My iPad Diary

Michael Williams–noted blogger, aesthete, and proud member of the Cult of Apple–catalogs his first-ever weekend with iPad.

Saturday April 3, 2010

8:01am: Awake and wonder if my iPad actually made it in from China. I have been tracking via the UPS website. The package has had a long journey: from Guangzhou (where it is manufactured) to Louisville, Kentucky, and then on to Newark, NJ where it will be transferred to a truck for delivery to my apartment in the Financial District.

8:33am: Walked the dog. No sign of a UPS truck. Commence fretful waiting.

12:41pm: Friends on the West Coast have picked up their reserved iPads from Apple stores and tauntingly text me to check on the progress of UPS.

1:02pm: A breakthrough! Doorman calls and says the UPS guy needs to deliver something to me personally.

1:03pm: UPS driver arrives at my door and says “I have your iPad. Normally I leave these types of things downstairs with the valet, but I don’t want anyone to take it.” That makes two of us.

1:04pm: Unboxing. Which, admittedly, is a little anticlimactic. There’s a box. And another box, a piece of plastic, and then the thing. There’s a CD case-sized pamphlet. Like everyone else, I don’t bother opening it. Also a wall charger, but no headphones, and no cables other than a charger. It’s all quintessentially Apple.

1:17pm: First impression: This thing is bizarre. I plug it in, but I need to update iTunes before it can sync. Restarting.

1:36pm: Syncing—adding music and movies. Half an hour in and still have hardly touched it. I set it up sitting landscape and the thing looks like one of those stupid electronic picture frames. I don’t like how the icons are spaced out on the desktop—looks wonky.

1:39pm: O.K., it’s a massive iPhone. My first attempt to type and hold it at the same time is unsuccessful. It is going to take some time to learn how to position this thing and type.

1:42pm: Opened Safari and did a little web surfing. Looks incredible, but I’m not used to using Safari and I miss some of the features of Google Chrome. Also, I went to my work email, which is powered by Google Apps, and it comes up naturally as a mobile site–which is lame. A reminder that this thing is not a regular computer.

1:48pm: Plugged it into my USB hub, and it doesn’t charge the thing–needs an outlet. That’s sort of annoying.

1:50pm: I keep holding it upside down and the screen adjusts perfectly. And the button that prevents the screen from flipping from one orientation to another is something I bet we’ll see on the next generation of the iPhone. That feature can be annoying.

1:52pm: The iBooks app is pretty awesome. If the new Christopher Hitchens book was out I would have bought it. Instead I downloaded a free copy of Moby-Dick just to test it out. Screen glare is minimal and the pages flip easily. Seems good to me and certainly looks better than a Kindle.

2:03pm: Had to change the wallpaper from the goofy postcard image that comes pre-loaded. I did find a nice black watch plaid fabric to replace it with. Well played, Apple.

2:33pm: While it’s great that a lot of the iPhone apps work on the iPad, I don’t think I’ll end up using many of them. I went in to iTunes and cleared out most of the iPhone apps I figured I wasn’t going to use. I did download the word-processing app Pages. I use Pages every day at work and I think the iPad is going to come in handy with that capability. Or not. Who knows at this point.

2:40pm: Spent about $20 in the store on apps.

2:46pm: It’s beautiful outside–maybe I should table this until later. I bet it would be great to take the iPad to the gym to watch your own videos on the treadmill, but I don’t dare take this thing in public just yet.

2:48pm: I’m getting used to typing, but still can’t figure out how to hold it and type.

2:51pm: I’m resisting the urge to share my nerd-joy via social networking channels. Not sure that sort of thing promotes my cool factor.

3:15pm: I’m gonna give it the big sync and let it collect a good 40/50 GBs (I got the 64-GB version) and get outside.

5:49pm: More than two hours later, the sync is finally complete. I’m starting to get the hang of it. But I’m still not totally sure what the point of this thing is–only America would dream this sort of device up. (I should also say that I’m starting to love it.)

6:22pm: The NPR app is excellent. Makes it super easy to navigate their range of content and the iPad moves around the house easy. I was listening to a story in the living room and brought it with me to the kitchen and it is really seamless.

7:18pm: Theoretically, the iPad could be used on the john. THEORETICALLY.

7:32pm: I’m heading out, leaving my iPad—which I have no intention of naming, like a pet—at home. Going to leave it charging. I have a feeling it will sit on the coffee table more than my desk.

Click below for Day 2…

My iPad Diary