First World Problems – iPhone edition

As I write this, I am sitting at the Apple Genius Bar reloading my information onto a new iPhone.  My old phone’s GPS stopped working with any reliability.

The biggest problem is reloading 256Gb worth of stuff onto the phone.  With my music library, apps, etc it ends up taking 2 days to get everything back on it.  Then there is the necessary re-pair of the Apple Watch which also takes a half hour.

I recognize that this is not one of the world’s great problems by any stretch.  Its just annoying.

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iPad, the first week

Okay, I’ve had the iPad a little over a week now. Its been a lot of fun. I’ve been reading a book, watched some Netflix and videos, listened to music, etc. There are things that it is definitely good for, and things that it needs work in. I’m going to try to summarize my experience.

I love catching up on my RSS feeds with it. I’ve used Google Reader and my iPhone for this for a while. It worked well with those tools. With the iPad it is much better. The larger screen really works for it. I can get through hundreds of news items in a pretty short period of time and keep up on what is going on in the world. This is definitely an area where it works.

A related note is reading websites. I prefer to browse on this more than anything I’ve used before. Note, that is BROWSING, not doing research. If I need to have multiple pages open or do comparisons, that isn’t the sweet spot, but puttering around is great. Another area that is awesome.

You may know that we spent some time in the ER last week with one of the kids. Hanging out can be a pain, but having instant access to movies and videos was cool. Gina, Ripley and I were able to all watch the screen and keep occupied while we waited a couple of hours to resolve the situation. Without it, it would have been a painful evening.

Reading books, playing games, working with Evernote, are all great uses for this as well. The list goes on. There are however areas that it isn’t as great.

There are times that I struggle with not having always-on Internet access. I really don’t think it will be an issue once the “shiny” wears off and I don’t want to pick it up every 5 minutes to do something. I am in a stage of figuring out its place.

The Apple Work suite is also not quite baked yet. Its nice to be able to pull in Office documents and take them with you. Even the ability to modify them is nice. What isn’t nice is the stripping of functionality from the docs when you import them. That kind of sucks. Having access has been awesome, but I want more.

Also lacking is a really good note taking application. Evernote is good in some ways, but I’d love to see bullet lists and formatting options. I’ve seen a couple of alternatives, but none really speaks to me. It needs to have an easy way to get content on and off the device and rich formatting for meeting notes, etc.

I’d also like to see a drawing program that can read and write Visio docs. We use it heavily at work, and it is a pain not to have access to it. That is probably the biggest thing lacking. I have drawing programs and Visio-like programs, but nothing that is compatible.

Most of my issues will be resolved as apps mature. Overall I love it. I wouldn’t give it up. I am looking forward to a plane trip so I can try it out.

iPad

Ok, the name is lame. iSlate or iTablet would have been better. There are already too many feminine hygiene jokes out there. But all things considered, I think it was a good announcement.

The device is almost everything that I wanted. Its missing a camera which would have been nice for iChat on the go. I’m not sure how it will sync with an iPhone, camera, etc but I’m sure that will become clear as it gets closer to the release date.

I think this device is a natural extension of the iPhone. It makes sense to have a larger screen for casual use. The iPhone is great for traveling, but when you want to view larger content, it can be a bit annoying. Being able to view a movie or photos on a larger screen is also awesome. When traveling this would be great. When dealing with the kids when we are out, this would be almost as good as the iPhone, just larger.

The addition of the ereader is great. I love my epaper device, but there are problems when you are dealing with images, charts, graphs, maps, etc. The format and technology with epaper is great for text, but it blows for most of the other content. The devices have gotten better, but they fill a specific niche. I think that is where this device has a leg up. I can use it to read, surf, watch movies, and BTW its an iPod. It is also extendable to be able to use virtually any application and can replace a DS or PSP. One device to fit a multitude of needs.

I think this is where Amazon needs to take a cue. When they got into digital music distribution, they didn’t create their own mp3 player, they supported them all and setup a great distribution channel. With ebooks it made sense to create a device using the existing technology. They created a nice device. But they have been surpassed. The cost of their device is expensive when you look at the capabilities, inherent limitations and small amount of memory, especially when you compare it to the iPad. It is a much more general purpose device. If Amazon focuses on distribution of content, they can be a great alternative choice for content and skip the hardware creation and distribution. This is not their sweet spot and I question their ability to compete against the UI/Human factors factory that is Apple.

I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the device. I think it would be a really great business tool as well as a casual device. Being able to put PDFs of important documents, take notes in meetings and use it for small intimate presentations with executives would be awesome, plus you can pass the time while waiting your turn outside your boss’s office 😉