We’re an Apple family, since way before it was cool. Right now, I have a 2.5 year old iMac that is still going strong, iPad 3 and iPhone 4S. Husband has an iPad 3 and iPhone 5. Teenager #1 has an iPad 3 and uses a hand-me-down iMac for writing/school work. Teenager #2 has her dad’s hand-me-down iPhone 4 and my hand-me-down 2009 MacBook.
I see many families like ours. So it’s surprising to me that thus far, Apple has done little to help families organize their iLives.
As I blogged last weekend, I now have an iPad. I also mentioned my plan to use the iPad instead of a desktop computer for pretty much everything that isn’t work-related (and a few things that are).
One week later, I still haven’t touched my MacBook. I want to hand it down to my daughter for whatever life it has left. I just want to be sure I can let it go. It hasn’t been easy. The company who is making it most difficult for me to break the connection with a desktop computer? Apple. Post-PC revolution? Not quite.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the iPad. I still love my iPhone. No regret. No longing to go back to Android. ::shudder:: But there’s always room for improvement.
So far I’ve experienced iPad-only #fail on:
Managing photos. When you connect an iOS device to a PC photo library, you are given the option to delete photos from camera roll after the photos have been transferred. Then you can sync the photos back to the device nicely organized with a fresh slate in the camera roll. Organizing the camera roll without a computer is a mess. You can use 3rd party utilities to copy a photo to an album. There’s nothing I’ve found to move a photo to an album and delete it from the camera roll. Why does this matter so much? Apple insists on adding new photos to the end of the roll, with no way to change the sort order. So the more photos on the roll, the more scrolling it takes to get to the latest photo when you select the roll from another app. Annoying. I’d love to hear if anyone has other ideas.
iTunes gifts. I have 2 kids with their own iTunes accounts. Neither has a credit card associated with their account. They both get a weekly allowance. When they want to buy an app, music or video they tell me and I will buy an iTunes gift certificate and email them the code, then take the money from their “account.” There is no way I can find to purchase an emailable gift certificate without desktop iTunes. I can go the Apple Store app or site and buy a gift card in a set amount. Not what I want. From desktop iTunes I can also gift a specific movie or music. Great way to spend exactly what I need for them, no more no less. Not possible from an iPad
Sharing iCloud Calendars. since we all have iCloud accounts now, we also have a shared family calendar. My older daughter was the last in the family to activate her iCloud account, so I wanted to now add her to the calendar the rest of us share. No way whatsoever I can find to add/edit iCloud calendar sharing from an iOS device. Can only be done from iCloud.com on a desktop computer or through iCal on a computer. Seriously?
If Apple wants a “post PC revolution” shouldn’t they start in their own back yard?
I’m typing this entry from my new iPad using the WordPress app. I use a PC laptop for work. My casual-use MacBook is just shy of 3 years old and won’t be replaced. I have an iMac too that I used to use for my work at FightCRC that is about two years old. Like many, I set this iPad up without ever connecting it to a computer. Is the iPad at the point that it can completely replace a laptop that is primarily used for communication, light work and entertainment? I’m going to find out.
Work email/calendar/tasks is on an Exchange server, personal email is on Gmail. I switched to iCloud for personal calendar/tasks when I got the iPhone 4S last fall to make it easier to stay in sync with my family. I backup data to iCloud. I long gave up on iTunes for podcasts and now love Instacast. When I got the iPad yesterday I subscribed to iTunes Match to sync up music that was on my computer, and PhotoSync dealt with the images. No reason to hitch to a computer. Yes, if I have to restore it will take much longer, but I can live with that.
I’m considering going to NTC next month without schlepping the heavy-ish Lenovo ThinkPad Convio gave me. Thanks to a Zendesk app and a couple of Salesforce apps I can probably deal if a work issue pops up while I’m away. I’m looking forward to going to a conference and not living power outlet to power outlet. My MacBook battery now gets about 90 minutes at best on a full charge and I didn’t want to buy a new battery if I could help it.
I’m beginning to get why Apple is all about the unification of the user interface.
I don’t think I spent more than 2 hours total on an iPad before yesterday. Yet because of my years of iPhone experience, I was able to use muscle memory to know exactly what I was doing right away. Feels natural. Special to the iPad, I am already loving using 4 fingers instead of the home button to move around and switch between apps. I caught myself doing it on the iPhone this morning. I’m also surprising myself how fast I can type on the virtual keyboard.
I have to admit, I was disappointed when I saw how iOS the next version of Mac OS will be. That was a big reason why I thought it was time to go all-in on the iPad. If the future of the Mac experience is going to be iOS across the board, I might as well use the device that uses the operating system best. I still think Apple is doing a huge disservice to the Mac by not taking advantage of what makes it worth using a device that can multitask in multiple windows and has a separate input device, but I guess that won’t be something I have to worry about. I guess I believe Apple now when they say that’s all my desktop or laptop computer is…a device. I can take it away, and it doesn’t make that much difference. I didn’t appreciate just how easy and seamless it can be until I had both an iPad and an iPhone. I hope it always works as reliably as it has the past 24 hours.
We gave both our daughters iPads as Bat Mitzvah presents. Kid #1 got her 1st generation iPad in 2009 (still going strong). Kid #2 got her 2nd generation model last year. I’ve written before how helpful I think it’s been for them. Mom and Dad both got 3rd generation iPads yesterday. I said to kid #1 (who has high-functioning autism), “Four iPads in one house, three different models. How many families can say that?” Her response: “Only the really geeky ones, Mom.”
My 2 year-old iPhone 3GS has about had it. It’s painfully slow despite a few full restores and I’ve been having a lot of volume/speaker issues. The speaker will just stop working at random times. And when listening with headphones, any headphones, the left side is clearly much louder than the right.
I’m eligible for an AT&T upgrade. No, I won’t consider changing carriers. AT&T coverage is fine where I live. Furthermore, there are 5 lines in our family plan all with varying upgrade dates. Just not feasible to switch.
I’ve been holding out for the mythical iPhone 5. But should I go Android?
This morning, Laini called me over that there's something wrong with her iPad. Every time she launched the iTunes app (she has a $10/month allowance and today it refilled) it opened the App Store app instead. I had her bring it over to me, and sure enough, click "iTunes" and it flashes for a second and switches over to App Store, using the same animated motion as I see on my iOS 4 iPhone when you use fast app switching.
I shut down the iPad completely and restarted. No difference. Her iPad has parental restrictions turned on, but nothing in those settings would cause this behavior. In an effort to avoid restoring the device, I hit the internet. Nothing came up in Google searches, so I searched just the Apple forums and found this thread which nailed the problem
and the solution:
You have launch iTunes and quickly press and hold the music button before it switches. If you catch it in time, iTunes will open normally from then on. No idea why it happens but that is what I did and been fine since.
It took me 2 tries to get my finger on the right spot in time, but sure enough it works.
Yesterday and last night, we had some nasty storms. Woke up this morning to blinking clocks, which means we had a short power failure at some point. I don't shut my iMac down at night because that's when backup jobs run. The not even 2 year old iMac is connected to a UPS battery backup. When I went to the computer this morning, it was shut down. That's not a good sign. The battery should have kept it running without a hitch as it usually does.
I started the computer and the drive made harsh whirring noises before finally booting from my SuperDuper
backed up Firewire drive. Got an error message that the internal hard drive was damaged and could not be mounted. Disk Utility couldn't even see it. Not. Good. Shut down and turned off the SuperDuper drive (more to protect it now than anything else) and restarted to a blinking folder with a question mark all the while the machine is making sounds that can only be described as painful. Ugh.
I could call AppleCare and pretend that I had no idea the drive died due to electrical failure. I'm sure they can tell. I may still have the hard drive replaced so I can pass the computer down to one of the kids. Truth is, I've been itching to upgrade to something that can handle more than 4 GB RAM. I am constantly paging out memory, especially when I have to run VMWare Fusion for Windows XP.
The best part of this experience? I won't lose one byte of data. I practice what I preach to others. My entire drive is mirrored nightly to a bootable firewire drive. My most important work files are copied to an Amazon S3 disk via JungleDisk
. I save files to DropBox
now out of habit. And I have my laptop and iPhone. Or it's in the cloud. It's more the hassle of the time lost in switching the computers that's annoying me. I don't think about backing up anymore. It just happens. And right now I'm grateful.
So I'm looking at the 27-inch iMac
, with the cheaper upgrade to 8 GB RAM. A few months ago I heard that Apple was having trouble with these. Anyone with a recent model still having issues? It's hard to tell from the Apple Support forums if the issues are fixed on the machines they're shipping now.
Eric has a Kindle and loves it.
One of the things we both love most about his Kindle is that he can get most books for $9.99.
Me, I prefer audio books. I can read while I'm knitting and doing things around the house. Even though Apple has an easy way to get audio books in iTunes I don't do that. Instead, I get my books from Audible
where I can get a $25 audio book for a credit that only cost me around $15 a month. Apple would charge me $25 for the exact same audio book.
I’ve talked to a person in the industry with knowledge of the dispute who says the disappearance is the result of a disagreement between Amazon.com and book publishers that has been brewing for the last year. Macmillan, like other publishers, has asked Amazon to raise the price of electronic books from $9.99 to around $15. Amazon is expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books, said this person, who did not want to be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Apple's new iBook store gives more leeway to publishers to set their own prices on books. From last week's demo, looks like that price is going to be around $15 per book. Coincidence? Yeah, right.
Apple said NBC's demands would have raised the price of NBC shows to $4.99 an episode from the current $1.99 price tag.
"We would not agree to their dramatic price increase," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes, in a statement. "We hope they will change their minds."
At the time, the public saw Apple as the hero fighting to keep our costs down, even if it meant the loss of NBC shows from iTunes. Apple held its ground. NBC came back.
Now, Amazon is fighting what is essentially the same battle. Apple is entering the market that Amazon already has a foothold. You would think Apple would have fought to at least matching Amazon's pricing, if not beat it. The market can already bear $10 eBooks the way they do $1 songs. But no. Apple is perfectly happy to price their books at where the publishers want so they could get their deal, and then let Amazon fight alone to avoid raising their price to match. Thanks for watching our back, Apple.
That's business. That's competition. I get that. What burns me is the arrogance of Apple in assuming that because they are entering a market, they will control it. Which is all well and good if it's in all our best interests. If the customer wins by getting a better value for our money. But in this case it's not for us. Far from it. In this case, we lose because we're going to pay an extra $5 per book for absolutely no good reason.
In the video, Mossberg asked Jobs about the iBooks application and the price of e-books, with Jobs insisting the price would be the same on Apple as it was on Amazon.
“The prices will be the same,” said Jobs, before getting in a little dig at the maker of the Kindle e-reader. “Publishers are actually withholding their books from Amazon, because they’re not happy with it."
One could optimistically read that to mean that Apple's books will match Amazon's $10. Watch the video linked above. No way. Jobs knew his entrance into this market was throwing Amazon's pricing under a bus, and he's happy to do it.
In other words…now that we're giving competition to Amazon, we're more than happy to let publishers bully Amazon into raising their prices to match ours and we're perfectly okay with consumers paying more as a result.
I can hardly wait until Apple decides they're not making enough on audio books due to competition from Audible and they get publishers to bully them too.
I’m not buying an iPad, nor am I buying into the hype about it. I love that with Apple products, folks don’t realize that they can’t live without something until Steve Jobs tells them what they can’t live without.
At this moment we have 5 Macs in active use in our home, 2 iPhones and one iPhone without SIM that’s essentially an iPod Touch. But I’m a realist, not a fangirl. I didn’t buy an iPod until its 5th generation. I bought my first iPhone at round 2.
I do see the iPad’s potential. I do understand Apple’s move to break free of the keyboard/monitor/operating system way of doing things. I can even appreciate the value of a closed system where you know that everything will have a consistent look and feel.
The fancrowd is saying that the iPad isn’t for geeky-tech types like me. It’s for the casual consumer. Someone like my Mom who uses her not-the-latest-and-greatest computer for email and web surfing and keeping track of her finances and buying stuff on Amazon. She’d love an iPad, right? Nope. Not yet. And it has nothing to do with the price.
Here’s why I won’t recommend an iPad 1.0 to my Mom:
Apple needs to make up its mind. Does this device sit alongside a regular computer or replace it? It makes sense if it replaces the casual home computer. It can be used in any room of the house and is so pretty and convenient. I’m continually amazed at how much use I get out of my iPhone when I’m away from home. Yet the iPad has to be synced to a computer for content. Yes, the iPad has its own iTunes store and Mom can manage her email and contacts in the iPad without syncing because she uses Gmail. But then how would she back it up? If an iPad isn’t being synced to a computer and it gets lost, it gets corrupted or gets dropped and you’re out of luck. Apple needs to untether the iPad from a “regular” computer for it to really take off for home use. Otherwise, it’s an add-on luxury device and nothing more. The joke that is still MobileMe doesn’t count.
Mom has her computer at work, and she has her computer at home. She gets her books, magazines and newspapers on paper. If she’s going to read her content on an iPad, that content needs to be on the iPad.
And that means her local newspaper, not The New York Times
. While it’s nice that Apple has deals for books, I want to see many more deals with content publishers beyond books, and in such a way that it makes it worth giving up paper. Or more apps that provide that content. I get all my magazine subscriptions I can on Zinio
now. A big reason is because a Zinio subscription is often cheaper than a mailed one. A big part of a Kindle’s appeal is that you can buy a $25 bestseller for $10. The deals have to make it worth people’s while to make the switch. Otherwise paper will always be “good enough” for the masses.
Not all websites work. I don’t care how fast and gorgeous the browser is. The lack of Flash is a problem no matter how Apple spins it. Mom doesn’t know or care that it’s Flash that’s making her favorite websites do what they do. She doesn’t care it’s the reason for most of her computer problems. She doesn’t care that HTML5 is the best thing on the horizon. The websites she likes just won’t work. Apple is being stubborn when it comes to their desire to kill Flash, and they’ve done this before. Remember the bruhaha when they only included USB and removed the floppy drive from the first iMac back in 1988? I had that first iMac purchased on Day 1 of its release and I was able to buy a little USB device that plugged in to my computer and it let me get data off my old floppies. Not ideal, but there was a workaround. There is no workaround if a site doesn’t work on the iPhone/iPad and blaming it on the site is so not the answer. Neither is expecting every website to create something for the App Store instead.
Bottom line is that the iPad 1.0 is a device that isn’t for the techy-geeks, yet I think only the techy-geeks will really appreciate it.
Bring on iPad 2.0.
I’ve had it with Firefox 3. It’s slow, crashy, a resource hog and did I mention it’s slow? Not quite IE 7 slow, but not nearly as fast as I wish it was. Yes, it could be add-ins slowing it down, but I really don’t run that many as you’ll see below. I don’t even use Greasemonkey.
At least until Firefox 3.5 (which I know is as soon as next week) or a release version of Chrome for Mac comes along, I am trying to run with Safari 4 as my default browser. It’s tons faster, especially for heavy sites I live in like Salesforce and Fever. And while it can be as much of a resource hog as Firefox, it takes a lot longer to get to the must-quit-and-restart-this-beast point than Firefox does.