Three Major Things I don’t Like About The New iPad…

The truth is –I love the new iPad.   There can be no doubt that it is a phenomenal tool and computing marvel.  I’ve told every person, since I’ve bought it, that the iPad is nothing short of Star Trek technology come-down to 21st Century Earth (of course iPhone and iPod touch users already knew this!).    That being stated, there are three things which have really “bugged me” from the onset of my purchase of the iPad:

1. No Flash Support.  O.K,  granted, I knew this going-in and it was an acceptable shortcoming given all of its positives… Sure, I understand MOST of the arguments about CPU processing, Battery Drain, HTML5 and Open Standards, iPad API compromise, etc.  Regardless, I still wish it had native flash support.   Yes, repeat after me… HTML5, HTML5, HTML5.

2.  No slots for SD, Micro SD, etc.  The only reason that I can think of for Apple to not include any type of built-in memory card-slot is money – Mo’ Money for Apple…  While an “iPad Camera Connection” kit allows anyone the ability to have a “card reader” for the iPad, the only reason that I can see for Apple not to have included a reader-slot is to force a user-decision to upgrade to a higher capacity storage model – one that costs more than it should.   The typical 16 GB SD cards now “goes” for around $25-35.00 U.S.  -Jumping from the 16 Gb to 32 gB model iPad will cost folks$100.00 U.S.   Yes, again, we all knew this up-front; still, it’s hard to fathom this conspicuous absences of the self-tauted media wonder.

3.  iPad VGA support and TV Out support is severely restricted.    If a particular iPad application doesn’t support the VGA out (a $29 U.S. add-on) or TV out (cable not included), you will not be able to ouput the iPad’s screen to any external video device.   This is a major minus,  in my opinion, and was/is a relatively unknown fact about the iPad’s output video capability (especially with regard to the VGA output).   Not having this aiblity, makes using the iPad for classes, lectures, instruction, etc. very difficult as one cannot bring up an iPad application and show it en-masse via a LCD projector.   For me, as a professor and clinician, this is a particularly big loss as I can’t easily make “how-to” videos of my installed iPad applications for distribution or demonstrate iPad functionality easily to large audiences.   As far as I’ve been able to determine (as of April, 2010), the only applications on the iPad that support any type of video out are: Videos, Photos (in SlideShowPlayback), YouTube, Keynote, and Safari pages with Video in them.  Seriously!  Come’on! 

Sure, there are some other “minor things” with the iPad that are minor nuisances -this is to be expected as it is the product’s maiden voyage.  As a Table PC user (HP Elitebook 2730 series), I’m used to being able to make my tablet PC do anything that  my desktop can do.  The iPad isn’t designed in this way, it’s not trying to be a Tablet-based computer… it’s something completely different -and it does “completely different” amazingly well. 

I do have great hope that some of the future firmware implementations, for the first generation iPads, will address the VGA/TV out issues and some other issues not mentioned here (like multi-tasking).   As I stated, I expected some minor isues as an early adopter; however, you can bet, the next GENERATION of the iPad (iPad 2.0) will be totally unbelievable!

As soon as I figure out the VGA/iPad Screencasting issues and the issue with regard to outputting video of standard iPad applications via video outs, I will post about it here on MusTech.Net.  This particular, unexpected, video output problem, is something that has really frustrated me with the iPad “out of the box”.  Despite some of these issues,  I’m a true believer in the product and the future potential that it has, especially for educational purposes.

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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