My Thoughts On The iPad On Release Day

I’m usually up this early for work so it was no sweat for me to get up at 3:00 a.m. and have breakfast with a group of Twitter enthusiasts to get the new Apple iPad.  I was one of the few people in the group who was actually not sold on the iPad.  I have an iPhone.  Why do I need an iPad?  I listened to Steve Jobs and watched Apple’s series of videos but nothing so far convinced me to buy one.  I knew I had to have it in my hands to know if I really could use one.  So, I tagged along.

Apple employees were willing to let me try the device even though I told them I had no intention of buying it.

Unfortunately the Wi-Fi at the Apple Store I was at in Hawaii was so flooded I couldn’t use apps on the iPad that needed the internet and I couldn’t browse Safari.  But, there was still plenty to check out.

I immediately wanted to try a racing game and the iPad I was using had Real Racing HD [iTunes link].  I actually didn’t like Real Racing on the iPhone and preferred other racing apps like Asphalt 5.  I found the learning curve to be tougher.  But, on the iPad I quickly learned how to drive well.  I didn’t even read the instructions so I didn’t even use the brakes.  Plus, the more recent racing games are notorious for slow loading (especially on the iPhone 3G) but the iPad handled the game with ease.

Another highlight:  Pianist Pro [iTunes link].  I know how to play a variety of instruments including the piano.  And the iPhone has been almost worthless when it comes to simulating a real instrument.  But, Pianist Pro comes pretty darn close to at least a workable toy keyboard.  The touchscreen was sensitive enough to handle the chords and arpeggios I threw at it.  A drum machine is built-in.  There’s a dual keyboard mode for playing both the left hand and the right hand notes.  The only real drawback to the app is that the white keys will only trigger when hit below the black keys making a chord like A-flat a little harder.  Pianists and keyboardists will know what I’m talking about.  If that can be fixed, it would be a near-perfect piano app for the iPad.

My favorite new native feature is the ability to use your photos as an animated picture frame when your iPad is locked.  It’s called Picture Frame.  Use it and love it.

I’m definitely a lot more intrigued by the iPad now that I had a chance to have one in my hands.  If I do get one,  I’m more inclined to use the iPad at home and use my iPhone when I’m out on the road.  If I do get an iPad I would rather get the 3G version so when I go on trips I’ll always have the internet.  Family that I visit in the continental U.S. doesn’t have Wi-Fi.  I can just activate the unlimited 3G for that month since there is no contract required.

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about the iPad after trying it out.