Online Educa Berlin 2010: The iPad

I thought OEB 2010 would be an excellent opportunity to test the iPad as a fully functional conference device, not just for participants but for speakers too.

Had I written this blog two hours ago, I would’ve described it as an abject failure. However, I’ll now reassess that initial judgement and describe the iPad as a disappointment.

The battery life and always-on functionality are brilliant, and switching between programs is fine. The Twitter and Facebook apps are as good as ever. The iPad is also very easy to use when it’s perched on a knee during a talk. I even watched a film rented from iTunes in my hotel room. It is truly a supreme digital muncher.

But …

I was trying to write a blog on our WordPress site, but the iPad – or Safari, I’m not sure which – wouldn’t let me scroll the edit window within the WordPress web page. I was furious, and in the end had to get Terese in the UK to upload my blog and pics from her end.

I’ve no idea if this is the Flash issue we’ve all blogged about. Whatever the reason, it’s not acceptable in a £600 portable device.

Then I tried to send a PDF of a boarding pass back the UK. In the end, I had to do a workaround with iAnnotate. But what if I hadn’t had the app? If I’d only had the default iPad apps? Again, not good enough.

So I’m probably now a little less enamoured of my iPad. If Apple are serious about this device as a must-have for the professional classes, then this rotten functionality needs to be addressed. Otherwise the road is wide open for the forthcoming plethora of Android tablets.

I wish i’d bought my Samsung NC10 net book to Berlin :-(

Simon Kear
Keeper of the Media Zoo

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