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Monthly Archives: April 2010

I wasn’t going to do it. I was going to wait to buy an iPad. Damn Juan and Jon (originators of the Ideate app EffectiveUI built) … I went out an bought one just because I could not do without it :)

Purchasing and Accessories

First, it was quite easy to find an available one – I called a Best Buy about 11:30 today and asked if they had any. Initially the clerk phone said “no, they are not out yet”. I corrected her and she then asked a person next to her. “Oh, yeah, I guess we have some here”

The Best Buy did not have any Apple iPad accessories in stock, just the iPad itself. I bought an iCase cover to protect the device until I could track down a Apple case. I also bought the invisashield to protect the glass, but I’m regretting the decision. The plasticky feel of the screen protector is degrading the experience of running my finger across the screen.

I also noticed the battery was nearly fully charged. But you still can’t use the iPad out of the box because it requires an iTunes sync first

Sync and iTunes 9.1

When the iPad started syncing, the initial background image is a sunset with shooting stars lines in the sky. The lines made my heart skip a beat because I thought i might have damaged pixels on the display. I was not able to verify that everything was okay until after the sync.

I have a lot of photos and music. It took a full 2 hours to sync everything. I had to restart the sync a couple of times because iTunes did not like some of my photographs for some reason. I excluded some photo albums for now because i was anxious.

Then, I went to shop for iPad apps. I did a quick search for Ideate and downloaded it straight away. Then I looked at the “Top Charts” area to see if there was anything I liked. I grabbed

  • Kindle (I already have a ton of books there)
    I did not notice the UI much – was pretty straight forward in getting me right to the books. The kindle format still has text wrapping issues, I also miss the richness of an actual book.
  • Craigsphone (craigslist for iPad)
    I could not get past the account login screen – theres a ton of work to do here
  • Facebook Ultimate
    A huge miss on the UI – they had 4 pop-up screens after login telling you what to expect the UI to do, and it was still confusing. I had to remove settings just to get it to look like the regular iPhone version i love so much. Not worth the cash for sure.
  • Dictionary
    Love it! Simple, unpretentious. Just what it needed to be.
  • Wikipanion
    Really love it – very nice job and it fells a lot like the iPad Mail app, very intuitive
  • FieldRunners HD- I love this iPhone game
    Very disappointing on the iPad though. Its basically the same exact game in the iPhone  but with the graphics at a higher resolution so it does not look crappy on the iPad. Also, I had an issue dropping towers near the edge of my screen – I thought it might be a problem with the touch screen but after investigation it appears to be something buggy with my app
  • FlightControl HD – also another favorite iPhone game
    This is a more improved version of the iPhone game – very very fun and addicting. I also noticed when closing the application that the music faded out a little longer than it took for the app to fade away – it was quite a nice experiential touch
  • Game Table
    A simple app that lets you play cards, checkers or chess against someone else with the iPad between you – Cards are not very intuitive but checkers and Chess were straight forward
  • LabyrinthHD
    I initially downloaded the lite version of this to try it out. This is the simple “marble through a maze” game you had when you were a kid. It does an outstanding job leveraging the accelerometer – tilting the iPad gives the marble physics and it also changes the perspective of the maze to make it feel real. I spent way too much time today playing this.
  • iBooks
    I’m not totally happy with the selection of books in the store yet .. hopefully Apple will add more content soon. however- it is VERY nice to see books as they were published, not n the text only form I get in Kindle
  • Pages / Keynote / Numbers
    Really solid toolset from Apple. I have two complaints though, both are related to using documents you created on your laptop. First, the syncing process took me a bit to find. Was not in the tutorial or easily findable in iTunes (You have to scroll down in the Applications tab in iTunes and there’s a File section there that allows you to select and sync docs). Second, I am going to have to do a considerable amount of work on my presos because fonts do not translate (and there’s no way to move fonts over) – nor does Keynote like certain quicktime formats or slides with a ton of assets on them…
  • New York Times Editors Choice and Time Magazine
    both solid as expected
  • All of the other standard apps (Mail, iPod, Safari, etc) work great – very easy to get stuff done. I will say, I very much miss the Flash player in Safari. Maybe someday? (I have actually seen a pig fly, so don’t give me no lip)

One note on the iTunes iPad App store. It SUCKS. In fact, it its like iPad bareley exists. You can kinda browse iPad apps from the home screen, but forget about trying to get a list of iPad only apps nicely categorized. The app store is utter chaos and needs a complete redesign. The App store on the iPad, however is much better. Applications are nicely segmented in iPad and iPhone areas.

The device itself

Okay – WOW! I have decided to leave my laptop in its bag unless I totally need it. I agree with most of the other reviewers that say this is a “most of the time” device, but not for editing long documents, presentations or spreadsheets. The performance is fantastic, the video is beautiful, the design is slick. I am a fan.

Saturday is a big day for both Apple and EffectiveUI and a bad day for the napkin industry.

I was going to wait to buy my iPad for a few months, but it looks like I’ll be standing in line tomorrow. I’ve just reviewed the final build of our first iPad application, Ideate, which was just approved by Apple to debut with the iPad launch.  It is really cool – allows me to basically use the iPad as a personal whiteboard with templates for specific purposes. You will no longer need to use the back of a napkin to brainstorm you next big idea.

The idea for Ideate was inspired by one of our trade-show giveaways, the EffectiveUI sketchpad:

Ideate has templates for all kinds of uses, and the depth of content in the Ideate templates make this application truly indispensable. The video shows a small set of the tempaltes in action:

The templates have a broad focus:

  • Physicians
  • Fashion Designers
  • Coaches
  • Landscape Architects
  • Musicians
  • UI Designers (of course :)
  • Doodlers of all ages and persuasions
  • Custom (You can also import photos from your photo album as templates)

Once your brilliant idea is complete, you can share your sketches with others through Flickr

It’s 4 bucks on the App Store.  This is our first application, but we have already received a massive amount of interest from clients for the iPad.  We’re planning many more innovations for this platform that will be coming soon.  Stay tuned.  We’re putting Ideate to good use, and jotting the ideas down now.

more info:

Ideate Website

App Store Link

Ideate on Twitter

Press Release

Just a quick note on something I read today on Gizmodo (linked to Jalopnik). Hyundai has decided to ship their new luxury sedan, the Equus, sans the owners manual. They have decided to include an iPad loaded with a digital version of the manual instead.

http://jalopnik.com/5507349/hyundai-equus-to-ship-with-ipad-ditches-owners-manual

I know this may initially appear to be an expensive gimmick. But if you take a deeper look at how these manuals are produced, this is actually an awesome idea. I once worked for the printing industry for a lithographer who did high end car brochures and manuals. Each cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce and print. The iPad may actually represent an overall savings to auto manufactures for those models that are on smaller runs. I imagine we are going to see a lot more unusual uses for the iPad – with software customized for niche industries…

Examples could be:

Home Automation Control Panels

Yacht  and Private Jet Control Centers

Hotel Personal Concierge

Museum Personal Tourguides

Restaurant Table Ordering and Jukebox control

Real-Estate Model Walkthroughs

High-End Showroom Assistant

Pro-Team Coaching Assistant

Broadcasting “On-Site” Control Centers

… the possibilities are fun to think about, do you have any ideas?

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