Anyone who knows me or reads the blog knows how much I love Apple, Steve Jobs, the drooling fanboys and the products Apple produces. iHoles, the lot of them.
As it turns out, I'm the lone Android tablet user at work. Since I'm kinda responsible for security, the boss thought it would be a good idea for me to take a look. Actually, he thinks he's going to convert me, so I let him believe whatever he wants to. He's the boss, right?
After weeks and weeks and weeks, the unit finally arrived. It appears that Apple refused to sell us a certain model of iPad and we had to wait until there were other models available.
Following several sets of instructions and applying the Guess Method at certain points, I got the device registered. Note that this does not reflect on Apple: this would be the fault of our supplier and us. Naturally there is no one around to ask for assistance.
The first thing I do with any device is poke around the settings. This is where I started getting nervous. From a privacy standpoint, there appears to be an incredible amount of data leakage to Apple, at very least. This was confirmed by one of the fanboys here. When he found out I got an iPad, he suggested I just save the company money and give it back right away because I was going to hate it. Funny, he was the same one who, last week, kept telling me to embrace change and come over to the Dark Side<tm>. He suggested jailbreaking immediately.
My immediate question was how to get data onto the device. Fanboy said there is no way to install music but iTunes. This is not acceptable. My device, my music, my storage. I do not want to ask Steve Jobs' permission every time I want to put music on my tablet. No idea how to put non-music data on- everyone seems to use Dropbox or something similar.
Since email is a rather important item, I went to configure it. Oops, I need a data plan, in spite of the Verizon icon. Again, my company, not Apple. It's most fortunate that we are considering this a test run (because we failed). In fact, the test run has been halted because the vendor messed things up royally.
Back to the unit itself. Let me say some positive things, ok? The battery life far exceeds my android tablet (which isn't fair, as there's something wrong with the android or its battery). It was easy to understand and operate. People don't instantly grok 4-5 finger gestures so it should probably be mentioned somewhere. Personally, I say a lot with a simple one-finger gesture.
I located the market and did some browsing. It sure costs a lot to operate one of these things.. the great majority of android programs are free, including the ones that Apple charges for. Since Apple is known to musicians, I went to that section. There were a ton of guitar magazine apps, a few of which I downloaded free. Each was an invitation to subscribe. Uninstalled. I located a few tv apps, which led to questioning why I can watch episodes of such great shows as Billy the Exterminator and Hoarders on the iPad when I couldn't watch them on my android.
Let's Talk iTunes
I asked around. Apparently it's near impossible to get content to the device without iTunes. Sorry, kids; I will not be held hostage by a large, bloated digital rights management scheme masquerading as a content transfer app. My ever-helpful coworkers pointed out that I could always import my already-purchased music into iTunes and transfer it to the pad.
Apple has no need to know what content I have, especially the content I did not purchase from them. What a crock of excrement. The privacy leakage is obscene across the entire device and there is very little available in terms of stopping it.
The same helpful coworkers told me they use Dropbox for transfer outside of iTunes. Great... another cloud solution... Another unsafe alternative to keeping content on your own device.
One assistive friend said I `really needed to buy into the entire Apple ecosystem'. That was by far the best quote on the topic.
If I keep the device, I will use one of the apps that functions as transport and media player. Emailing myself docs will have to suffice. Jailbreaking is probably in my future.
As promised and harped upon, the entire interface is a no-brainer. I found everything and figured out a few things not noted. My wife operated it with no difficulties. My best friend's aging mother has no trouble with it. The only slight niggle is the lack of a locking shift key.
Let's face it: I am not Apple's target customer, even though all of the IT professionals around me seem to have consumed the Kool Aid. There will be no iPhone for me. I'm not even sure how long I'll have the iPad (I prefer the android, thank you).
I want to be as fair as possible in this evaluation, especially considering my great love for all things Apple. Aside from small bits of frustration that one would have with any device, the iPad user interface is just fine. The hardware is just fine. It's just the entire Apple experience that drives me up a tree. If you could plug this device into any computer and it would act like a storage device, there would be little to complain about. Apple is downright linux-hostile, which needs to change.
All in all, I prefer the android. It does what it does better, with tons more variety, control and choice available. No surprise there.