Monday, April 12, 2010

Some Initial Thoughts on the iPad, and I've Published an iPad App in the App Store!

I'm waiting for the end of this month to buy the iPad with 3G built in. And yet I bought an iPad on Saturday! What gives? Sometimes I wonder myself! Well, I bought it as a gift for a friend who just had a birthday. And, I must confess, I wanted to play with it before I gave it away!

I can say I really like it a lot! The eBook reader is very cool. Doing a search in the bookstore for "free" brings up lots of titles that I would want to read. And...

And I got to test out the app I did for the iPad on it. I bought it from the App Store and tried it out. It was the first time I had ever run the app on an actual device! Before it was just using the iPad Simulator included in the SDK. That was very cool! The app is a 56 page long eBook full of poems called "I Lost My Underwear Today and other flights of imagination." The owner is charging $1.99 for it. Unlike just a plain ol' book, you not only see the pages of text and illustrations, you can hear the author reading each poem by pressing the Play button at the bottom of the page.

If you would do me a favor, go and buy it, read it, listen to it, rate it, and leave a review. The guy who wrote the book is a great guy and could use the revenue. I will not be receiving any money myself from the purchases.

Anyway, I took the paper version of the book and converted it into an iPad version, recorded the author reading his poems, and put the whole thing together. It was cool working on my first iPad app.

Also cool was seeing it in the App Store. Nice! This is my first app in there. I think this is rather funny for a couple reasons:
  • First, I've been working on and off on a couple of iPhone/iPod Touch apps on and off now for over a year and am still not finished. These apps will be published by me, and God willing, I will get the revenue from them after Apple gets their 30%. But this new app up now in iTunes isn't my app! I wrote it for someone else!
  • Second, even though I have run my own apps on my iPhone to test them, I never had a chance to with this new app. As mentioned before I ran it on a device only after it was in the App Store!
Some Other iPad Thoughts
Talking about something other than the iPad App I wrote (I admit I'm a little giddy), there are some other observations I want to mention about the iPad that I played with.

You can't just use it out of the box, you have to hook it up to your computer and fire up iTunes to set it up for the first time. If on a Mac, iTunes will probably come up automatically when you plug it in (but you probably already knew that).

Saying that thought, this configuration process is very fast and easy.

I did note that the battery was at about 86% right out of the box, so, if that is average, you can begin using it right away. No charging needed ahead of time.

The bookstore is really cool as mentioned before. A lot of the books that were free are classic that I have read and like, or ones that I want to read. I am a big book reader! Boy, I can't wait to get my own iPad at the end of this month!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Apple Rolls Out the iPad

Today, was the day that Apple fans have been waiting for. The day the iPad finally went on sale. I went to Bally's to workout and then decided to head over to the nearest Apple store. My intentions were not to buy an iPad but merely see what was up, and try one out for myself. My plans were to buy the 3G version that is supposed to come out later this month.

I knew there would be lines at Apple stores in places like Palo Alto, San Francisco, and New York. I did not think there would be such a thing really at the store in Oak Brook, Illinois.

I got to the store around 1-1:30-ish in the afternoon. And the scene I saw is shown in the picture below:

Front of Apple Store for the iPad Release

The lines were gone by now, but I asked someone working at the store about them, and there was a fairly long line waiting outside, ready for the Apple store to open its doors. Even at the time I shot this picture with my iPhone the doors were propped wide open and people were spilling out of the store (its a little hard to see in this photo). And most of the people were towards the front (where the demo iPads were on display). All the Apple staff for the store were out in full force, and, even with all the people who showed up, there were plenty of staff members there to serve you and answer your questions.

The place had a festive atmosphere and I started getting strong urges to buy a Wifi only iPad right there on the spot!

At the tables where the tethered iPad demo units were on display, you actually had to stand in an impromptu line to get a chance to use one. I took the picture below as I was waiting to get my chance. I heard from one lady who worked there that there had been a customer who had hogged using one for nearly an hour! Fortunately for me, everyone I saw was polite and civil!
They look so thin! I was surprised that when I actually picked one up, it was heavier than it looked. But its still cool!

People Giving the iPad a Try

At the back of the store, behind the counter, they had iPad boxes stacked up in stack upon stack. Though most of them looked like they were reserved for people who pre-ordered.

No docking devices with or without keyboards were to be seen, but that was not surprising considering information on the web said they would come out later. What was surprising (at least to me) is that there were covers on sales for the iPad. These were supposed to be delayed too. But, at least in this store, they had plenty available. Below is a rather blurry picture I took of the covers for sales hanging on a display on the wall:

Blurry shot of iPad covers that are on sale

I came really close to buying one, but I walked out of the store escaping the energetic atmosphere of iPad seduction that permeated the place. Does that mean I'm not getting one?
Nope! I'm waiting... at least for now!