Craigslisting my IPAD: Vivek Wadhwa

There are two interesting themes reflected in the title. Craigs-listing is actually now a verb ! Wow. That is the impact an online sharing/marketplace site can create. For those who are not in the know, please go here and check it out. The other interesting theme is something that I will summarize momentarily below. Vivek Wadhwa writes a very compelling article on what the IPAD is NOT. Now that the hype is died down (a bit? maybe just a little?), Vivek dissects on some features that he had expected and how it is not found in IPAD 1.0. He also says that, since he is an apple fan-boy (unashamedly so!), he will check if 2.0 will have it, and stand in line, and pay his dues to Steve Jobs when it releases. Thats the fan following Apple has. Applegate, Antennagate – whatever! 😉

Now for some of the key points that Vivek points out that is not present in the first version of IPAD:

First, I can’t easily load my Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents on the iPad or access the year or more of e-mails that I carry around on my 32 GB USB drive.  The iPad has no USB port, and its means of transferring documents—through iTunes—is pathetic.

I agree with Vivek here. For the most part of the public – especially the atypical non-apple folks, who bought the IPAD, this would be a huge bummer. Also for the large non-technical populace, it would be a challenge (fondly called Grandma and the junior in the article).

Second, Apple’s Microsoft Office-like products on the iPad are just cheap imitations. Apple’s Pages is a decent word processor, and Numbers is okay as a spreadsheet manager, but these don’t hold a candle to Microsoft Word and Excel. Moreover, I can’t use the excellent cloud-based word processing tools that Zoho offers, or the decent tools in Google docs. The iPad doesn’t recognize the rich-text format that these applications use, so it doesn’t display a keyboard when you try to type.

For those people, who thought, Fine, there is no office, but I can use google docs or Zoho, Bang, it cannot be done either. Another huge bummer. For a device, which touts working off the cloud, if it cannot support Zoho or GoogleDocs, it is not cutting it, in my opinion. But then, Apple has never really cared about interoperability (until more recently ofcourse).

Third, I usually need to view different applications in multiple screens when I am writing.

Oops. I did not know about this. This is a huge bummer for the folks who live on alt-tabbing (or window-tabbing). Apparently the IPAD only lets you multiprocess one app – which is – you can listen to music, while you are surfing. Hrrm. #FAIL.

Fourth, on many of the websites I visit, I can’t watch Flash presentations.

I thought this would be #1 on the list. But it finds a mention in the list (It has to!). For those following the Adobe-Apple war, this would not be a surprise. Lets just wait for everyone to switch to HTML5 (2020? anyone?).

Last, I didn’t miss the camera that didn’t come with my iPad until I got my new iPhone, but now I can’t fathom why it isn’t there. Facetime, on the new iPhone, is a killer app. It changes the way you use your phone and the way you communicate with your friends and relatives. The iPad lets you make Skype calls over Wi-Fi, but there is no Facetime app—and that’s because there is no camera.

This is an issue too. No Camera? Why Steve? Why? How can you create a tablet which you expect non-technical people also to use, and NOT have a camera? First thing, someone is going to try and do is to do videoconferencing with grandma ! Well, hopefully IPAD 2 will have it.

I think this is a great list. Kudos to Vivek Wadhwa for his very insightful comments.

(Article found through TechCrunch)

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One Response to Craigslisting my IPAD: Vivek Wadhwa

  1. Sai says:

    Mouli, I hate to say it, but Vivek seems to have lost sight of the primary market for which the iPad was created. Why should the iPad run Microsoft Office suite? If people want to run MS Office, just get a computer 🙂 and a Mac..because MS products just work on the Mac! Am I an Apple fanboy? Hell yeah!!

    What I don’t understand is why do people have to beat up on Apple about things which an iDevice won’t do. We have all lived with the iPod and iTunes since the day it was released. There have been tremendous improvements in the iTunes interface, since the days of 2001 when managing media on iTunes was a pain in the rear end. So if people can live with the iTunes interface to transfer music, why not leverage the technology to use it to transfer other documents? Also there is a solution offered by Apple called MobileMe that can transfer documents using cloud computing technology. Why not use that application to wirelessly synchronize your documents on multiple devices? Especially if you use a computer, iPhone and an iPad. MobileMe works on both PC’s and Macs.

    As regards Flash, again why? I might agree on his point about the camera, that might be something that can be incorporated in the next release, but to most of his other points, I don’t think it holds water. Sorry to say :)..

    The bottomline is what one wants to do with the iPad. It is NOT meant to be a replacement for a portable or desktop computer. As long as consumers understand this, and really find a need to use an iPad they will not be disappointed.

    Cheers!
    Sai

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