Initial thoughts on iPad

I wrote quite a long comment on Facebook and I thought I would re-use
and tweak the text as my initial thoughts on the iPad.

Apple are clearly marketing this between the iPhone and the MacBook
but with the idea that the large screen coupled with its lightweight
makes it better at certain (and only certain things). For myself I am
actually using my iPod Touch in exactly the way Apple envisage the
iPad. In the lounge rather than in my office (or Den as the Americans
would say). I can quickly check emails, tweets, facebook. Plus look
something up on Wikipedia, read/search/check the Bible for something
(often useful in discussions). The problem is that I very rarely reply
to emails or tweet etc from my iPod Touch as the keyboard is too small
and annoying, it is OK for entering the odd password or username but I
could not type this blog entry using it. BUT if the iPad’s keyboard is
really as nice to use as Apple are claiming then maybe I could start
actually using it as a REAL mobile device and not just a READ-ONLY
device which is what the iPod Touch really is.

As a family we don’t watch any video with the iPod Touch as the screen
is too small, but maybe that would be possible with the iPad. Also I
have several board games on the iPod Touch like Monopoly. With the
iPad playing in multiplayer mode would be a reality with the iPad in
the middle of the table and everyone sitting around it. Very Sci-Fi.

Will it replace a Mac, no and it isn’t intended to, will it replace an
iPhone, no and it isn’t intended to. Are there times when I want my
iPhone/iPod Touch to have a bigger screen so I can share what is on
the screen with other. Yes. Do I want to be able to type some text on
my iPod Touch but can’t as the keyboard is too small. Yes. Would I
prefer to surf the web with an iPad rather than a Mac. Yes.

But more than that… How many apps to I actually use on my Mac…
Actually, not many. The main application I use on my Mac is in fac t
my web browser. Other than content creation (writing or programming) I
could use my iPod Touch for just about everything I do on my Mac but
the screen is too small for detailed or long use. The iPad would solve
that problem… I can see myself selling my laptop to get an iPad and
keeping my Mac for serious content creation.

One final thought is that the iPad has a built in microphone (as does
the iPhone but not the iPod Touch) which means that doing Skype from
the lounge would become a reality rather than having to go to my Mac
and also programs like Dragon Dictate (which you can get for the
iPhone) might be good for dictating content to the device.

Thunder Clap iPhone/iPod Touch App

As a proof of concept I have written a very simple iPhone/iPod Touch Application called Thunder Clap. I wanted to check that I could write applications for the iPhone and test the submissions and approval process. Now that I have done that I have several other applications in the pipeline.

Thunder Clap: A simple to use utility to calculate the distance to a storm based on the time elapsed between the lightning and the thunder. When you see the lightning: hit the 'Lightning' button, then when you hear the thunder: hit the 'Thunder' button. The distance to the storm will be shown.

I have a page dedicated to my iPhone apps on my website and you can download Thunder Clap for free from the App Store