from 100% to 0% if left on stand-by for a couple days.
- No back button. Every time you want to go back, in every application, the back button is in a different place. This is wildly inconsistent and sometimes unergonomic, especially in browsers where the back button is in the top left corner and out of reach of the thumb.
- Annoying keyboard. The keyboard is slightly off center. This may seem picky, but the Android keyboard is perfectly dead center and is a pure joy to text on. Also, you can't split and dock the keyboard at the same time. Very annoying to me, since I like the keyboard to be docked at the bottom at all times.
- iTunes password. Every time I want to download a new app, it asks me for my password. This is EXTREMELY ANNOYING. Remember Windows Vista's draconian User Access Controls that prompted the user before every single program install? People cried foul over it because it was so cumbersome. Well it seems iOS has the same draconian UAC, and yet nobody is crying foul about it. Why is this?
- Lack of gesture controls. With W8 in IE, if you wanted to go back, all you had to do was swipe to the right. With W8, to access your current programs, you could swipe from the left. To access your settings, you could swipe from the right. To close your app, you could swipe down from the top. In Android, to access your settings, you could swipe down from the top. iOS has none of these gesture controls.
- 1 GB of RAM. This isn't so bad when running small applications. But the single most important application for any OS, in my humble opinion, is the web browser. And with only 1 GB of RAM, I can't have more than 4 tabs open on my iPad without it refreshing every single time I switch to a different tab. A total deal breaker for me, since I primarily use my tablet to web browse, and having to wait for the page to refresh every time I tab over to it, is a huge slowdown.
- Slippery to hold. Yes the aluminum body is pretty, but it feels like holding onto a bar of wet soap. This is a case of form over function, where I had zero confidence in holding onto my iPad with just one hand. I'd much prefer an ugly, grippy plastic backside over a pretty, slippery aluminum backside.
- Unintuitive OS. The iOS App Store is a mess to navigate in comparison to the Google Play Store. I actually didn't know how to uninstall an app at first, and when I asked Siri, she was useless. When I downloaded DropBox, I couldn't figure out how to add files to it. I've heard many times that iOS is the most simple OS to use - that may be the case, but it's definitely not the most INTUITIVE OS to use.
- Unintelligent Siri. I asked Siri, How do I uninstall an app? She took me to the Apple website. I asked, What processor does the iPad Mini have? She took me to the Apple website. I asked, Hulu Plus download. She said, Sorry, I don't know what you're asking for. Very frustrating, and every time Siri didn't know, I ended up pulling out my Android phone and asking Hey Google! instead, which worked every time.
I like the iPad Mini 2. But I don't love it. It's beautiful, smooth, fast, and stable. But it's also annoying, unergonomic, unintuitive, and stupid at times. I love the hardware that Apple makes, but the OS seems rather lacking to me. And I didn't even get into the total lack of customization, the bland, cluttered presentation, and iTunes. If I had to choose one tablet to live with, it would be an Android tablet, but one with beautiful and powerful hardware that equals Apple. Truly that would be the best of both worlds to me. As it stands, I do have 14 days to return my iPad Mini back to Best Buy, which I plan on doing so.
The 7 year old loves it though. Definitely the tablet to get for kids.