iPad first impressions – software

Some more misc. thoughts on the specifics of the included software… yes, most of this is pretty nitpicky but for the (arguably) dominant mobile platform out there, I don’t these are unreasonable things to pick at.

App store
Really disappointed with this. Considering that there are a bazillion apps available, it’s really hard to browse the app store. Scrolling between screens is very time consuming (but yes, there is a very pretty animation) and makes delving very far past the first page or two very difficult. The Palm Pre’s infinitely scrolling list is a much better implementation and allows for much deeper exploration of what is available in the app catalog.

After I purchase an app, it drive me crazy that it always exits the app store to the launcher. Basically I am being sent to a screen where all I can do is watch a little status bar sloooly update instead of continue to browse apps. If I then want to return to the app store (as I usually do as I am usually trying out several apps at a time), I have to swipe back 2 screens, click on a folder then click the app store. Definitely not magical. Again, the way the Pre does it is much better as shows me the download status from within the app store and sends a notification when it is complete.

Finally, it’s hard keeping all these apps organized (yes, folders helps immensely), but it would be nice if there was a setting for the app store to dump apps starting from the last available page, not the first. My first couple of pages tend to be better organized with the latter few a dumping ground for stuff I haven’t yet had a chance to play with a lot. The current implementation just mixes the two sections.

Web Browser
Safari is a perfectly capable web browser – my main gripe is that the interface is geared to a much smaller screen. Tab switching is harder than it needs to be and there is real estate for more buttons/toolbars which not utilized. Thankfully it looks like there are several third party browsers available which address this.

Lack of flash support is annoying but not really a deal breaker.

The photo app crashes semi-regularly. This is not a big deal as this is not a core app, but come on!

I really like the “view by location” – it’s basically a map with all the locations pinned where you have taken pics. Only pics taken with my cell phone are tagged as such, but I really like this feature. Does anyone know if they sell cameras with a GPS chip installed? I find this a very compelling use of the tech and would definitely pay a small price/battery premium to have this built into my next camera.

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