final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features No comments so-so
  • Display No comments great!
  • Battery life No comments great!
  • Ease of use No comments good
  • Storage capacity No comments good
  • Design and form factor No comments good
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments so-so
  • Durability No comments good
Detailed review
OK I just don’t get it… so I got my first “IT’S NEW” iPad *YOU KNOW, THE NEW ONE* ever yesterday… played with it for 10 minutes and, yes, like a Radiohead album, it may be a grower, and in time I will learn to love it, but I found it a really frustrating, anti-climactic and perplexing experience. I was left thinking “what the hell is all the fuss about?”. The screen is nice, sure… but come on, all of this “you have to see it to believe it”, “it’s almost 3D it’s so crisp” stuff… ? It’s just a very nice screen. I’ve seen it. I believe it.

This is also my first iOS device, and yes I’m quite used to Android now (go easy on me AFBs) but even after just 10 minutes of use, I was frustrated as hell with the limitations in place. Maybe this is me being a n00b to the platform, but why do you get kicked out of the Store every time you install an App? Why can’t I sync my gmail or facebook contacts into the contacts list? Why does it have to be synced to the god-awful iTunes?!

Arghhhh! How this device gets 9+ out of 10, when it’s an iterative upgrade to the last one I will never know. When a new videogame gets released with better graphics but not much else, it gets panned for sticking to the same formula and not pushing boundaries, limiting its score to no more than 7 or 8 out of 10. I fear the extra points are drawn from bias and a refusal to believe any Apple product could be rated beneath that of exceptional.
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Updated detailed review

Comments (6) subscribe to this review's comments


Could you be more specific on what the "limitations in place" were?
I'm a multi-platform user, including iOS, and I can only remember one or two moments ever where I thought I had to jailbrake my iOS-device to get to any functionality I was missing.

It is actually possible to sync your Google contacts automatically, but you need to add your Google account in the settings. Personally, I turned off the iCloud contacts because I ONLY use Google contacts.

iTunes certainly can suck at times, but I have come to think of it as the best of a bad bunch. Have you ever tried to use Samsung Kies, for example? I admit there is a lot of room for improvement in iTunes.

It's not a video game. It's a platform device. If it drastically evolved with every update, it would be unrecognizable, and the learning curve for both users and developers would be frustrating. They improved on things that should have been improved on, and keps what was working well—design included—the same. Apple evolves gracefully, instead of going from spec-monster to spec-monster just to be able to claim you're the best. All those spec updates that other consumer electronics companies do—while they do add more capability—are no more than a form of marketing hype to be able to show on a chart that their device is better. But in practice, that may not be the case. Apple strives and succeeds more often than not in creating a better product by focusing on what improvements would make a better experience, and in my opinion, they delivered with iPad. Beautiful display, graphic processing power to match so that users won't notice that graphics are being processed; all the seamless syncing with iCloud (I've never hooked my iPad up to iTunes. Unless you have ePub books that you want to read in iBooks, there's no point in syncing with iTunes). If you want to listen to your music, turn on Home sharing in iTunes, and you can access all of your music over WiFi without having to sync.

As for being kicked out of the App Store every time, yeah, that's annoying. Here's a shortcut, though: when it sends you back to the home screen, swipe up with four fingers, and the App Store should be the first icon in the App Tray that shows up. It's two mores steps than the zero that would be optimal, but it's not bad.

I hope you find more enjoyment out of your device. There are some really amazing apps out there that really enhance the experience. If you have any questions, ask!

@sebnilsson - Getting booted back to the home screen upon installing an app is a massive gripe. Plus the amount of password requests. Also, I find the keyboard one big limitation... the number of button presses to reach a relatively standard symbol is pretty stupid. I also find it quite 'buggy' in places which I find really surprising given the number of 'Apple devices never crash' comments / preaches I've heard. I find the notifications pull-down bar really tacky... as if it's a bad copy of the Android one. iMessage is hit and miss with many messages needing a retry (or two) to send. Browser crashes are regular, oh, and load up a portrait only app, turn the device on its side and 4-finger-swipe and you switch open apps instead of get the recent-apps tray... this continues even when you switch to a landscape app... wtf?

@pigsnuck - Yeah, thanks... figured that one out eventually... well that's good news, and makes my life a lot easier. Still, it's a shame there's no Facebook sync - a pretty glaring miss for such a socially-focussed device.

@chrismanning - Thanks for the points you make. Personally, I think that this upgrade is exactly what you describe in your criticism of other electronics companies... they have just bumped some specs! I think it's the hype that is the main reason for my lack of 'wow'. It's like a movie that everyone says is the greatest thing ever... it rarely lives up to the hype. After using Android, there are more things I miss about Android than I like about iOS. And believe me, I'm no Android fan-boy. I appreciate that there are more polished apps on iOS, especially on iPad, but polish only goes so deep.

I have always felt that GPS and Google Maps are one of the best things about Smartphones as I feel that they are just such powerful tools on a device that you always have with you wherever you go... and so having a crippled version of Google Maps really grates, for me. When I use it, I kind of feel like it's patronising me a little... "Now we know you're not clever enough to remember that you have installed this app, and so we're just going to take you back to the home-screen and show you right where we put it for you... now won't that be nice... ". Maybe there should be an option in the initial setup wizard for

> I read gadget websites and / or have an IQ over 75

> I'm like, totes amazeballs and stuff...

> I can't find the mouse...

As an Apple user, I also hate the fact that you get kicked out after every time you install an app, thankfully this will be fixed in iOS6. The new Apple Maps will be much closer to the Android version of Google Maps and give you the navigation. Also, Facebook integration is coming. As someone that loved iOS and then had to use Android for a year (for work) I could not wait to go back, I just felt like the smoothness & intuitiveness of the OS (while not perfect) was superior to Android (this was back on 2.1). It seems that most of your gripes however, will be fixed in iOS6.

As far as it just being an "Upgrade", the the screen on the new iPad is a revolutionary change (it's the first of it's kind), you cannot overlook the engineering that went into doing that.

@mattag29. hey, thanks for your comment. Good to hear iOS6 is going to fix some of those bug bears! To comment on the points you make:

- Kicked out of App Store - this was just an example of the annoying simplicity of the OS. There are many more things I'm now aware of having used it for some time. The complete lack of customization, including individual App settings is annoying. The keyboard is infuriating in the number of key presses it takes to get to a common symbol. The calendar doesn't import and sync multiple Google calendars. Lack of Flash support renders sites such as the BBC crippled. No way of closing all "running" Apps from multi-tasking tray. There is no multi-tasking, despite what they say - Try going out and back into a remote desktop application. Number of times a password is needed in the App Store, oh and also on VPN connections... every... single... time! And just a lack of general options... there is so much forced behaviour that it just makes me wonder why they don't just make them all options so you can at least choose how stupid the device should assume you are! ;-)

- Maps - yes, it will be really interesting to see how well it holds up against Google Maps, as obviously this is an established service now. It's a good thing that there will be a proper mainstream competitor in my opinion. I wonder if it will have such features as offline caching of areas, extensions such as seeing scale bars, distance measurements, shortcut bubbles on all places for quick access to calling them etc. One of the best things about Google maps is the customization it allows, which I strongly suspect won't be matched by Apple's offering. That's not to say it won't be good though!

- Facebook integration - it is a glaring miss, and it's cool that it will be resolved in iOS6, however from what I have read, it will only be from the point of allowing the user to share directly from the phone to Facebook. I'm not sure if it will stretch to contacts syncing, merging and updating their pictures etc. It's all well and good that they are finally getting around to it, but Windows Phone got slammed for not having certain 'expected features' whereas nothing is said about such a big gap in functionality on an Apple device. And remember, I'm not a fan-boy, but Android is the only platform I can think of that launched with all the basic functions (i.e. including copy and paste!) and has pretty much lead the way in *new* features.

- Android smoothness - Use a new Android device! Seriously, you are totally right about the lack of fluidity in the experience before, but this is something that's been pretty much 100% rectified in the 4.0 versions. One of the things I miss most when using the iPad, from an intuitiveness point of view is the hardware back-button! It is such a common navigational operation that it really does warrant its own button on the device, not a little on-screen one at the furthest point away (for right-handers!).

By the way, I have just bought a Macbook Pro, so I am no Apple "hater"... It does frustrate me, however, when people can't see beyond their Rose Tinted Apple Glasses and at least appreciate that there are some imperfections and that other platforms / devices can offer something(s) better. Comments (constructive!) I made on a 100% review were immediately deleted by the reviewer (@jasoncalacanis). I thought the whole point of this site was to encourage user discussion to achieve a rounded view, useful to those interested in the device, not the people who probably already own the device!