I finally got a chance to spend some time at a couple local Apple Stores to handle an iPad. I don’t mean to be so Zen about it, but given all of the noise from the fan boys and haters, Reality is not either good or bad, Reality is just reality. Case in point, my first thought was that the iPad was much heavier than I first expected. The fan boys might look at that and say that this is because the iPad is so solidly constructed and mostly battery (to support the 10-hour run time!). The haters might say, it’s just too heavy. I have to say that it is difficult to hold it with one hand for any extended period. But then it isn’t any heavier than your basic hardcover book.
Next surprise I encountered during my maiden voyage to iPad-land was that when I pulled up my blog on the iPad all of the videos worked. Cool. Then when I went to my course blog none of the videos worked. Not cool. So YouTube works but Viddler doesn’t? A few weeks ago I checked out the HTML5 beta on YouTube but I don’t think that changed anything. I’m guessing that YouTube has the horsepower to detect that you are browsing on an iPad and transcode the feed so that it streams video that’s playable on the iPad (and iPhone). Viddler on the iPad I didn’t even get the broken media lego block. Fail. I might have to move my course videos back to YouTube. Ack. I was checking out Blip.tv because their pro-account offers an encoding option that’s iPhone-friendly. More research on this is is going to be needed. Archive.org?
Next item I checked out was Google Docs. Apple and iPad-hater, Molly Wood, complained that Google docs doesn’t work on the iPad . Anticipating needing to have access to my data on multiple macs and the future iPad I’d moved whatever I could to Google Docs months ago and anywhere I had Internet I could access student work on their blogs and record their grade on my google docs spreadsheet. I never had to wonder which device had the most current version of my spreadsheet, for example. So, when I pulled up Google Docs on the iPad, I noticed that there was a mobile/desktop option at the bottom, so I selected desktop and pulled up a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was editable, but it treated each cell like a “saveable” zone, so that you needed to save each cell edit individually (and there wasn’t any “File menu > save and close” option that is in the normal computer version). So that worked, albeit, in a clunky fashion. Text documents, however, didn’t appear to be editable. Damn. This is a problem. I’m not sure if that’s a safari thing or an Apple thing or a Google thing. Damn. Why would they disable text editing? BTW, it’s the same using Google Docs on the iPhone. Ack. May have to switch to using something like Evernote (assuming that note editing is permitted there). Plan B time.
Speaking of Fan Boys, here’s iPad Saturday iJustine-style (I like it when her male friend says after much random dancing in line, “you can stop now”):