Let me explain to you the exact circumstances under which I decided to buy the iPad. On a recent visit to Russia, Martyn Day from DEVELOP3D and I were waiting at an airport for our flight to Novosibirsk along with people from Ledas. Since we had a few minutes, we flipped open our respective computing devices and decided to get some work done. He fished out his iPad and I flipped open by netbook, a Dell Inspiron Mini 10V running Windows XP. This is what happened. He read his email, replied to a couple of them, browsed the internet, did a few more things, shut down the iPad and put it away. By this time my netbook had just finished booting.
The extremely slow speed of just about anything on the netbook had been bothering me for a while now. And time just happens to be the most important thing to me when I am traveling, which also happens to be the only time when I use the netbook. I looked up at Martyn and said, “That’s it. I’m buying an iPad“. After Russia I moved to the US and the first thing I did after recovering from jetlag was go out and find myself an Apple store to buy an iPad. Now whenever I travel I take my iPad as well as my netbook. The netbook never leaves the hotel room. I use it at night to do some serious work that needs Windows. During the day, I take the iPad along with me and do everything on it – email, browsing, blogging, tweeting, etc. I just flip it open, do what I need to do, close it and put it away. The 8 to 10 hours that the iPad’s battery gives me is enough to cover a whole day of a conference, as opposed to the 2 to 3 hours that my netbook gives me. Hibernating the netbook almost always does some crap to the WiFi and the only way of fixing that is to reboot (I even have Linux on the netbook, but the WiFi on it is flaky at best). On the other hand, the WiFi on iPad just works, all the time.
I could go on and on. I know that the iPad can’t do much. After all its running an OS designed for a phone. But whatever it can do, it does nicely and quickly. I have bought it only for the part that can do. And for the part that it can’t do I have my netbook. This works for me just fine.
Which brings me to the “but” part of this post. One word: “Flash”‘. This religious war that Jobs has going on with Adobe is really beginning to piss me off now. I can’t post comments on my own blog using the iPad. My blog uses the Disqus commenting system which uses Flash to log in. That quite simply does not work on the iPad. I found a workaround. I go to disqus.com, log in there and then visit my blog. Safari keeps me authenticated and automatically logs me in to the Disqus system allowing me to post a comment on my blog. I have faces numerous problems like this. The other day I couldn’t post a comment on Ralph Grabowski’s blog. Not sure if Flash was the culprit there, but the “Post” and “Preview” buttons were disabled. I tried the “Post with Twitter” feature on his blog but that didn’t work either. Finally I sent him an email with my comment and he posted it for me.
Someone needs to tell Jobs that just because he thinks Flash is evil, people are not going to stop using it on their web sites. But then, he already knows that. I can live with the multitude of limitations of the iOS. For example, if I want to delete all the thousand pictures in Photos, I can live with selecting each and every one of them and hitting “Delete” instead of doing a “Select All” and hitting “Delete” because “Select All” quite simply does not exist. At least I couldn’t find it anywhere. These things are irritating, but I can live with them. What I can’t live with is screwed up web pages that do not work. I love my iPad, but I am ready to replace it with something that looks and works just like it if it can handle web pages completely. You know why? Because browsing the internet is one of the main reasons I bought the damn thing in the first place. And if it does not do a good job browsing web pages then I am not going to think twice before replacing it with something that does.