Why did I take the plunge and become an early adoptee on the iPad? I was so skeptical of most of it’s features when they announced it. Over time I kept my eyes on the matrix synth web blog and saw all these ipod touch apps and iPad apps that made me really go wow, cool drum machines and soft synths with touch controls, no mouse crap like computers offer. I also always wanted a touch gaming console as well, but the nintendo ds is too much fluffy crap and kids stuff to bare, plus the tiny screens. I was very skeptical of apples mp3 players because I always hated their sound quality on the iPods. I have really expensive in ear headphones. I would always go to the stores and demo the units, and sony’s walkmans always came out on top in my tests. Not to mention the fact i hate using iTunes, and not being able to browse my mp3s by folder and files like on a computer. These things kept me away from the iPod touch. The video below shows me messing around with the Ielectribe, putting together a beat, tweaking it, running it through my EMU E6400 Sampler’s filters.
So what was it that made me impulsively buy the iPad? I decided to go to the apple store on the launch day. I have been wanting another laptop to use around the house so I am not always in the studio. I mostly wanted it to read, surf the net, and write up reviews and things. I also wanted the iPod touch for the games and nothing else. I also wanted the iPod touch for some of the audio apps I had seen over the last year. Especially the drum sequencer type drum machines. Very cool with the touch controls as are the soft synths. The idea of being able to be any where with my headsets banging out beats with automation and good sound quality really appealed to me. I am working on the new LP already and didn’t want to wait for the next gen ipad. I picked up the unit, loved how it felt in my hands, then I plugged my headphones in, listened to the iPod part while surfing the web and noticed how the sound quality was a lot better, when over to the ipod touch and listened to that too, the iPod touch sounded worse. DACs are a big deal to me.
I was amazed at how fast it was browsing the web, that this 1ghz arm processor felt faster than my 2.16 duo core MacBook pro. So this is life with out flash? A fast browser? Bring on html5. Death to flash, that slow inefficient processor hog. The swipe gestures you use to scroll the screen is so fast and responsive, as is pinching to zoom in and out. Some times on web pages, I would have to zoom in to hit the link I wanted but only when i held the iPad in the thin horizontal view angle. Launching apps is weird, sometimes it will think I am swiping instead of selecting. Typing is great actually, except if you need numbers all the time, then its a major issue, so doing math stuff in a text editor is really annoying because you have to switch back and forth to the number mode or letter mode. No arrow keys to move the cursor around either. So you have to hit the pad on the text and hold and then this magnifying glass thing pops up and you move that around then it lets you drag the cursor to where you need to go, this is kind of annoying.
I plan on reviewing games and audio apps on this device for the VAC site and e EDT site. Games were lack luster at first. I first downloaded this diablo like dungeon rpg. It had this fake analog stick control, and it sucked. It wasn’t for a few days that I realized that I could us tap controls on that game, and that instantly made it better. Then i downloaded the need for speed game, and it looks ok, kind of a bad frame rate, and is fun and controls well by tilting the iPad to steer it like a steering wheel. kind of cool. It wasn’t until I downloaded Flightcontrol HD, and Mirrors edge for the ipad that I really was kind of impressed with it as a gaming device. Mirrors edge looks great and is fun to play. Flightcontrol HD is a simple game where you draw flight paths with your fingers to land air planes. If two planes collide its game over. This is surprisingly fun, I saw the review for this on the Iphone via AREA5 and thought I’d give the iPad hd version a shot. It didn’t disappoint. The games are really cheap compared to DS and PSP and this is a real plus for me. Comparing the games on iPad isn’t fair though, the iPad games are shorter on average than a psp or ds game. So far as a gaming platform, it has potential, but it’s not even close to worth it for that yet. The video below shows me messing around with the ipad and all the stuff I have for it.
Overall how do I feel about the iPad?
Audio apps kick major ass, the Ielectribe software drum machine from korg is worth the price of the iPad alone $9.99, a used electribe costs a little less used on the second hand market but I feel the software with the ipads DAC sounds better to me than the old electribe I used to own. Not to mention it’s easier to use with the drag menus. Other apps are coming as well. Being able to control a daw with it via Bluetooth is really cool. Using it as a drum pad, mixer controls. This thing is amazing for this kind of thing. Seriously, using the Ielectribe is way better than using the hardware. Easy to name stuff, and i love turning knobs with the touch screen, takes a little getting used to, but its kick ass like real hardware finally as far as the interface goes. For Audio apps, I give is a 9 out of 10.
I do hate flash but the lack of flash on the iPad really is a hinderance if you want to look at sites like hulu and fail blog and media based sites that use a lot of flash players for video. I really like the touch interface for web browsing, so as long as you are reading sites its fine. This is a double edged sword, great interface but a lack of content due to the lack of flash support, so no flash games on Facebook or myspace, i hate those any way. I want html5 to take over because it is open source and flash is not. So in the end I think if enough ipads sell, flash could come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier about that. The lack of a good free chat i’m chat program that runs in the background is a big minus as well. Internet features gets a 7 out of 10.
Too big to be an effective iPod player, even though it has way better sound quality over the iPod touch. The iPod portion lacks cover flow as well, WTF apple? The screen is 4:3, not wide screen, so movies have a huge black bar, that really sucks. I think the 4:3 is a throw back to old computer screens, which i prefer for web viewing honestly, but for movies, epic fail. Media gets a 6 out of 10.
It’s to early to say weather or not it will succeed. I will say the fake analog controls have got to go, they are awful. The games here now are um, ok, not great, not terrible. kind of generic and no where near sony or nintendo, but way ahead of the zune and the other phone companies touch phones. The. Video a card in this reminds me of old pc stuff, like a few generations back. Reminds me of a dreamcast on roids in higher resolution. Nothing ground breaking other than the battery life. As a gaming platform I give this a 6 out of 10. I must say though, I see a lot of potential for god games and touch games.
The lack of a number pad really ruins this for many types of applications. I have not tried pages, or iworks. It’s on here though so that really says to me that this is serious, because the windows media apps for phones are awful. These apps are very polished compared to the competition. The PDF stuff on this is garbage. I could not even. Read the manual for my access virus snow on this thing. They have a lot of bugs to fix on this thing, even the text app it comes with is buggy and has word wrap issues when typing large text files, I am experiencing this as I type this. It gets stuff wrong but the stuff it gets right is spot on, the Marvel comics app is amazing. The Book store and reader is great. There is a lot of promise here. I give the apps for the iPad a 7 out of 10. Lots of potential, but not there yet.
The screen is gorgeous, this is what attracted me to it in the store. WOW. It’s a little heavy, but not a problem for me. Playing certain games does get tiring tho, because of holding it up, its not heavy, but its heavy enough that after an hour, its tiring. The motion controls are great. The touch interface is great, typing is pretty good, the keyboard is ok, but having to hit a key to switch the keypad to numbers and symbols is really annoying. Ok for text, but bad for typing in numbers. The battery life is amazing, i can use it all day and still have charge the next day for a while before I have to charge it, more than 10 hours and 1 month on stand bye. WOW. The interface is very responsive. No camera, so what, I don’t care, bad viewing angle because of how you hold the device, camera up your nose is not a good thing. I give the hardware a 9 out of 10.
Apple is wrong, this is not revolutionary. It is good, but fails in many areas. It is great because finally we have a tablet that reminds me of star trek. The lack of being able to multi task apps is a major downer(yes it’s coming, but not till fall). It lacks flash, needs a bigger screen for wide screen two work. It’s not perfect. I must say though, It has apps other devices don’t like some of the games, Iworks, and Ielectribe that are all priced just right. This is a multi media device that has some functionality of computers. This is not a laptop. This is more like a Ipod, nintendo ds, Sony psp mixed into one device, with a big screen and a touch of osx thrown in. Does it live up to apple’s hype? sort of. If you like audio apps, or iphone apps, its a good thing. If not, you want and internet laptop device? Stay very very very far away from this thing.
What does apple need to do to fix this? We need flash, we need directional control, and screen stretching functions, in word press(no arrow keys), i cannot do any real editing because of this on the ipad. If it was not for me liking the ielectribe so much, i might actually sell this thing. I only like this 100% for the audio apps, everything else needs a ton of work. They have to fix this shit! I will say it though, I really love this thing, the Ielectribe, taking beats any where with 10 hr battery life, man this alone makes it worth it for me. I do use it for media, internet and everything despite thinking it is kind of weak at some things. By no means is this a bad review. Its a good device, but it is far from perfect. I give this overall a 6.955555 out of 10.