iPad Apps for Which I am Waiting

My credit card is quite ready to dump some money on the following, when they're released:

  • Coda for iPad: We need a good IDE for the iPad, and Coda screams iPad, already; I would be willing to heft over a pretty penny to have Coda on my iPad... even without terminal support, or the useless CSS editor.
  • Podcasting Suite: Something like GarageBand lite; just enough to record multiple tracks (maybe 2-4, with the ability to split right and left channels from a USB audio input (like the iMic) into separate tracks. Then add in a small library of music beds, stingers, etc., and I'm in love.
  • Tabbed Browser ala Safari on the Mac. Even if I can only open three or four tabs, it would be so nice to leave them open for later viewing, without having to leave my current browser tab/window.

Coda is the only one for which I really have a pressing need. The others can wait, but would be awesome.

Review: iPad Camera Connection Kit

Jeff's Rating: 5/5

tl;dr: The iPad Camera Connection Kit is an excellent accessory for the iPad, allowing users to import photos from most any camera (RAW or JPEG), and connect to some other helpful devices via USB.

If you haven't already, check out my iPad review (from the first few days of use, and including some important updates).

iPad Camera Connection Kit

After a few weeks' wait, people (including me) have started receiving their iPad Camera Connection kits. This little kit comes with two Dock connectors that let you either plug a standard SD or SDHC card, or a USB cable into your iPad. (Sadly, the connectors do nothing on the iPhone... at least not yet).

Benchmarking Safari on the iPad

Since purchasing the iPad, I've constantly been amazed by how fast everything works—switching between large apps is no longer a game of roulette, and browsing the web is a breeze.

I ran some tests on Safari on my iPad, just to see how things compare to my MacBook Pro...

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark

Here's the screenshot from my iPad (14068.6ms):

Sunspider Results - iPad

And from my Mac (406.8ms):

Sunspider Results - Macbook Pro

The MacBook Pro (2.53 Ghz 15" with 4 GB of RAM) is about 34x faster than the iPad in raw JavaScript performance... not too surprising, but I'd guess this margin will be trimmed in the next five years, when everyone's carrying around a tablet :-)

iPad Dock Cable to VGA Adapter - A Big "Meh." [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: It looks like there's a nice app available to jailbroken iPads via Cydia called 'Display Out' that will allow you to use the iPad with any external display, the way it was meant to be! Also, some other interesting comments down below...]

iPad VGA Adapter to Dock ConnectorI bought the iPad VGA cable at the store today, hoping to be able to browse the web via Safari, show presentations using Keynote, and view slideshows on my monitor and on the projector, using the cable. A couple of these things are possible, but right now the VGA cable is pretty weak, and probably not worth the money.

You can:

iSSH on the iPad - SSH and VNC from Anywhere

[UPDATED: The developer of iSSH emailed me this morning with a couple of tidbits that will be useful for any early iSSH adopters on the iPad - see my updated notes in bold.]

One app I haven't had a lot of time to work with (yet) is iSSH on the iPad. I tried the iPhone version, but the tiny iPhone screen simply couldn't keep up with a productive SSH or VNC session.

The iPad changes the game, though; I can actually log in via SSH, do some real work, then go back to doing whatever I was doing on the iPad. Since the iSSH developers didn't have a ton of time to work on an actual iPad, there are some pretty annoying bugs right now—but these bugs will be fixed soon. Some of the bugs:

How to Tether Your iPad to Your iPhone (via WiFi)

Since buying the iPad on the first day of it's introduction meant I had only one option; wifi-only, I needed a way to connect my iPad to the Internet on the go. Since I already have an iPhone, and have used it to tether my MacBook Pro in the past, I tried finding an easy way to tether to my iPad over WiFi. I didn't let Steve Jobs' comments about the iPad not being able to tether with the iPhone get me down.

A quick search around the web didn't find any quick tutorials, so I pieced enough information together to find that the best option would be to jailbreak my iPhone, download Cydia, and install MyFi, a nice app that turns your iPhone into a mobile hotspot.

First Blog Entry from the iPad

This is my first blog post from the iPad. Unfortunately, the iPad doesn't work with CKEditor, which I am using on this website, so I have to use the plain text editor. Luckily, typing on the iPad isn't too much of a chore, although it is pretty easy to lose your finger positions while typing.

I think that's all I'll type for now, because my hands are getting tired, and it's about time to go to bed. But hopefully Ill have some more time to test out typing on the iPad tomorrow.

As an aside, you can't use Drupal's built-in file uploading (via FileField) with the iPad, at least not natively. I'll have to investigate this more over the next few weeks. There's got to be a way to add a picture to a blog post!

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.