Stop the Noiz

5 Things I Don't Like About My iPad

Frank Fox - 2010.07.29 - Tip Jar

When people see you with an iPad, they often will ask, "What don't you like about it?" and "What do you really like about it?"

It would be too easy to make a list of things that I like. Instead, here's my list of the five things I don't like about the iPad. This is based on using the model with 16 GB memory and 3G unlimited access.

Number 5: Price

This is an expensive gadget. Buying the 3G enabled model makes it even more expensive, and the additional 3G access plan makes it worse. For me, this is offset by the fact that the 3G access is a family shared expense.

I waited for the 3G, because it gives more flexibility to the iPad. The price jump meant that in order to keep my cost down, I bought the model with the least memory. Since we don't store a lot of music or movies on the iPad, the choice to save on memory was okay.

Number 4: WiFi Connection

In our house, the master bedroom is the furthest point away from the wireless router. We have an older Netgear router that operates on the 802.11g standard. The signal is good enough for use with our MacBook.

I tried to using the iPad for a couple of days using only WiFi, but it was terrible. You almost have to be in the same room as the router to get a full signal. It was so bad that a cheapskate like me decided it would be worth spending $30 a month to fix the problem.

Now that I've accepted that the WiFi sucks and I need the 3G plan, I like the freedom the 3G provides. Now it is fun to ignore those offers for WiFi access at the airport.

Number 3: Screen Sensitivity

I could just be me, but half the time when in a home screen, instead of selecting the app I touched, it switches to the next screen. I even see that the app logo has turned gray, but it still switches screens instead of going to the app. Once I get the app started, I have no problems with my touch selecting the right thing.

You can't believe how much I hate this problem, but I haven't heard anyone else complain about it.

Number 2: The App Store

If all you want are the top ten or the top selling apps, then the App Store is perfect. If you want to wander through the store looking for some cool little app that no one has heard of, you are in for a tedious search. The stores only list 12 apps at a time per page, and you have to load pages one at a time.

Seriously, Apple has 200,000 apps, and you can only get a screen of 12 at a time for browsing? Just shoot me.

To save time, I use my laptop to search for apps or app reviews (because doing the same thing with the iPad is painfully slow). I've found a few apps that I like, but I want to find more. I really want to just somehow skip through those 200,000 apps, but Apple hasn't got a humane way to let me do it.

Number 1: No Multitasking

I'm spoiled by tabbed web browsing and having multiple documents open at one time. I hate stopping what I'm doing just so another app can start. The lack of multitasking shows up all over the iPad.

For example, the horrible App Store is made even worse, because after you find an app, you exit the store to start the download. What kind of shopping experience is it where you have to leave the store after each purchase? Where is the shopping cart, and why can't you download in the background? I already hate the store, because it is hard to search through, and Apple kicks me out after each purchase?

One More Thing: Safari

The Safari browser is an equally punishing experience. You can open more than one page, but there is no fast way to switch from one to the next. Worse is the fact that going back almost always refreshes the page, so you have to wait for it to reload. On a recent flight, I opened several pages to view later. When I tried to view them, they were all blocked (because I was in "airplane mode"). Why can't the darn thing remember what it downloaded just minutes before? I just needed to view the already opened pages, not reload them again!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is if you are a cheapskate, multitasking, power user, the iPad is going to have a few things that bug the crap out of you. Lucky for me, I haven't had to deal with writing documents, needing to take a picture, or tried to print anything. There is more pain on tap, if you go looking for it.

I might be willing to return the iPad for a full refund, but the rest of my family would stop me.

Truthfully, you get past all these complaints, because what does work is so smooth. It is an awesome gadget that you get used to having. Everyone finds a different set of apps that they like.

That's really the secret to the iPad: Anyone can find a use for it. That also means that depending on what you want, your list of things to like or dislike could be very different from mine. LEM

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