Tuesday, July 13, 2010


A couple of days ago I visited Steve Worth and he let me play with his new, fully-loaded iPad. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.  More than ever I'm convinced that this device is a true game changer, and not just an expensive toy.  Buy one and you may never use your laptop again.

To begin with, this thing is FUN to use. Navigating with it is like working a video game controller. You use your thumbs a lot, and you end up moving the machine all over the place, at least I did.  I'll come back to this in a minute.

The negatives? Let's see.....it was a little heavier than expected, but you get used to that.  A number of important places to tap weren't marked, but you get used to that, too. The scrolling overshot a bit. I forgot to test it on a Flash film,  but I watched part of Clampett's "Tortoise Wins by a Hare," and it was gorgeous. I couldn't find a still frame mode, but the paused frames were rock steady. The resolution was superb, far superior to the one on the laptop that was in the room.

The fun aspect of the device is difficult to exaggerate.  Using it is an intense experience. You get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time, and have a ton of fun doing it. You have so much fun that it's a bit exhausting, and after a while you're ready to put it down and do things in the real world. Isn't that wonderful!? If you have a computer addiction, this might be the cure.

I wonder what changes this new medium will bring? Every new medium favors a new type of content. What will look horrible on iPad that currently looks good on desktops? My own  blog for one thing. I hate to admit it, but this blog sucks on the new machine. It looks fine on my widescreen desktop where there's plenty of room for sidebars, but it gets clobbered on the pad. Good Grief! Am I doomed to end up on the trash heap of history!?

Oh, one more thing...just a small item, nothing important.......nothing except: SKETCHBOOK PRO IS AVAILABLE AS AN APP...AND IT COSTS ONLY EIGHT FREAKING DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And (possibly) no need to own a cintiq....with a stylus the iPad may serve as a cintiq! Can you imagine that? GOOD LORD! STEVE JOBS IS A MIRACLE WORKER!

BTW: I have no experience with the Sketchbook Pro app, so I haven't personally seen the iPad function as a cintiq. This is how it was described by an article on the net, and I pass it on to you. Buyer beware!


_ said...

hey eddie, i'm sure the ipad has lots o' Cool & Fun stuff on it, but, i dunno, tell me i'm wrong, but i've become real depressed with the overwhelming presence of technology that's seeping into everyday life. i'd set my laptop on fire if i didn't use it to record music. but even then...

i think it was george carlin that said we've been bought off with toys & gadgets.

i dunno, this is a culmination of a bunch of thoughts i've had, and keep having this week, month, year, etc.

then, by chance? fate? i came upon this:


[sorry, i don't know html to make it into a link]

check out the video on it.

i like how the topic seems to get off-hand, but is it?

Stephen Worth said...

I think apple should send you a free iPad for writing such a nice review.

Anonymous said...

Lucky feller. It's great how you're adapting to the new, modern technologies of today. I can't even afford a freaking iPad! Unfourtunately, a lot of those products don't even work as well or even look as cool as the older stuff in my opinion. Mac seems to be right on the ball with this stuff, although super expensive.

Jack Raffin makes a good point. For me, it can also be kinda overwhelming how highly prevalent technology is in our lives and how much harm it can do to us if we're not careful with it. Just look at all the Twitter and Facebook ads on those TV commercials. Just over a year ago, I never saw a single ad for those websites on my TV before. Amazing and everyone seems to have either one of the two. Even I had a facebook before I got sick of the hypocrisy and the drama on it.

Nick said...

I was sceptical about the iPad at first, but I got to have a go one of them at PC world and was mesmerized!

Check out Stephen Fry's (who seems to be apple's unofficial endorser at times), assessment of it here.


Steven M. said...

Hmmm..... That iPad is getting some good reviews.

Jorge Garrido said...

I fucking hate Apple products.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on Harvey Pekar?

Stephen Worth said...

I love technology. It allows me to take fantastic photographs, listen to tons of great music, organize thousands of images of incredible artwork, watch movies the size of a wall in my own home, communicate with friends, research all kinds of topics and search the world for old books for my library. If you hate technology and see it as a distraction, you're doing it wrong.

The thing Eddie didn't mention in his review, perhaps because it's hard to wrap your head around it until you use it for a while, is Art Authority. It's a ten buck app that gathers together fine art from all countries and time periods, along with information about the artists. This might not seem that remarkable, but the scale of the thing is tremendous... Hundreds of thousands of high resolution images of paintings and sculpture by just about any fine artist you can name. All perfectly organized, and you can export the images as jpegs to use however you want. It's a whole library in one app. Totally worth the entire price of the iPad.

Allen said...

I've never been all that hyped up about the Ipad. Plus I never liked the streamline hip look of the Iproducts' menus. I actually wanted something like the Modbook where its just a tablet computer, not a huge ipod.

Geez. I need a new laptop since the one I have now feels like it can set my pants on fire. Nowadays theres so many options and the always looming feeling of picking the wrong one that I just sometimes want to give up technology and go to doodling on paper.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jack: I watched the whole Lecture. He's right that game point incentives are more common now, and that authenticity is at a premium. I wish Marshal McLuhan was still alive to make it all understandable. Anyway, thanks for the link.

Nick: I share Fry's enthusiasm for this machine.

Steve: That WAS an interesting app! I'd buy it!

Allen: I sympathize!

Roberto: The price'll come down!

Jorge Garrido said...

Needs to get rid of all the DRM on the iPad? There's no app for that!

Need to make the iPad open source? There's no app for that!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jorge: Good points, though the quality of the technology is a seperate issue.

The DRM problem is real, and needs to be addressed, but it seems to me that critics of the existing methods haven't put much thought into realistic alternatives.

Fifteen years ago the alternative press was full of articles about how unlimited access to digital music would actually make the music industry more healthy. Years later, we see the result of that policy. That industry is almost dead. Where's the healthy industry we were promised?

Now the alternative press is at it again, assuring us that free software and unlimited film duping will make these industries more healthy. Geez! Doesn't anyone learn from the past?

I definitely agree that corporate privacy invasion and copyright extentions are an evil, but we need a solution that makes sense.

Stephen Worth said...

I've got tons of movies, tv shows, cartoons and music on my iPad, and there's no DRM. You have to choose to buy files with DRM.

Gavin Freitas said...

Hey Eddie, fun post. When the apps start to get better, and the pressure sensitivity allows better strokes, it will compare to the Cintiq. But damn, some of the work I'm seeing looks great, check this out:

Click here for bad ass ipad fun

You can customize your own stylus to be pointy and accurate but I can find the site :(

Brubaker said...


Do you have theories on what is a realistic alternatives to DRM? I'm honestly curious on your thoughts.

And also, remember when I told you that Jim Tyer also wrote/boarded cartoons? Here's one where he's actually credited: "Think or Sink", written by Tyer and directed by Shamus Culhane. What do you think?


Hans Flagon said...

Testing on Flash Film? Do you mean web videos distributed using the Flash plug in?

Neither the iphone nor the iPad do Flash.

And it isn't going to be a cintiq killer, at least until someone figures out how to get pressure sensitivity info into the thing (a smart bluetooth, or tethered stylus)

What I like best about mine is watching movies on the thing without taking up my laptops screen.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Gavin: Wow! Interesting film! Thanks for the link!

Brubaker: Thanks! An interesting cartoon! I noticed that several Sydneys were on the sidebar. I've gotta check those out, too.

Hans: Yeah, including The New York Times, which a commenter said uses Flash. So you have an iPad. Did you try any of the graphic programs that require a stylus?

Hans Flagon said...

Eddie, I haven't seen any iPad art programs
that REQUIRE a stylus- all use the capacitve
Screen as is, which means fingers will still work.

There are capacitive stylii that work with the iPad
(or iPhone, or iPod touch screens) and I have seen
Video on the web of attempts- in software- to
make stylus use more natural. Palm rejection ignores
Multiple inputs at a time to prefer the moving input (stylus)
So that one may rest their palm on the screen while
drawing, and thick and thin line (or faint and dark)
has been demoed by how fast the stylus (or finger)
is moving. But that is different from true pressure
sensitivity as you would get with a wacom or Cintiq.

I would prefer some sort of smart stylus linked
Via Bluetooth or the charging port. It isn't
Likely to come from wacom though, it would
Cannibalize cintiq sales.

Hans Flagon said...

The New York Times is fine on the iPad, as an app
Or as a web page, but the flash content will
not be available ( it may have been made equally available
in other ways

Anonymous said...

I love how the iPad 2 is coming out soon. So soon already. I wonder how many people who got the best iPad will feel about that? I think all used iPads will loose a lot of value because of the iPad 2.