The Glade 4.0

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:38 am 
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So, an opportunity presented itself to get a 32G WiFi only iPad for next to nothing, so I did ( I feel so dirty!).

I've had it for a couple of days, and am trying to find useful things to do with it. I'm not opposed to jailbreaking it, but I'll save that for 'last resort' stuff. I'm not a huge fan of Apple and some of the recent changes to their app market model haven't helped to win me over.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/ ... rs-too.ars
http://gigaom.com/apple/last-fm-co-foun ... rcent-cut/

That said, I'm hoping I'll find useful things to do with it.

Here are my impressions so far..

Likes:
  • Touch Screen is really good
  • The UI is extremely smooth (in part I think because of the touch screen)
  • The screen itself looks pretty good
  • Battery life seems good so far.
  • It's stable (no technical issues with it so far other than a few false starts trying to install some apps)
  • Size **

Dislikes:
  • Being locked into iTunes for *everything* is maddening
  • Battery not user replaceable
  • The on screen keyboard is horrible.
  • No USB connection to drag and drop files, etc...
  • Lack of flash support (many of my archived video's are in flash format)
  • Lack of task switching. This annoys me to no end.
  • No ability to organize apps. Everything just gets thrown onto the home screen, and it adds new pages as it fills up? ugh..
  • UI navigation in many apps is horrible. Namely the integrated email app, but many I've downloaded as well. A few times I've found myself several menus deep into something, with no way to go back. Even exiting and restarting the app didn't help.. Had to reboot to clear that one up.
  • App cost. Seriously, I don't mind paying a buck or two for something that is useful, but some of this crap people are charging money for isn't worth the soiled toilet paper I just flushed. This combined with the fact that most apps don't have a free version, or a way to evaluate it before purchasing, means I wont be installing much. My few experiments with .99 cent iPad apps have been miserable failures to this point
  • Size**

I list size as a pro and a con. This is a problem I think inherent to all tablets. They are too big to be practical enough to carry everywhere (like you do your phone for example), and too small (and lacking features) to be a replacement for a laptop/desktop. My phone can do many of the things the iPad can do (corporate/personal email, news reader, notepad, reminders/alarms, play music, etc..), plus it makes phone calls and sends/receives text messages. In fact, outside of my house/office (or someplace with free WiFi) the iPad is seriously neutered without my phone there to provide it a WiFi AP. And yet it's not quite up to replacing my laptop either (for many obvious reasons). So, while its nice big (relative to my phone) screen looks great for 'small' apps, it's too big to be practical and too small to be very useful.. if that makes any sense...

As it stands right now, I suspect I'm going to make this a bathroom news reader, and don't see much use for it other than that, although I'm open to hear stories of it's awesomeness from folks who have found good uses.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:10 am 
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You could browse the Internet while you watch tv from a couch or chair? That's about all I can think of.

Are you sure you can't move apps around? On my ipod touch you can press down on them for a few seconds and then move them.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:16 am 
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you can organize apps as long as you have the most recent OS I think. I know you can on the Iphone with the most recent OS.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:28 am 
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Yes, a long press allows you to move them around, but all of the apps are on the home screen(s). And other than changing the order they are listed, there is no way to organize them. I guess I was hoping for at least something long the lines of the app drawer on Android, or even better, a folder structure of some kind.. so the apps can be sorted by categories like "Games", "News", etc...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:59 am 
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You can play angry birds, browse the internet from the couch/toilet, or read a kindle e-book. You can also watch instant-watch netflix programs on it.

I have some friends that love theirs, and other friends that say "wow, I played with this for a week and have not picked it up again". Your mileage may vary.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:03 am 
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No, you can create folders too.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:29 am 
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I think the network guys in my office who got one have gotten them to work as wireless terminals for their router work. I believe they've also gotten them to work as PC over IP clients for our VMWare server.

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Last edited by Kaffis Mark V on Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:29 am 
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TheRiov wrote:
No, you can create folders too.

Yeah, you should be able to drag a game onto another game to create a folder labeled "Games". You can also rename the folder. Drawback is that there's only so many slots per folder...on my iPhone I have 2 "Games" folders and a "Puzzle" folder.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:43 am 
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I bet it work decently as a frisbee, just not over long distances.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:05 pm 
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I'll also note that you can use Dropbox to "drag and drop files", which allows you to avoid the iTunes interface and still have access to any work files.

I plan on getting one mostly to use as a presentation device- get a VGA out cord, and use it at conferences, etc.

It's also supposed to be quite good for taking down notes/sketches when paired with a stylus, although I haven't tried it out for that yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Kaffis Mark V wrote:
I think the network guys in my office who got one have gotten them to work as wireless terminals for their router work. I believe they've also gotten them to work as PC over IP clients for our VMWare server.


See, this sounds like someone with a solution looking for a problem. Is the iPad really a superior interface to a laptop or whatever they were using before? I can't imagine spending much time on a router CLI with this things keyboard. I could add a bluetooth keyboard, but then I might as well have a laptop.

NephyrS, thanks for the DropBox tip. I'll check that out. It might save me some frustration.

Screeling. Far too heavy to be effective as a frisbee.

Colphax, Thanks for the tip on folders. "Stacking" icons does in fact create a folder, which is a nice help. Unfortuantely, unless I'm missing it somewhere, I have no way to determine what folder names are created upon stacking two icons. For example, I dragged my "Xfiinity" app on top of my "Xfinity TV" app, and it created a folder called "Entertainment". When I dragged Angry Birds on top of some other game (forget which) it created a second folder called "Entertainment" (I would have preferred 'Games' here). Is there a way to rename these? I guess I need to spend some time with the tips and tricks docs....

Darkroland, yea, I see this being a great news reader for the toilet device. I have far too many better options for watching Netflix (or any other online media). I already have a (sadly neglected) Nook e-reader. I prefer the Nooks' screen, size, and light weight for long reading sessions though. iPad is too heavy to hold in the hands for long. Angry Birds is pretty good on this screen, I will admit.

I brought it with me to work today, and am consulting with some of the more creative types (some are apple users) for uses. So far, I'm not getting much.

I did copy some guitar tabs I have in PDF format over to it, and it works great for reading those (although I had to disable the screen timeout). Unfortunately, because of the lack of task switching, I can't switch back and forth between the PDF viewer and the matching flash video's I have (even if I bothered to convert them to MP4 or some other iPad friendly format). This is a shame, as it would a great platform for this type of thing.

One suggestion I did get from one of my co-workers. Apparently there are some great 'cat toy' apps. Apparently you can just put the thing on the floor with these apps running and it will allegedly keep cats entertained for hours... I heard similar things about young kids.. unfortunately, I have neither a cat, or a young kid, and I find the idea of turning over a $600 touch screen device to a young child or a kitten, to be hrmm.. poor judgement? =)

I'm still going to explore possible musical uses (guitar stuff mainly). Apparently iRig combined Amplitube are a pretty popular combo (but expensive to enable all features on). However, I really don't need another stomp box/amp simulator. I have several already that I rarely (almost never) use. I have a great guitar tuner on my Nexus S (android phone) called "gString", which is a great platform to have a tuner on. I didn't see gString available on the Apple market.

I guess I'll keep looking.

In the mean time, keep the ideas coming. I know there are other iPad owners around (Mr. Sky? Kirra?).

Edit:
Anyone have any compelling reasons to Jailbreak this? Will this open any new doors for me?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:03 pm 
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I don't disagree that the router console and virtual machine client are both "solutions looking for problems." But you asked what you could do with it, not what was *useful* to do with it. ;)

But, yeah, you've pretty much nailed down the reason I don't have one.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Regarding changing folders: Hold your finger on the folder until it starts shaking, then touch once more to move around items inside of it and also change the name.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:25 pm 
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It is also shred-able, with a few upgrades.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Kaffis Mark V wrote:
I don't disagree that the router console and virtual machine client are both "solutions looking for problems." But you asked what you could do with it, not what was *useful* to do with it. ;)

But, yeah, you've pretty much nailed down the reason I don't have one.


Yea, I guess I could have been more clear. I knew what I was getting myself into when I 'acquired' this thing. I came into it with some pre-conceived ideas about what I could and couldn't do.

According to Apple, 14 million people have purchased these things. I figured I must be missing something...

I'm just hoping to find something cool/fun/useful to do with it.

Edit: Lenas, thanks for the tip. I obviously have more exploring to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:46 pm 
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So, apparently this is the main source of useful stuff for a jailbroken iPhone/iPad.

http://cydia.saurik.com/

I'll have to spend some more time here, but I can already see some 'toys' that might be fun to play with... (not so much practical as entertaining :p )


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Cydia is the jailbreak equivalent of the App Store. People's favorite apps include things like Winterboard (custom themes), SBSettings (quick toggles), Wifi Sync, Infinifolders (scrolling in folders) and Frash (flash). Once you jailbreak your iPad, you'll automatically have a Cydia icon which will load like the native app store once launched.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:16 pm 
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The first thing I did when I got an iPad was install an SSH client and a VNC client.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Well, of all of the possible successes, the one I least expected turned out to be a smash hit.

I searched "Cat Toys" on the Market, and downloaded a couple of trials, put the thing on the floor at my sisters house and watched her cats obsess over it for the next two hours.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:17 pm 
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Midgen wrote:
Well, of all of the possible successes, the one I least expected turned out to be a smash hit.

I searched "Cat Toys" on the Market, and downloaded a couple of trials, put the thing on the floor at my sisters house and watched her cats obsess over it for the next two hours.



That's awesome. You also realize cats love 2 dollar laser pointers and wadded up balls of paper right? (Kidding!!! :D)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:24 pm 
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If you have any interest in streaming games, your desktop, or video playback, you might want to check this out:

http://www.everyair.net/


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:12 pm 
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Lenas wrote:
If you have any interest in streaming games, your desktop, or video playback, you might want to check this out:

http://www.everyair.net/


That looks pretty sweet, but when can I stream games to my Android?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:28 am 
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Darkroland wrote:
Midgen wrote:
Well, of all of the possible successes, the one I least expected turned out to be a smash hit.

I searched "Cat Toys" on the Market, and downloaded a couple of trials, put the thing on the floor at my sisters house and watched her cats obsess over it for the next two hours.



That's awesome. You also realize cats love 2 dollar laser pointers and wadded up balls of paper right? (Kidding!!! :D)


Yea, the lasers were good fun when they were younger kittens, but their taste in toys seems to have graduated to the high-tech variety.

I left the thing over at her place for a few days. I'll probably end up giving it to her. I think she has some ideas for using for recipes and such.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:13 am 
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Darkroland wrote:
That's awesome. You also realize cats love 2 dollar laser pointers and wadded up balls of paper right? (Kidding!!! :D)

My cat ignores balls of paper. And the laser pointer requires me to be paying attention. (I also try not to over-use it, lest he get bored of it)

He does, however, like a dangling shoelace, though that also requires attention. I think my favorite "give it to him to amuse himself" toy I've found for him is the one that's a little hollow ball you can put a few treats in, and they fall out occasionally as he rolls it around. Can't use that one too much, either, obviously.

Unless I used that with normal kibble as his routine feeding mechanism.. hrm...

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"... Mirrorshades prevent the forces of normalcy from realizing that one is crazed and possibly dangerous. They are the symbol of the sun-staring visionary, the biker, the rocker, the policeman, and similar outlaws." - Bruce Sterling, preface to Mirrorshades


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Kaffis Mark V wrote:
Darkroland wrote:
That's awesome. You also realize cats love 2 dollar laser pointers and wadded up balls of paper right? (Kidding!!! :D)

My cat ignores balls of paper. And the laser pointer requires me to be paying attention. (I also try not to over-use it, lest he get bored of it)

He does, however, like a dangling shoelace, though that also requires attention. I think my favorite "give it to him to amuse himself" toy I've found for him is the one that's a little hollow ball you can put a few treats in, and they fall out occasionally as he rolls it around. Can't use that one too much, either, obviously.

Unless I used that with normal kibble as his routine feeding mechanism.. hrm...


I've never had another cat that loves balls of paper like my current one. She can be sleeping anywhere in the house and if I crumple something up to throw away, there she is. I find a ton of them every time I move the couch to vacuum. At one point, she would even bring them back for me to throw again, playing fetch. She's lazier now.


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