We love our iPads. We wouldn't dream of giving them up. And yet, there are ways and situations where the iPhone simply works better. Without taking potshots at our beloved iPad, here is TUAW's respectful list of mega-win scenarios where the iPhone takes first place in usability.
- Making phone calls. Yes, you can use line2 to convert your iPad into a quasi-phone that accepts incoming calls, or fire up the Skype app, but for real-world use, nothing beats a device that you can stick into your pocket and then forget about. It rings, you answer, you talk, you hang up. It's a lot easier to use an iPhone than an iPad to make phone calls.
- Grocery lists. I don't know if you've tried hauling around an iPad in your shopping cart at SuperTarget or Publix, but it doesn't work very well. It's the pocket size, again. The iPhone form factor provides a better match to tracking your chores with on-the-go use than the iPad can. Small wins for this one.
- Taking pictures. The iPad's great but the iPhone is the one with the camera. You can shoot stills; you can shoot videos. There's nothing equivalent (yet) on the iPad.
- Navigation. When you need to Yelp on the go, the iPhone's pocket-size lends itself to quick reference. Pull out the phone, check the nearby restaurants, stick it back in your pocket. No worries either about adding a data plan, either; your iPhone probably already has one.
- Tracking. There is simply no way that I'm going to stick an iPad on my bicycle. If I'm on a ride or a long walk and I want to TrailGuru or RunKeeper my progress, it's the iPhone all the way. You want to mention the iPad's better battery life? Not going to win out over the small form factor in this case. I'll stick on an external battery pack if I need to but my tracker has to be small and I can't let myself be super-worried when my backpack hits the ground, the way I would with an iPad.
- Instant Messaging/Tweeting. Yes, there are some really sweet applications for both on the iPad -- and there's even that hack for SMS texting -- but if you see something and want to show it real quick, there's no beating the iPhone for that. You can grab a quick photo and seconds later it's on Twitter. You can't do that on an iPad.
- Online banking. Imagine this. You're staring at something, some new toy, say, that you really really really want but you can't be sure if you can afford it. The iPhone travels with you as you go shopping, helps you take comparison pictures of your new baby, and helps you transfer funds when you are in a position to make your purchase.
- Music. Okay, I'll admit that the iPod is even better than the iPhone for on-the-go music -- but that having been said, both the iPhone and the iPod are much more realistic music solutions for jogging and walking than the iPad. Gotta have your tunes? The iPhone fits better in your pocket.