Monday, March 29, 2010

Not sure if you want an iPad?

Still on the fence about getting an iPad? Check out the guided tours videos that Apple recently posted. The short videos give highlights of the built-in iPad apps as well as the iPad versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers.

A Review Of Features
Safari:  Redesigned to look and act more like its desktop sibling.

Mail:  Now supporting a two column layout in Landscape (wide) mode Mail looks a little more user friendly.

Photos:  More like iPhoto with grouping and viewing this is a welcome change to the Photos app of the iPhone.  I love the "pinch to peek" feature letting you look into a stack of images.  Slideshow is part of the iPhone and iPod touch but on the iPad it has been updated to work like iPhoto and makes a great digital photo-frame.  It also has iPhotos Faces and Places features as well as the ability to import from a digital camera or SD card (with 30-pin connecter attachments sold separately).

Videos:  Much like the iPhone and iPod touch counterparts it it displays what you have synched up from iTunes.  A notable feature is that it contains the summary, actors, producers and additional credits for you to review.

YouTube:  One of the hottest video sharing properties on the net is YouTube and the native YouTube app on the iPad is a wonderful counterpart.  For those of you who love YouTube this is a great experience.

iPod:  Now the application itself is more than on the iPhone and iPod touch with an iTunes like way to find and play your music.  But fitting an iPad in your pocket may be a little hard for most of us.  One question I have is will it support AirTunes?

iTunes:  We all know that iTunes is the leader in online media/content distribution/purchasing and that most competing products use it as a feature list.  The iPad version brings the mobile entertainment experience a little closer.  My favorite feature is iTunes U.

iBooks:  A new step in the publishing arena, Apple hopes to capture traditional literature and move it forward the same way it has for music, movies and television shows.  This is one of the main things I am looking at the iPad for, a way to carry around the books I want to have with me without breaking my back.  It sports a built in English dictionary and the ePub format so that you can change the font and font size.  Will this be a Kindle killer?  Only time will tell.

iWork on iPad
Keynote:  Part of the iWork suite of apps, Keynote is an easy and intuitive way to create and present beautiful presentations.  It works with the desktop version as well as PowerPoint.  There is an optional adapter to hook up the iPad to a projector or television.  You can share it via email, upload it to or export it as a Keynote or PDF file.  I am looking forward to this app and once I start to use it I'll have to decide where to do presentation work, on a desktop, notebook or the iPad.

Pages:  The second of the iWork suite or apps, Pages works as both a word processor and a page layout tool. It too works with and will import Word files.  Also I just found out that not only can you use the new Keyboard-Dock but that it will work with an Apple Wireless Keyboard.  Score one for productivity.  I'll be picking this up as well.

Numbers:  The last of the iWork suite is Numbers, an Excel type of spreadsheet application (it works with Excel files too).  I love Numbers for the desktop with its special controls like sliders and pickers and that it reformats my graphs and charts in real-time as I make changes to my dataset.  The iPad version of Numbers looks to be simplified in it's UI but still has all of the bells and whistles as its desktop counterpart.  It even has a new keyboard designed for creating advanced formulas.  Even without a mouse, the thought that has gone into the UI makes editing, formatting and layout of spreadsheet simple.  It also has a Form view for your spreadsheet, akin to the Form view of a Google Docs spreadsheet.  I will also pick up iWork for the iPad.

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