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Review: Apple iPad (Original)

Jeff's Rating: 5/5

tl;dr: The iPad is one case where Apple has clearly hit the ball out of the park, in all aspects: usability, utility, form, function, and pure tech delight. There is a reason Apple sold almost a million iPads during it's first day on retail shelves.

[Update: Here's a guide to tethering your iPad to your iPhone via WiFi. Also, see my review of the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter cable and my review of the iPad Camera Connection Kit.]

On April 3, 2010, I purchased the 32 GB iPad from Best Buy. Here are some bits of information that may or may not be called a 'Review.'

Apple iPad

Purchasing Experience

I bought the iPad at my local Best Buy (in Brentwood, MO), and decided to skip both of the St. Louis Apple Stores (they both had lines about 40-80 people long throughout the morning). Best Buy didn't have any accessories, but that was okay—I'm planning on waiting to see if there are any really nice folio cases that come out soon.

There was a flock of people (both old and young) around the Apple area in Best Buy, and they were all talking about the iPad. Best Buy had four on display, and I decided to simply go over to the cage containing about eight 16GB iPads, three 32GB iPads, and two lonely 64GB iPads (they're all WiFi for now - the 3G models don't come out until later this month.

Best Buy had a nice deal where you can get 3 $10 iTunes Gift Cards for $25, so I bought two packs, and in effect, shaved $10 off my App purchases for the day.

Out of the Box

Rather than bore you with yet another iPad unboxing video, here's a link to Engadget's story on the iPad, complete with an unboxing.

Jeff with his iPad
Yours truly, with yours truly's iPad.

The iPad is surprisingly heavy, but not so heavy that I couldn't imagine carrying it around almost anywhere I currently tote my folio notepad (for meeting notes, etc.). The iPad comes with a boring USB sync cable and 10W wall charger. Nothing special there.

Tethering Your iPhone to Your Mac with OS 3.0

Tethering your iPhoneAlongside today's news that Apple has finally released the iPhone/iPod Touch OS 3.0 to the public (download it by opening iTunes, connecting your iPhone or iPod Touch and clicking the 'Check for Update' button), some websites are noting that it is easy to enable tethering on your iPhone, even if AT&T hasn't officially announced support for this feature.

Tethering is great for small Internet browsing sessions, or when your iPhone just isn't enough to do what you need to do (for instance, adding content to a website, or uploading a large file). But don't Tether too much: First, if a lot of people are tethering, it can slow down the network for everyone else, and second, your iPhone's battery takes a huge hit (even if charging) while you're using it's 3G signal for tethering.

[NOTE: Visual Voicemail may stop working after you follow the steps below. To get it back, simply go to the Settings app, tap on General, then Network, then Cellular Data Network; tap on the "Visual Voicemail" APN and change it from wap.cingular to acds.voicemail.]

Happy 25th Birthday, Macintosh!

The Macintosh (a 24" iMac!) on which I'm currently typing is enjoying its namesake's 25th anniversary. Happy Birthday, Macintosh!

The Original '128K' Macintosh

Rather than republish the same thing hundreds of other blogs are publishing, I'll just provide some links that include some of my favorite memories of the past 25 years of Mac history:

And many more!

How Apple's New iWork Could Defeat Google Docs

Earlier today, Apple announced they were starting a beta service of iWork applications online, free for anyone (with a licensed copy of iWork '09) to try, called iWork.com. The premise is this: You make a document in, say, Pages, and then click a button to put it online. You let your editor/friend know the document is online, and then he or she can login to the iWork website, view the document as you created it, and put sticky notes on it. This way, the editor/friend doesn't have to have a certain application (like Word) on his or her computer to view or make notes on your document.

Apple iWork Screenshots

Apple's not the first to have a product like this—Google has had its 'Docs' suite of online writing/sharing applications for a couple years already (it's free and it also lets everyone work on the document together)—but they have the opportunity to win the Online Office Suite battle, which has barely begun.

Review: iPhone 3G

Jeff's Rating: 4/5

tl;dr: The iPhone 3G is a great upgrade from the 1st generation iPhone, but suffers from a sluggish processor and a limited lifespan.

This iPhone review will be expanded upon in the coming months, and will grow with time—if you've ever used an iPhone, you'll know why: the thing just keeps giving more and more surprises with more use!

The Hardware

I've used the first generation iPod Touch, the first generation iPhone, and various 'smartphone' models from other manufacturers, including Palm, RIM, etc. The iPhone/iPod have something that the other models are almost always severely lacking: gripability. My hand simply seems attracted to it! It's the same way with the old iPod mini (which was, in my opinion, the most holdable electronic device ever).

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