DadTherapy iPad Update

I don't want to be one of those iPad D-bags everyone is talking about, but I did want to relay a few observations about the first full week of living with an iPad. Basically, it comes out only after the kids are in bed, so I use it pretty much three hours a night.

1. There aren't a lot of apps

iPhone apps don't cut it on the device at all. First, they only work in portrait mode, while I prefer landscape mode. Second, they use the same tiny keypad as an iPhone not the iPad's keypad.

There are some excellent iPad apps but right now most games for example are paid apps. I prefer free apps. Like most people. There is little for us.

The best free apps I've downloaded and used repeatedly this week are USA Today, The Weather Channel and Epicurious. Pandora and NPR are excellent apps I just haven't had opportunity to use them. More on that later.

I did buy the Apple word processor Pages which I'm typing all these posts on. For $9.99 it has everything you want but I basically just use it for a clean typewriter surface. However, the autocorrect is awful, so if there are any typos here I'm blaming that. It doesn't even turn a solo i into I.

But documents save automatically and you can export in a number of formats including Word which is essential if I ever needed to file a story remotely. Yes, I could use the iPad for work except for one thing. Again, more that later.

2. Games

I used to be a video game reviewer and logged hundreds of hours of gaming on every console and PC. But since the kids came along there is very little time for gaming. I don't mind it really but the iPad does give some flexibility. The free games are more iphone like, puzzles, word games etc. The paid games however are ouch more robust. I decided too hunt out a strategy game or something i could play in bed while e wife sleeps without having to turn the iPad and move a lot.


I found Warpgate HD which is a lot like Privateer and older space PC games where you trade materials and enter space combat while on missions. The graphics are about where PC strategy games were circa Starcraft, but there's no screen lag and the time between transitions is super fast. You wait a second or two when landing on planets or entering a combat situation. It's a lot faster than the first Final Fantasy I played on a Playstation 2.  

Speaking of, a Final Fantasy game for iPad would be amazing.

3. Web browsing
The absence of Flash not withstanding I find the most u of the iPad is just straight Internet use. It's a terrific web surfing tool. It works just like Safari on a desktop with standard bookmark tools etc. And you can get most sites landscape mode and not miss anything.


Also, as you can see here, many YouTube videos that are embedded in web sites can be played in the browser just like on a computer browser. Some can't and will feature a play icon with a slash through it.


My only beef right now is that some sites set to recognize mobile users think the iPad is a smartphone and want to show a smartphone optimized version of the site. doesn't thankfully and looks and works well on the iPad. However, type pad which I use for my professional and personal blogging automatically displays the phone version of the site which makes it nearly impossible to draft a clean, complex post. Their regular site should work perfectly on the iPad minus the traffic charts which I think are flash based.

4. Social Media
One of the main reason I got the iPad was for a bigger screen to read at night the couch. After the kids are asleep we're basically on the couch checking our respective iPhones for twitter and Facebook updates. I tried both Tweetdeck and Twitteriffic and tweet deck looked better aesthetically but Twitterific was easier to read and sort and had much better photo and URL preview widgets. I even shelled out the $5 for the upgraded version it was that good, and again is something I use all the time.

5. Why I can’t comment on everything else

I still haven't bought a stand or cover or dock for the iPad. So apps like Pandora, ABC as well as the Ipod and video functions are really not of use right now. I'd like to get a dock with speakers for the kitchen so I can listen to Pandora or iTunes while I check recipes or while I'm cleaning up after dinner. The kitchen computer aspect is what initially got me interested the iPad. And once I find the right dock I think it will be there. For now I may just attach it via auxiliary to our little radio which I do with my iPhone now. But it’s not exactly the full utilization of the iPad that I've been anticipating.