Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why I hate my iPad

Let’s start with some prelims:

1. I love watching movies or reading a book or surf the Web in my iPad. And Reading magazines in Zinio or flipping through selective stories in Zite is very addictive. But then, these are not something unique for iPad. Though, I have not used any other tab/slate, it can be always argued that any other make having similar "form factor" and hardware would have similar user experience. Am sure owners of Galaxy Tab will agree with me.

2. Many of the issues am complaining of, were known to me even before I purchased the iPad. Still I chose an iPad over an Android Tab, as Android can not access a proxy server through Wifi. That’s quite annoying for me as our institutional network is through proxy servers. It’s a shame for Android.

3. One feels unsatisfied only when some thing expected is not met. Here, my expectations are based on my experience with my Android phone, Samsung Galaxy S II.

Now the hate speech:

A) Oh boy! Forget about classy widgets or custom desktop or custom locks that I can use in my droid phone, I do not even have a simple one click switche/control/widget to switch On/Off Wifi or change screen brightness in my iPad. I have to look deep in settings to do those changes. Yes, you can call me a lazy ass; but then you should stop using a remote for your TV too. They could have placed those controls even in the pull-down notification area. But no they thought that’s not important. Use of the notification area for such purposes is not only easy for the user but also elegant in space saving. In terms of customization iPad is like a primitive B/W cell phone.

B) I was stumped when I realized that I can not explore files/folders in iPad, the way I do in Windows Explorer or in any folder explorer in Android. So I can not copy, paste, move files and even delete the way am habituated to do. The user is blind to file/folder structure in iPad. Yes an App can see a file if you wish. But this leads to another problem. Suppose you have two Apps those can read a PDF file. Today you have opened a PDF file using App 1 and yesterday you have used App 2 for the same file. By the grace of the architecture of iPad, the same file will be stored in two places, thereby reducing your storage capacity. Bravo!

C) I have read 5 files in a PDF reader, and now I have to delete those. No, I have no option to "select all" and delete. I have to do that one by one. Very smart!! Note, you will find this problem in other apps too.

D) An extension of the same issue. All fans of iPad use Dropbox to transfer file from another device to iPad. I used it to transfer my ebooks from my desktop to iPad. But in my iPad I can not download multiple files from Dropbox simultaneously. I have to do that one by one.
I have transfered 24 books this way.
And then deleted those one by one from Dropbox. Have another 36 still in my desktop to get transfered.

E) I want to download an mp3 file from a Web site. But I can not do that using the default browser Safari. If I insist, I have to use some other specialized browser like iCab. Hold your breath! No, you have no option to upload a file using a browser. Now, how the hell I will attach a file to my e-mail? Oh! Why do not I use an email App? Yes, right. What a smart solution to such a trivial issue. And then what about uploading a file to some other sites like rapidshare?

F) Another example with mp3. Want to transfer a song from my phone to iPad by Dropbox. Yes, I can do that, but can not add that file to the default music player. Excellent!

G) Here goes one well known omission: you have no option to share Youtube videos in Facebook through the Youtube app.

H) They say the quality of Apps in Apple Store is much better than that of Android and you do not get those "force closer" in iPad. I can not comment on all apps. But am facing the problem of hanged/forced closed apps in iPad as frequently as I get in my Galaxy S II.

I) I hear lots of noise about the finish and look of iPad. Yes, it is slick, and well built. But seems am not so civilized for it. Every time I try to hold it, it tends to sleep out my hand and I keep myself in attention for not dropping this 34K toy. Ultimately, have got a partial solution. Using a ugly, cheap plastic back cover having good roughness so that I get a solid grip.

This list is based on my experience with iPad since last two week. I belive my points of hate may increase further as I keep using it.

Yes you can suggest that I am making my life difficult; iPad is for fun; it’s a content centric device; for watching movies, listening songs, reading books; not for upload, download, move, delete business. But where the hell I get these fun stuffs? Where do I get the contents? Apple iTune store does not sell movies/music/books in India. Where will I get a digital copy of “Sonar Kella”? Where do I get a PDF file for “Desh e Bidesh e”? Those do not come with iPad. So eventually, I rely on torrents, ifile, rapidshare. And every time I try to enjoy contents of my choice I face these irritating issues.

You can still insist that I must use the iPad, just the way Seteve Jobs’ company has thought of without any use of my brain. Sorry, then either you are a dogmatic worshiper of Apple or have already lost your mind. In this age of convergence, the intentions and purpose of the user of a device is not the issue, but the capability of the device is. Believe me, use of multiple devices for day-to-day trivial jobs is a primitive idea. Just think of the camera that comes default with most of the cell phones. Why do you need a camera in a phone? A phone is just for talking to some one else. But no, we all buy phones with camera and use that frequently. And amazingly camera phones have changed the way we record our history and make news. On the same line of thought, when I buy a high end costly gadget like iPad, I would expect that it would have multiple capabilities. And it is quite possible to meet my expectations. The best example of that diverse capability is my Android Phone, Galaxy S II. It is just like a desktop PC in my pocket.

Let me end this rambling with some thing I stumbled upon while searching the Web. One fellow, who has a small business, keeps documents organized in folders named with name of each client. He wants to achieve that in his iPad. Obviously he can not do that as iPad has nothing like folder explorer. Frustrated, he posted the issue in one of the forums on iPad. One smart iPad expert was furious, to see that this guy is so primitive and not using any RDBMS Apps to manage his data. What a solution to a simple issue!! Perfect iPad way.

(Oh, I also store my data in folders just like this primitive guy. And my desktop and my Android phone keep all my data updated in the same fashion!!!)

Bottom-line: I hate Google more for not solving the issue of proxy server through Wifi.