iPad User Experiences

clip_image002Does anyone know what this screen cap is from?  If not, you can watch this video clip here.  This one movie scene sums up my experience with the iPad.  Awkwardness.

I want to love the iPad.  I do.  I love the idea of the simplicity of it.  I smile when I think about the potential for the iPad and my young kids.  Educational software takes on a whole new meaning when you can combine the compactness of the device with the touch screen.  The video playback, and the battery life, are wonderful.  Web browsing is snappy.  There’s just that one x-factor which is holding this back for me.

My main problem with the iPad is that I cannot get comfortable with it.  I found it very odd how many times Steve talked about getting comfortable with the iPad in a chair during his keynote when he introduced the device.  It now makes me think he doth protested too much.  We got a few of these on campus – two are sitting in an office across the hall from me.  I haven’t figured out how I am going to sit in a chair with this thing.  If I am laying on a couch with my beloved Kindle, I can hold it up above my face with little effort.  The iPad is just a touch too heavy for that.  The curved back makes for weirdness when you want to lay it on a table and type.  There aren’t four corners touching the table, so it spins around.

Since I don’t own one, I await my friends to tell me their long term experiences with the device.  My gut is telling me that more and more reports are going to be coming out about how people aren’t sure how to hold/handle the iPad and be comfortable at the same time.

  • narinder

    “My gut is telling me that more and more reports are going to be coming out about how people aren’t sure how to hold/handle the iPad and be comfortable at the same time.”

    Doubtful. MBP logic board failures and Macbook case splintering and disk drive problems are prevalent. But you still have to dig to see any mainstream reporting of it. It's like there's some tacit agreement not to be objective where Apple is concerned.

  • David Collantes

    “Since I don’t own one” — Now, don't you feel silly?

  • Brandon Watson

    Nope, I don’t feel silly. We have a couple of these around the office, so I have been able to play with them plenty.

  • Mason Flint

    You're spot on. I bought an iPod when I was out of town a few weeks ago, just after it came out. I installed a bunch of apps and rented a movie on iTunes for my flight. I spent half the flight trying to make the thing feel right in my hands, lap and tray-table. It was too heavy to hold comfortably at the right angle for long period of time. I tried propping it up on a folded magazine on the tray table but it wouldn't stay there. The best option seemed to be to have it sitting in my lap, leaning agains the tray-table but that forced me to bend my neck to look down at it which became awkawrd and uncomfortable over time. I have never felt that problem with my Kindle. With a laptop you don't have to worry about holding the screen upright at the right angle.

    The other very striking thing for me is how much less intersting the iPad is when it is not connected to the net. It took me several days to figure out how to connect it to the Wifi at work. During those days it mostly just sat on my desk un-used.

    Still, it's a neat toy for someone who has money to burn. Very much an 'extra' device.

  • Dimitris

    Everybody says “iPad is perfect for education blah blah”. I *strongly* disagree. iPad is perfect for couch computing, travel, and content *consumption*. We, of course, do not want our students to be consumers of content. We want them to be producers. That simple.

  • danmk

    Depends how wide spread the problem is. The awkwardness and weight of the iPad is potentially an issue right out of the box where as the issues you mentioned are arguably due to wear and tear, isolated defect or misuse.

  • svart

    I agree 100% I purchased iPad last week and I must say I'm underwhelmed. I thought I'd be all over it all the time like I did with the iPhone but alas…

    I think it's good at doing some reading with breakfast, but that's about it. there is something odd about using the device, maybe it needs some time for me to get used to it! You can't watch videos or read books of surf web for more than about half hour. I have a feeling that all the hype is going to dry down fairly rapidly. only thing stopping me from returning it (I have about a week to decide) is that my 3 year old doughter is all over it, touch UI makes it easy for her to grasp.

    Any hoo, waiting for Windows phone 7 and already working on a app for it(and I think it's gonna b great!). Enjoyed your interview on .net rocks. Keep u the good work.

  • Agarwalsndp

    I love the video clip to explain your point. My experience was the same with iPad. Got one, loved it for 2-3 days after that I realized that its a bit heavy for holding in hand and cannot put it in my lap like a laptop as it would be too low and I would need to bend down to read.
    Not being able to touchtype didn’t help either. Then the lack of flash video was the last nail in coffin (I was willing to compromise on flash). Returned it in less than a week. That said I still love my iphone, haven’t used any other smartphone so cannot comment any further.