Is an iPad right for me?
Here's a chance to convert a body. I'll be honest and say I've never owned an Apple product and haven't even touched one since the mid-1990s. Nothing against the company, I just never found anything compelling -- until the iPad.
I picked up a HP TouchPad and love it, for the most part. There are a couple of weaknesses (no HTTP proxy, lack of apps, document editing "coming soon"). More than anything, though, the last couple of weeks have convinced me that I need a tablet.
HP is supposed to be pushing some patches this week that should fix my few complaints. But, I'm weighing my options, just in case I decide to return it. Android is right out -- I picked up a Galaxy Tab for comparison , but it's multitasking is horrid to the point of being just a gimmick.
Basic wants/needs that I brainstormed are:
-Sync with Google Contacts.
-Sync with Google Calendar.
-Ability to easily flip between multiple documents, without losing continuity. For example, looking for a solution across multiple PDFs at once, while taking notes in a Word document.
-Work offline, but have documents sync through “the cloud” via DropBox or something similar, automatically. Sky Drive is a bonus.
-Take notes in a “cloud” app, even offline. Evernote is the prime example. OneNote is a bonus.
-Watch Amazon videos.
-Play mp3 tracks.
-Integrate with Amazon mp3 store.
-Kindle app that is likely to remain available.
-Be able to completely avoid iTunes beyond initial setup
Obviously, my biggest concerns are multitasking and being closed to Apple as a vendor. I've already committed to Amazon as my choice for video, music, and books and it sounds like Apple is trying to shut down outside, for pay content providers.
I'm also, apparently, more geared toward creation then consumption, compared to the norm. The killer feature of the TouchPad is the ability to easily switch between multiple card/task/docs without losing your place. Apple looks a lot more mature for single tasked work (a document), which would be great. With my TouchPad, I'm find a very real scenario to be having a couple PDFs and a blog or two open, while editing a spreadsheet, a couple of Evernote notes, and a Word doc or two, and listening to Pandora. Could I do that on an iPad without going insane?
I'm okay if I have to buy a couple of apps, even pricey ones. My biggest fear is that I drop $600+ on a tablet and have to choose between one platform that does one thing at a time really well, but won't let me at the content I want, and another that does everything I could want at about 75% effectiveness. Thoughts? Advice?
- 07-26-2011, 07:07 AM #2
I think since you haven't owned an apple product, you have had to rely on other mediums to get your music, sync etc. I won't lie, if you buy an apple product, itunes will be part of your experience even at a very basic level such as downloading apps. You can sync with doubletwist if you'd like but you are giving yourself a harder time but just avoiding itunes.
Having said that, the new iOS coming in the fall will make the device rely less on itunes. When it comes to multi tasking and other things, it is def. not like webOS. It is simpler, maybe not as powerful but effective in the end.
I would suggest, you go to an apple store, pick up and ipad and if you don't like it, you can return it within 30 days. This is the only way you'll truly know if it is for you.
- 07-26-2011, 09:38 AM #3
I think you would like the iPad. They are built solid and have few if any glitches. The app store alone is a good selling point. There are tons of apps to help you do just about anything.
Android tablets are nice but Apple is just a bit more polished. I haven't had any experience with the HP.
My only complaint with the iPad is the size. I would prefer a 7" model but if your already using a 10" and like it, that won't be a problem for you. With the upcoming iOS 5 the iPad keyboard features a splitting design to make it easier to type without having to stretch your fingers so much. I'm hoping that will give me a more positive typing experience on the iPad. That's my only problem with the size.
Hope this helps. Good luck in your decision!
I could probably live with iTunes as a syncing mechanism, to an extent. I doubt I'd ever buy media from Apple, but I'd be okay with iTunes to setup and maintain stuff. Odds are that I'd use DropBox for most of what I cared about -- I think that works with the iPad.
The iPad is definitely the most mature, usable tablet for any given task (beyond the obvious Flash support). My biggest concern probably is the ability to switch between tasks. I write a lot of whitepapers for work and do some analysis, plus taking notes at meetings. That's stuff that works great on a desktop, but I'd like to be mobile enough to take the info to those meetings, too. A laptop is too big, but the tablet form factor is great. Like I said, I've become convinced that I have to have a tablet. I'm just trying to pick the one that has the best features for me.
- 07-27-2011, 02:59 PM #5iPhone Beginner
- 50 Posts
Not trying to be a **** but I don't understand why u are trying to avoid iTunes when there's nothing like iTunes. I know several companies are trying to be like iTunes but it's like compare a rolls Royce with Toyota. What u are asking for nobody can answer that for u bc it's only ur desicion. Just go to apple and try the iPad and u will know what the best is for you.
Perfectly understandable question. It's been a few years since I tried it, but I didn't care for the iTunes interface.
The other reason I say I want to avoid iTunes is that I can't imagine buying content from Apple. I'm more likely to buy music from my phone than a tablet, and I require a smart phone to have a hardware keyboard, so no iPhone. My primary concern with video content is to be able to watch it on my TiVo or PS3, with the tablet being a bonus. Also, since Ive already started accumulating digital music, videos, and books at Amazon, I want to keep each category in one spot -- even if I stick with the TouchPad, I can't imagine a scenario in which I'd buy a movie from the HP movie store, but I can stream from Amazon, so it's not an issue.
I also don't want to hook up my device to the computer, pretty much ever. Doing it for initial setup is a bit dated, but I can get over a one-time thing. Doing it to transfer documents, music, etc. is too much, though. I sync my files via DropBox and/or SkyDrive, my music via Amazon (where I also buy it), my contacts and calendar via Google. Regardless of whether it'd be "easier" to stick those all on iCloud, that's just not happening. I hear that the iOS world is getting tighter and tighter and I just want to be sure I'm still going to have access to my goodies that are already established.
- 07-28-2011, 07:49 AM #7
I just got the iPad 2 about a month ago and I love it. While I do not like iTunes and I never have (it never played nice with Windows) it is a necessary evil if you want the best tablet on the market. While I do not like iTunes, I will admit there is nothing like it and everyone is trying to copy it. Think about it this way, Amazon... the biggest online retailer can't even compete with iTunes.
I had Android phones for the longest time, starting with the original Droid from verizon, as well as the Motorola Xoom. Now while I love the Android OS, nothing and I mean nothing can compete with the amount of "stuff" packed into iTunes that is easily organized on all the apple devices. While I miss my Android stuff sometimes, I still don't think that I would be able to break away again.
You CAN avoid iTunes, but even I wouldn't recommend that... programs like DoubleTwist work, but not anywhere near the way iTunes works... just try it and you will most likely realize that iTunes and the iPad work flawlessly together.
- 07-28-2011, 09:20 AM #8
I hate iTunes. It is the worst part of the Apple experience. It needs to be completely redesigned. That being said - I love my iPhone. I like my Mac a lot.
I sold my iPad after 3.5 weeks for two reasons. 1) It didn't do anything I couldn't already do just as easily on either my iPhone or my MacBook Air, and 2) at 10", it was only an inch smaller than my Mac, and too unweildy to use. I figure any day now we'll start hearing about a new disease like CTS caused from people holdling their iPads for long periods of time. I got a Galaxy Tab (7") mostly for e-reading, and the form factor is so much better for me. And I don't have to use iTunes.
Hmm... Rereading some of the responses, maybe I need to be a bit more specific about iTunes.
If iTunes is what the iPad app is called that's used to access the app store, that's fine. Ditto if I have to have an iTunes profile, which is no different than the Google profile I have for Android or the webOS profile for my TouchPad. I'm not concerned about Apple cooties, especially with apps. I just don't want to have to connect my tablet to my computer for file transfers, installing new apps, getting my music from Amazon, etc. Nor do I want to be restricted to Apple for my digital content (music, TV, books), either in actuality or practicality.
If DropBox works (and I'm pretty sure it does) and the Kindle app isn't going away (even if I have to buy my books via the website), I'm 50%+ of the way there. If I can remove (or ignore) iTunes from my computer after I do the initial iPad setup, that's another 25%. My understanding is that there's a Netflix app, which is a point in the right direction, and I've been told Google calendar and contacts work. That pretty much leaves Amazon video, which, as I said, watching video on a tablet is nice, but just a second-tier feature to me.
My bigger, primary concern is with how easy it would be to do the multiple document editing functions I mentioned in my original post. While webOS is slicker in how you can work with multiple open PDFs at once, the iBooks interface is acceptable. If the iOS version of Quick Office (or another app, I'm not particular about the name, just the result) makes it that easy to flip between docs, I'd be fine. Playing with the iPad at Best Buy (no local Apple Store), I wasn't unhappy with the way Pages handled flipping between documents. I'd prefer some folder structure and native handling of MS Office formats, along with syncing to DropBox, so I can jump between my work desktop, home laptop, and tablet. The basics were acceptable (just not exciting).
Any more thoughts on my situation?
- 07-28-2011, 01:28 PM #10
In iOS 5 you will not have to connect to your computer - BUT, if you want to use music not purchased through the iTunes store, you will still have to use the iTunes APP to organize and install the songs to your iPad.
Any more thoughts on my situation?[/QUOTE]
Well, based on some thoughts from this thread and IRL friends, I purchased an iPad. I only got the 16GB version, which I'm a bit nervous about, but I'm not a huge media nut. I'm installing iTunes, right now. I'll let you all know what I think. Whether or not I'll be annoyed by the Apple ecosystem and flipping apps in iOS seems borderline enough that I'm not sure that I can actually know without using one for a while.
There's probably a thread on this, somewhere, but any suggestions on "gotta have" apps, especially free ones (until I'm sure I'm keeping it)? Also, what's the best office suite for someone who's going to be cloud-based and on Windows boxes for every thing besides the iPad? Quick Office is what I'm familiar with from Android and webOS, but I've got no loyalty to it.
- 07-29-2011, 07:03 AM #12
Not 100% on the office suite software but some other free apps that are worth looking into are:
Those are the three big ones that I use most of the time on there. Game wise, normally you will need to pay for the good ones but they range anywhere from .99 to 4.99.
Well, I just packed up the TouchPad to return. There are enough things the iPad is lacking (multitasking, nicer keyboard) that I'm probably not done with webOS. But, I think I can get the iPad to do most of what I want better and easier, for right now. Quick Office isn't going to allow me to switch quite as easily as I'd hoped, but I'll have to content myself with excellent single-tasking now, rather than multitasking documents at some later point. Getting the cloud syncing like I want it also looks like it'll take a couple of purchases (I've got six or seven Google calendars, not just one), but it does look like those apps will work flawlessly.
- 07-29-2011, 03:57 PM #14
- 07-29-2011, 08:27 PM #15
- 08-03-2011, 01:24 PM #16iPhone Nanite
- 2 Posts
As for app switching, if you enable the multitouch gestures on the ip2, you'll be able to swipe between "open" apps pretty quickly. I still prefer the cards, etc, on the TP but I don't think the TP is quite the correct fit for me.
- 08-12-2011, 09:57 AM #18