back to article Prisoner of iTunes - the iPad file transfer horror

First the good news - it's light, compact, reasonably capable for typing, and it has enough battery life for you not to be forever worrying about where your next power socket's coming from. These advantages alone are sufficient for me to take the iPad seriously for note-taking and for document viewing and manipulation, and to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bit out of date.

    I assume you wrote this last month? Many Apps now support the 'open in' dialogue and more and more are updating to allow direct direct read/write access to cloud services like Dropbox.

    No one is suggesting that the file management capabilities are perfect, but don't make it sound worse than it is.

    1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A bit out of date.

      I'm not sure how that's relevant to the gripes that I was covering. But 'open in' isn't one of my favourite features either. Sure, I can open a link in Safari from Twitterific, but then I drop out of Twitterific and lose my place. Fix one problem by creating another, IMO.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Its a problem with iWork, more than the Ipad I think.

        I've been using Good Reader, Dropbox and Pages.

        All the files seem to properly have open with "Good Reader" links in Dropbox, and open with "Pages" links. But the Pages program doesn't suport the Open with "Good Reader" option, which would put it back in Good reader at least. (which I could then sync back to my pc may be?)

        All that is needed for a good work flow, would be "Open with - Dropbox" associated with all file types that dropbox can store, and the Open with functionality being in iWork (Pages). It could even be renamed "Send to" rather than Open with. Because thats more accurate.

        OS4 is going to have a file system I expect, lets hope its good?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well you could have mentioned it.

        Is all I'm saying. It is relevant because all you mentioned was iTunes for file management (oh, plus Airshare).

        Ways to manage files on iPad;



        WebDAV shares

        Jailbreak the bugger.

        Again, at risk of being downranked further by the anti Apple hordes, I agree, it's not great for those of us who use it for productivity, however, with Dropbox integration increasing it's working for me. I'm no Apple apologist that's for sure, but I'm liking the device as an all rounder, however I've never come across such a device that polarises opinion so much. As for expensive, I spent £499 in 1998 on the iPad's baby brother twice removed the Casio Cassiopeia E105! ;-)

        I believe the beta of OS 3.2 had a shared folder for Apps to use. Annoyingly it was dropped. I do hope Apple reinstate it but at the moment there are ways beyond being tethered to itunes to manage files on the iPad.

    2. Basic

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      So the solution to lousy inter-app file system access on the iPad is to not use the iPad file system at all and use cloud-based storage instead?

      I like cloud-based as an alternative, especially if I want to sync stuff but that seems a little backwards to me...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In other works pay extra for storage?

      >access to cloud services like Dropbox.

      So you're limited to 2G of storage or have to pay out another 10USD a month? I guess an appropriately priced Apple cloud will fill the gap left by lack of SD card or access to your own filesystem.

      I think the review also glosses over several other far more fundamental failures from IxD perspective by asserting its a useful environment for working on documents in the first place.

      Its supposed raison d'être is usability, but we've been evaluating since shortly after the US release and find this extremely attempt to reinvent the wheel square, rather than drawing on the lessons learned from the last 30 years of surface computing. It seems very research has been done by the designers, which probably also explains why they keep trying to patent concepts which are decades old.

      But don't take my word for it, Jakob Nielsen has been user-testing it also -

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Jakob who?

        Wasn't the most interesting read. Well, bottom line is the users will decide whether this is useful or not. With 2 million and rising there should be plenty of feedback available to 'Jakob' and others.

        Supercharged smartphones, hugely powerful laptops, incredible, portable power, tiny netbooks, unthinkable only a few years ago and at prices that keep dropping. We live in an incredible time of tech development and yet all the geeks can do is turn it into a pissing contest over who can access their files quicker, still believing that because a device doesn't suit them then it must be crap.

      2. Peter H. Coffin
        Jobs Horns

        Pay for cloud storage?

        Remember, earlier Apple devices had perfectly serviceable "lack of filesystem on storage cards" decades ago, so the more I learn about this thing, the more it looks like a Newton with all the nifty parts cut out and the annoyances carefully retained. Even after 35 years, John Sculley continues to influence Apple's design decisions by Steve Jobs refusing to make anything that ever even hints that there was every anything good about the Newton.

  2. Drem

    Not a big iPhone, a big iPod Touch

    This really bugs me, the iPad is not a big iPhone, certainly the non-3g version isn't. Its far far closer to a big iPod Touch.

    1. Doug Glass


      Isn't an iPhone with no phone just an iTouch? If two thingies are equal to a third thingie then is it not the case that the to thingies are equal to themselves? Just sayin'.....

  3. Steve 132
    Jobs Halo

    Renaming files

    In Pages, just go to the documents view, and tap on the name - then you can rename it. I admit it's hardly obvious, but it was bugging me too...

    Also, Documents to Go premium solves some of these issues by giving Save to Dropbox/Mobile Me etc Cloud saving inside the application. Not as elegant a wordprocessing experience as pages, but it shows how it should be done on such a device.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    your desktop computer?

    I like apple and their products, but STILL don't see the point of the iPad, i was starting to think it might be useful for people who want the web but not a computer, as an improvement to viewing the web on their phone... but the author seems to assume that you need a fully fledged mac aswell.

    This only negates the iPad further, how many times do you find it difficult to achieve something on the iPad before you just use your computer in the first place.

    I do sympathise with the author though, having to carry an iPad AND a macbook air would be too much to carry (ease up on the lattes and go to a gym - or try carrying a macbook!!!!).

    Perhaps you wont carry them both as it shows that the iPad is not really the god like device that the common myth seems to suggest?

  5. Select * From Handle

    HAHA fanbois

    firstly im not an apple fan, sorry but i just dont like mac's. i do have an itouch though. when i first herd roumors of the ipad i though nice! a tablet pc great! then i saw it had the itouch style interface and apps through itunes milarcky. i thought to myself its just a big itouch.... but theirs one thing that never dawned on me that made me chuckle when i read this... you NEED to connect it to a mac/pc with ITUNES! hahah so its not realy a tablet pc is it? its just a device. an exspecive divice that you need to falk out another $250+ on a laptop/pc to get working... if you dont already own one. im assuming the ipad with the built in 3G u can setup without a pc or am i wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You can see the ridiculous fanboyism on both sides when illiterate posts like this get the thumbs up....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Sigh

        What are you on about? Your post isn't illiterate at all and currently no one has up-voted it.


      2. Shakje

        Upvoted him

        just to annoy you.

    2. RichyS


      I can't believe that they allow you on the Internets...

    3. Adam Nealis

      @Select * From Handle - Please enable your spelling checker.

      Macs not mac's. Fanbois don't like that.

      exspecive - Did you type your post on an iPad with the soft keyboard?

  6. NB

    lol crapple

    read this article on my n900 and had a damn good chuckle. I, for one, will never buy an apple product while they remain so horrendously locked down. Personally I like my mobile devices to be able to multitask properly and not waste screen real estate with touchscreen only keyboards. I expect the jobsian fanbois will be out in force to defend this magical and revolutionary waste of space...

    1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: lol crapple

      Well, as I understand it Nokia does have some previous in the control department, but very little experience of selling 2 million tablet devices in a month or so (au contraire...)

      Apple may well have problems in resolving the iPad's contradictions, but they'll be problems of success, nice ones to have.

  7. D@v3

    A magical and revolutionary product, at an **unbelievable price**

    I spent 5 (yes, 5) whole minutes with one at the weekend, and came to the conclusion that if someone gave me one, I'd probably sell it. I have an iPhone 3g, didnt see the point in upgrading to the 3gs, might go for the new one if it comes out.

    The iPad is to heavy for the physical size of the thing, just didnt feel right in my hands. Every sound that came out the meagre speaker I could feel in my finger tips through the back of the case.

    My favourite thing was that when I showed it to my mum, the first thing she said was , 'yeah, but what does it do'

    (** £430 for an up-scaled iTouch is unbelievable**)

  8. flameresistant

    No Shit Sherlock!

    Very disappointing article John. The device functions as advertised but doesn't conform to your expectations. Ergo you're a prisoner and experiencing horror! A trifle over dramatic I think.

    It would be much more interesting, informative and useful if you wrote about how the device helps you.

    1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: No Shit Sherlock!

      Ah, you're guessing my expectations. Initially I didn't expect the iPad to be particularly useful to me, but I've found it comes in handy, and I think it has potential.

      The file transfer stuff is however crud, and I don't know where you saw the adverts that said this. I just thought I'd get that out of the way prior to doing an assessment of it as a mobile productivity device. Which is next. Probably.

      1. flameresistant

        Re: No Shit Sherlock!

        "The file transfer stuff is however crud, and I don't know where you saw the adverts that said this."

        I didn't, that was my point. Where did you see it advertised that it should transfer files in conformance with your expectations?

    2. bolccg

      Um, what?

      So, we should only write about the positives of everything? Nice hippy instinct but not terribly helpful. The article had a clear aim and it addressed the aspect it was intending to cover.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Shit Sherlock

      You are assuming the iPad DOES help him... fanboi.

      Also, writing happy stories ignoring all negatives/broken aspects of a near useless product isn't journalism. That's why CNN and most of the American media is a joke... and why many people come here.

      The author is right on.

    4. Kevin Johnston


      Perhaps the problem here is not that the report dwells on the negative aspects of the iPad but that it was not possible to make it more interesting, informative and useful to you as there were no areas where the device helped him.

      Just a thought

    5. heyrick Silver badge

      Functions as advertised?

      Real people, who want to get REAL WORK done, will need access to files, and not necessarily with the same apps that created those files. Those who have yet to come across such a problem probably only have their iPad for status, or checking websites.

      The approach the author took was to bounce the files off another machine, arguing with iTunes along the way. Fail much, might I suggest they look at the file import/export/bring options of a Psion 3a?

      But then, a iRep may have implied the truth, that the iPad is a toy [ ], a big glossy expensive tech-laden toy. And those using toys will have no need to access the *real* filing system...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Heyrick misses the point by a mile

        Many, perhaps most, consumer electronic devices are toys.

        Is the iPad being marketed as a replacement for your home/office PC?

        1. Britt Johnston

          marketing is not a use-for guide

          The Apple marketing seems to praise the i-pad as a multicoloured mystery, implying that you too might find it useful.

          How could anyone have a right to be disappointed, based on such a modest strategy?

    6. Scott 19
      Thumb Down


      The employeed Apple Troll that joined today.

    7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      >>It would be much more interesting, informative and useful if you wrote about how the device helps you.

      "Microsoft Showcase: Real Users. Real Stories."

      Please no.

  9. Code Monkey

    iTunes - faugh

    Meanwhile I have been playing with it the HTC Desire last week. After years of having to use iTunes* to keeping an iPod up-to-date, the simple "connect to PC, drag files back and forth, disconnect" routine is a joy. So simple!

    * on Windows - apparently it's better on Mac but I don't care enough to pay out an entire holiday's worth of money to find out

    1. bolccg
      Thumb Up

      ES File Explorer

      Check out ES File Explorer if you haven't already - can access Windows shares remotely.

      I switched from an iPhone 3G to the Desire about a month ago and the extra freedom it gives you is a breath of fresh air. I always got the impression that the iTunes experience on the PC was being made intentionally sub par so as to subtly nudge users towards getting a Mac. Gave my old phone to my fiancée and every time she asks about how you do this or that within Apple's ridiculous limitations it makes me value the Desire more (although the battery life is shocking, alas).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Battery life

        "Gave my old phone to my fiancée and every time she asks about how you do this or that within Apple's ridiculous limitations it makes me value the Desire more (although the battery life is shocking, alas)."

        Yes, but assuming you can find someone who sells them you can swap your HTC battery.

        Sent from my desire.

    2. Doug Glass

      Palm Pre ....

      ... acting as a USB device does the same. Add MediMonkey and consider we got two for a total of $49.95 and you can see my American white toothed grin all the way across the bank's parking lot.

  10. Thomas 4
    IT Angle

    A question for you John

    From what you've described, the file management on the iPad is terrible, which is a major strike against what I was (vaguely) considering one for. How would you rate the iPod Chunky as a means of producing documents, spreadsheets and powerpoint/keynote presentations on the go?

    1. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A question for you John

      For writing the on-screen keyboard's perfectly usable, and I don't think I'd have a problem doing reasonably large pieces with it. They'd still likely need polishing on a 'proper' computer though. I don't think I'm qualified to comment on Numbers and Keynote, as I don't really do spreadsheets and powerpoint. Numbers comes with a template - just the one, unless I've accidentally deleted the rest - for a running log. What you weigh, how far you ran, time, calories burned. Weird...

      1. My New Handle

        Numbers comes with plenty

        Numbers comes with 26 (sixteen) different templates to choose from. For the life of me I cannot see or imagine how you deleted any of them! There appears to be no way of doing that.

  11. Rogerborg

    What a curious definition of "productivity"

    I still don't get what advantages it has over a £200 EEE PC for producing content. Yes, yes, I get that you're saying that it's a very (very, very) expensive consumption gadget that also happens to allow some content creation, but did I mention that it's very, very, very, VERY expensive?

    Eh, I think I'll wait for the iPad Nano version.

    1. ktabic

      Re: What a curious definition of "productivity"

      > Eh, I think I'll wait for the iPad Nano version.

      I thought that was out already. It's called the iPod Touch. ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Very, very, VERY expensive?

      £500 is not a lot of money.

      And God help anyone 'producing content' on a £200 netbook. I thought people just used those things for checking email and updating their Facebook status?

      1. Captain Thyratron

        Spare a dime, sir?

        "Not a lot of money"? Rich people say the darndest things, I swear...

        I've found that a cheap netbook, by the way, is quite adequate for preparing LaTeX documents. I don't know how well it runs an office suite, but frankly I don't care--it's too much work to get "office software" to produce a document that doesn't look like it was made with some crap office software. The device seems to be able to do a lot, really. I can type something, look at a couple of PDF documents, look at websites, and listen to music--all at the same time, even! To boot, it has a proper keyboard that provides mechanical feedback so I don't have to look at my fingers to type (unlike an iPad), lets me see my filesystem (unlike an iPad), and lets me copy files anywhere I please with no more chicanery than perhaps a remote computer asking me for a password (unlike an iPad).

        Thus, I'm a tad confused as to why iPads, deprived of the aforementioned merits, ought to cost more than £200. They do less than netbooks, yet cost more. I simply cannot make sense of it. There must be something about them that's driving the sales, but I've yet to learn what it is. I seldom see money do things so strange unless there's a religion involved somewhere.

      2. captain veg Silver badge


        You can think that, if you like. I've got one, and I've no idea what a "Facebook status" might be. Used it to write code, though. Does that count as 'producing content'?


      3. Haku

        Cost != Value

        Yeah cos everyone knows that the more you spend on something the more you can do with it....

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        £200 netbook versus £500 IPad

        Well my netbook was only £150 and is only an eee 701, I have used it for producing documents for a course I have been on, used it to build, run and test an ecommerce website for my wife, used it for downloading and watching BBC programmes on to before syncing them on to an Ipod Nano (borrowed not my own)- using GTKpod.

        For email only I will happily use the stock Linux installation, for other uses I boot from different USB drives and pen drives. I have even been known to install and boot Windows XP on an external drive - A job in itself as Windows XP doesn't want to boot from USB devices. All simply to run and test ITunes for a niece to synch her iPod Nano and now iTouch.

        The answer in the end was that Gtkpod worked better and faster for music and video than iTunes in Windows on exactly the same machine. The problem of course it doesn't give access to the iTunes shop.

        Oh it also has USB, Ethernet and Wifi as standard and with a video cable connectable to a monitor anywhere I take it that has a computer, or I can use remote desktop utilities if screen refresh isn't critical.

        And with my USB external DVD drive I was able to read/repair and write a CD of original demo soundtracks for a musician at a charity I help at that could not be read by any PC they owned that was running Windows.

        Now I'm not a fanboi of any OS, I have made a very good living out of supporting Windows and Mac's in the past. I only have an old PPC Mac at home I was given as I have no need or reason to spend a pile of money on any new Mac. I have 12 Windows/Linux based computers and two servicable Amiga's all at home.

        The eee loses out on screen space compared to this laptop I'm using, The eee fits in my bike leathers inside pocket, this laptop needs it's own case strapping on the back.

        All systems have their advantages and disadvantages be they desktop, laptop, netbook or touch screen tablet. Just as different cars and motorbikes have their own advantages and disadvantage. My 154mph bike gets 43 to the gallon, my 115-8 bike gets 65-70 which one is better? Well it depends what I want to use it for and what compromises I am prepared to make.

        I have an estate car that has had serious loads in it during it's life including a 4 hundred weight bike inside! It's great for loads, family or in the country, it's a pain in the rear in London or cities. think of the petrol station visits being akin to battery recharges on a laptop...

        Jeez even when I go fishing I have different rods for different purposes.

        I personally have no need or desire for an iPad or an iPhone, then again I have no desire for a Ferrari or Porche. But I do accept that others may have desires for those type of objects. They might know and forgive their shortcomings or they could be ignorant of the limitations. As long as those that do want to know before they spend their cash those that don't care because they just want one then it doesn't matter what others say.

      5. M Gale

        Re: Very, very, VERY expensive?

        People were "producing content" just a few short years ago on honking great desktop machines that don't have the power of a modern cheapy netbook. I don't think they had any deity's help.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Fashion Accessories

    Yep, just like flares in the 70's... iPhone, iPad, iPod... whatever! All just fashion accessories for the fanbois to look sewper kewl dood.

    Consider the iPad:

    - wifi connectivity

    - runs apps

    - lets you buy e-books and read them

    - watch movies/listen to music (built in speaker)

    - touchscreen QWERTY keyboard

    - accelerometer

    Hmmm.. No multi-tasking? A nice glossy, reflective screen that necessitates lighting perfection ad. infinitum. Sounds just like an over-priced, big brick version of my not-so-fashonista-non-Apple mobile.

    iShit more like ;)

    1. Michael Brown

      Yawn...It DOES have multitasking

      At least it will have as soon as iPhone OS 4.0 is released (which could well be today). Only the extremely early adopters will have had to wait for multitasking for 3rd party apps for a month or two.

      1. Captain Thyratron

        Oh, what a relief!

        Can someone explain to me why, for a device with significantly more computing horsepower than the average modern-day dishwasher, multitasking should be some optional feature to be tacked on later? Didn't things with a fraction the iPad's computing muscle have this problem nailed down three decades ago?

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Yawn... You're funny!

        Re mulitasking, you say:

        "At least it will have as soon as iPhone OS 4.0 is released (which could well be today)."

        - But it wasn't released today... Therefore still no true multitasking.

        "Only the extremely early adopters will have had to wait for multitasking for 3rd party apps for a month or two."

        - Hmm... No multitsking there yet either.

        You're funny... You say it multitasks and then you use 2 supporting arguments that say it doesn't. Quality fanboi argument! I love it. You're funny :)

        iOS4 is apparently slated be released June 21st or autumn - depending upon which source you believe. iOS3 is a fully preemptive multitasking operating system, but it artificially restricts apps from running in the background. I know... Let's employ an OS security model that has multitasking for certain Apple apps but deliberately stops others. Oh, my mistake. That's what we already have. Freedom is a wonderful thing don't you think ;)

        No Jobsonian dictatorship for me iThink (TM).

    2. Haku

      Tokyo Drift

      This whole "iPad is better than a netbook" situation reminds me of the beginning of Tokyo Drift where the rich kid with the shiny high performance 'off-the-shelf' car starts reeling off the specs of the engine etc. and the kid with the home-built muscle car replies:

      "Wow, you can read the brochure.", then beats him in a race with his home-built car.

      Too many fanbois reading brochures out there...

      Didn't Apple have the slogan "Think different."? whatever happened to that?

  13. Big Catastrophe
    Thumb Up

    Great article

    Loved the article John. A well considered piece. Rather than bashing the product or over praising it, you consider possible uses and flaws and examine where issues may lie and possibilities for solving them.

    I wish more articles did this.

    I'm considering an iPad and this is the sort of article that helps me make an informed purchasing decision. It sounds like you were unsure about the product but have ended up liking it, just hoping that Apple will learn quickly from feedback and address a few small but key issues that will aid more general adoption.

    In my mind, to make it a better proposition, I agree that the iTunes aspect needs to be addressed. I's like the iPad to be completely independent from needing to be connected to other equipment, but with the option to link for certain functions such as file transfer (documents/media etc). The rest, I want to be able to do all from the pad itself.

    I think Apple are close to having a great product, but as you note, I wonder if they concentrated on one area and missed a bit in doing so. I hope they've either already identified this, or will read your article and take your comments on board.

    Keep up the good work.

  14. Scott 19


    I don't own any Apple products but the iPad kinda caught my attention but can someone explain to what hardware i would need to use an iPad's full range of services?

    i'm guessing a Mac book or PC reading this article also does it come with WiFi or would i have to pay for a vastly expensive contract with a locked in mobile company? and is the only way for an iPad to talk to a Mac iTunes? as on my list of hated software this comes out on top. what sort of memory and devices can be used with the iPad as my music collection is quite large and i would not want to have to sync up it as i said the worst piece of software iTunes? can you transfer already paid fopr apps form your iPhone to your iPad and vice versa?

    Sorry could probably find this info out on the web but i much prefer the hands on approach of a commentard as opposed to a brided journo who could be stirked off the next apple product list.

    1. Doshu

      i'll try to field a couple questions (no expert, so bear with me)

      First off, it's almost like an iPhone (which you already seem to own if i'm reading correctly) so you can sync it with iTunes on MAC or PC (your choice). Just like with other apple devices, if you don't like iTunes, there are other apps for syncing, but that's for another post and may require some (or a lot) puttering around.

      All models have WiFi standard, but if you want phone functions, you pay extra for device with added hardware. As for storage, it comes in 16, 32 and 64GB flavors.

      Oh, and you can sync your iphone apps with it as well (tho some won't look as good if they haven't been properly ported).

      Hope that helps a bit.


      1. Scott 19
        Thumb Up

        1 thumb up

        Thanks a big thumb up the... for you.

        Shame you can't road test an iPad like a car, wnet out in a nice M3 the other day ain't got the money to buy one but its always nice to have a base point to understand such things as iPads or fast sports cars.

  15. Tom 64


    "So a machine at either end it is, with the iPad in the middle and the Air for trips. And we'll see how we do on those file transfer..."

    ... or you could just buy a couple of cheap PC's, and an android tablet, saving yourself a couple of thousand quid, getting things done quicker and not looking like a chump in the process?

    1. RichyS

      But why?

      But then you'd end up with three things that are shit at doing anything.

      Why exactly is an Android tablet that doesn't really exist a panacea for everything the iPad isn't? If the hopeless attempts so far at an Android tablet are anything to go by (and I'm mostly looking at you here, Archos), then the iPad has nothing to worry about.

      I think you Lintards need to take off the blinkers and realise that Apple are very good at making something that works well and easily for the majority of people.

  16. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    iPad = iFad

  17. Mystic Megabyte


    How the hell can you maintain saying "i" in front of so many words. It would drive me crazy! What a ridiculous marketing/naming convention.

    1. Doug Glass

      iSee ....

      ... it's working for them as a marketing/sales hook. iBelieve that's reason right there. iNfact believe that's the ultimate reason and iJustufication.

  18. Stevie


    I'm one of those people who don't see what an iPad is for, and I eat up articles like this one in the hope I'll Get A Clue.

    iPad seems to have solved many issues with the "mobile" part of mobile computing (connectivity that stays reliable connected, battery that doesn't want to empty itself in one orgasmic gush and so forth) at the cost of the computing part.

    I *GET* that this isn't supposed to be a traditional "empty toolbox you fill with your own socket set" computing device, but more an attempt to achieve toaster-like ease of use in a device.

    What I don't get is the demographic the iPad is aimed at.

    Sadly, this article, in tandem with the notes Charlie Stross made on his blog (at - please be grown-up if you feel like responding) on how he plans to use the iPad as an authoring tool only leave me still bewildered as to who Apple were aiming the device at.

    Please don't flame me. I am no fan of Apple products, far from it, but if I were still single and earning what I did as a consultant with no expenditures other than booze, food, floozies and toys, I would have bought an iPad yonks ago just because it looks cool. I just find myself wondering if I would still have been using it two weeks later, is all, since it doesn't seem to do any of the things a lightweight mobile wireless-internet connected device should be doing for it to be of value to me.

    I await the revelation that will prove I am just being thick with anticipation, though, and value articles like this one that not only point out problems with the iPad but suggest *why* they are problems and point out possible solutions and/or workarounds.



    1. Peter Murphy

      Stevie - you don't deserve no flames.

      Charles Stross is one writer that I respect. So you add a link to his meticulous study of how to author novels with an iPad? Good. I might be a Ubuntu user, with little interest in anything Apple, but I found his research interesting.

      I should be clear. I might despise the architecture of the iPad (No multitasking? For f*ck's sake!), but I never despise anyone who finds a use for it - be it Charles or a hypothetical, younger, floozier you. So have a beer on me.

    2. Daf L

      It's a PiMP

      From everything I've read and everything Apple has said, this device seems to be aimed squarely at a being a PMP or Personal Media Device.

      I don't think it is aimed at being a notebook replacement, a second PC or a business tool. It is there to play music, play video, surf the web, play a few games, run some apps. Just for viewing and basic interacting.

      Looking at it that way makes the device a bit more appealing - it does what a high end game console does as secondary features (the media, audio, internet etc). It is a much extended version of the PMP devices from the likes of iRiver and Archos.

      I think looking at it as a large iPod Touch is probably appropriate - not in a negative way but more of what it is designed for (with less emphasis on audio). Large screen media viewing, internet, gaming and apps.

      The problems with it are that people wish to use it as a notebook (or try to find a use for it once they have bought it). Your notebook has all you business files on it and so you can just carry on working with it down pub at lunchtime, or in your hotel room. You can connect to your Company Network and use your files in Word, or check the figures in Excel.

      The iPad does a lot for a PMP but not much as a PC. It is a fairly game changing PMP but a pretty useless PC. I think when you look at what the iPad really is then you won't be disappointed if you buy it.

      The problem you might face is it is very expensive for use as a media device and it will be very easy to lose interest in it, not feel the need to lug it around with you and therefore not make good use out of it. Maybe the category "Boys Toys" suits it most appropriately?

  19. Captain Underpants

    Business users? You're 'avin' a larf, aincha?

    Honestly, I don't think Apple can claim it's seriously targeting business users with any of its products.

    The absence of NBD on-site support on any of their products is the biggest indication of this, and my main gripe about Apple as an IT support bod in a multi-platform environment. It's a crying shame too, as their phone support staff are generally pretty good.

    In the context of the iPad - of course they'll sell you the iPad version of iWorks, that's easy money and a good way to help people talk themselves into it ("It's not just a gadget, I can use it for work stuff too"). That doesn't mean they consider it to be a business-oriented device, just that they won't turn down money from business users (or those using the business angle as an excuse to get one). Especially not given their statement last year that iPhone Apps could not be used for business use (

    1. Bruce Hoult

      Why do you need support on cheap items?

      @Captain Underpants:

      Maybe I'm just thick, but why do you need next day (or same day) manufacturer support on items that you own a couple of hundred of (or at least a dozen, even in a small company)?

      Surely it's far cheaper and much more effective to just buy a few extra and put them on the shelf and instantly swap out any that malfunction?

      I can understand the onsite support thing when computers cost a million quid and you only had one of them. But now?

      1. Captain Underpants
        Jobs Horns

        Because it's more expensive than what rival vendors offer, that's why


        Because what you describe is more costly and less efficient than what rival suppliers offer, and frankly Apple are the only one of our approved vendors who don't offer NBD onsite support. Which I find preposterous.

        I work in a department of a large academic institution which means we're tied up by all sorts of restrictions on who we buy from. All of our other approved suppliers have agreed to offer NBD onsite support, which in an academic environment is vital - we have neither the corporate structure that would let us enforce a limited range of manufacturers and models, nor a sufficiently standardised set of user requirements to make it a feasible business case.

        With Apple, the suggestion is the laughable one you offer. The gits will give us 3 year warranty cover with AppleCare, but that's not good enough, because every damn time I've had to invoke it they've taken at least 2 weeks from the day we contacted them to fix it.

        Why should we have to take the hit of buying in spare machines to use in the event that their product breaks down, when they try to claim their computers are suitable for business use and will offer the warranty duration but not the level of support that is industry standard for enterprise/corporate-level support? And in a time of limited public funding, how would you expect us to justify buying even more of the expensive apple hardware instead of buying from an alternative vendor who,even if they cost the same, will have included NBD onsite support in their pricing?

        When the comparison between vendor pricing is: Apple - cost of (x required + y spare) laptops (where y=x/expected failure rate) vs Every Other Vendor - cost of z laptops (where x ~= z), you need very specific values of x, y and z for Apple to come out ahead.

        I've looked into this at length and the frustration is enough to have me banging my head against the wall - Apple have offered the kind of support I'm talking about in the past, but don't seem interested now. You can go to third parties to get it, but it's unlikely to be cheap - considering that they'll have to pay the annual refresh for their technicians to be considered fit for work, as well as the cost of being an authorised repair centre, and that's before you factor in labour or materials.

        End result? I can only conclude Apple don't want (or are indifferent to) business custom, because that's what their behaviour in the face of their business rivals suggests.

  20. Graham Bartlett

    Does what it says on the tin

    It's a toy. A pretty, shiny, expensive toy. It doesn't need to do anything, because like most of Apple's products it's doing nothing that can't be achieved better and quicker on other devices. I say most: the iPod is still fairly good for audio. But everything else Apple is at the stage that mobile phones were in the "brick" 1980s era - the bragging rights of having spent ludicrous amounts of money on it is entirely secondary to whether it's any use.

    1. RichyS
      Jobs Halo

      Hang on a mo...

      I think by 'better and quicker on other devices' you really mean ' worse and slower, but more cheaply on other devices'.

      There, fixed it for you.

      People don't buy Apple stuff just because they've got too much money or that it looks nice. It does genuinely work better.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        You mean

        like making it horrible to share data between apps? That makes life a lot easier does it not.

        Deary me, a locked file system: no iPad for me then

      2. JEDIDIAH

        Post Factum nonsense

        People buy Apple stuff because they can't get away from all of the

        shills and the Apple hype. There's just too much marketing and other

        media noise drowning out every thing else. It's hard to be aware of

        anything else unless you make a point to educate yourself.

        Apple only "works" so long as you narrow your requirements.

        If you're the sort that needs to be led around by the nose, perhaps you won't

        notice the limitations. It's like that famous commercial...

  21. tony


    Funnily enough decided to get pages and numbers over the weekend and thought the file transfer seemed awkward and was looking for, in my mind, obvious link to mobileme.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What productivity?

    Why oh why do you try to use it as a productivity tool?

    Why? Why? Why? It is NOT meant to be a productivity tool.

    When is the last time you tried to use your television as a productivity tool? Or your radio?

    Did you ever read a book and complain that it did not let you change the font?

    My mother used to say: You don't drive a nail in a wall with a china vase, and you

    don't put flowers in a hammer. Stop trying to use the iPad as a productivity tool.

    1. Captain Thyratron

      Use it for what, then?

      So what do you do with a china vase that's shaped like a hammer, has no opening to hold flowers, and can't stand up very well because it's shaped like a hammer?

    2. Lou Gosselin

      What productivity?

      "Why oh why do you try to use it as a productivity tool?"

      Why not?

      It's like installing additional apps on a consumer nas device or access point. Just because the manufacturer was unwilling or unable to unlock the device's full potential doesn't mean the device doesn't have a higher potential.

      Can you think of one good reason (other than breaking apple's legal terms and conditions) that consumers should not be able to use the hardware to its full potential?

  23. Lou Gosselin

    Apple vs Productivity

    If they are not very careful, then apple's terms, which are so unappealing to developers, may need to be applied to more sophisticated end user content as well, this would cause users to echo the outrage felt by developers. Surely apple is better off not allowing end users to have such powerful productivity tools*.

    * For example, think of all the creative applications which could be "turing complete":

    An office suite with macro capability.

    An RPG game development interface.


    TI 85 simulator/clone

    User Mode Linux inside an ipad.


    1. Lou Gosselin

      Re: Apple vs Productivity

      "Surely apple is better off not allowing end users to have such powerful productivity tools"

      I wasn't clear, I think the users should be free to use their tablets as *they* see fit, but that it wouldn't be in *apples* best interests.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        The dangers of end user freedom

        If the end users were able to drag any old file they wanted onto an iPad and run

        any old app, then they would be in serious danger of accidentally installing VLC

        on their iThing and seeing how poorly it plays video.

        If you hide what the platform doesn't do well, it's easy to make it seem better than

        it really is.

    2. The Other Steve

      For vanishngly small values of 'developers'

      "If they are not very careful, then apple's terms, which are so unappealing to developers"

      To some subset of developers. Other developers see "play by our rules and get practically free access to a market place which just generated 2 million brand new app hungry customers in two months and who have generated 3.5 million app sales in that same period. A marketplace that generated around 1.5 billion app sales in 2009. A marketplace of (conservatively) over 20 million customers, the modal group of whom download >= 20 apps per week in 2009. Accounting for something like 99% of smartphone app sales in the same year" *

      And they think "I want a piece of that". We can bitch and moan all we want, but with numbers like that why should Apple change it's behaviour just to pacify a few whiny fucktards ? If Google are telling the truth about activating 100,000 'Droid units per day, and that continues, and their app store generates a similar amount of revenue, and they challenge Apple's market share you might, just might, see some change of attitude from Apple, but I doubt it.

      Of course, figuring out what the rules are at any given point can be tricky, but in all honesty I haven't seen an app pulled yet that I didn't look at and think "that's going to get pulled".

      * Figures variously from AdMob and Gartner

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

        Hang on....

        Downloading 20 apps per week? *Why*, for the love of all that's holy?

        I download (Android) apps that I want or need, those that will entertain me or add to my productivity (oh, look, that word again) in the long term. Do iPhone wonks really have an attention span that short?


      2. Lou Gosselin

        @The Other Steve

        Well, you are assuming that the developers who continue to develop for apple are happy with the terms they get. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that the majority of them are disappointed with all the restrictions.

        "their app store generates a similar amount of revenue, and they challenge Apple's market share you might, just might, see some change of attitude from Apple, but I doubt it."

        I agree with your conclusion though, apple just doesn't care because it only takes a few thousand developers to build the types of apps that apple's interested in selling in their app store. However, until apple changes it's stance on artificially imposed limitations, the i-device is restricted to toy-status, which is unfortunate because the device itself looks like it has a great deal of potential if it were open.

  24. dave 93

    meh - not news - I'm used to mailing things to myself now

    Really? Emailing things to myself works fine for me, and you can find them easily with the built in search.

    It wasn't the way I expected to have to work, but since all my emails are accessible from any computer, it is better than having them stuck on one machine, and everything backed up automatically.

    Honestly this is such a non-issue for most people, why bother puffing it up into an article?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like..

      you've gone back to the days before USB memory sticks were invented!

    2. Alan Newbury
      IT Angle

      Re: Not news

      1991 called and wants it's file-transfer methodology back...

      IT icon, because IT has moved on since then...

  25. gimbal
    Paris Hilton

    Maybe Apple just has their collective head in the clouds?

    I don't want to be one the to point out the king's notorious absence of clothes, but it seems to me that Apple's design intentions would be virtually impossible to pin down into any discrete terms. I'm sure the Apple design teams are all working very hard to keep the Jobsatron happy. I just don't know what any of 'em are supposed to be after, except for more market-share.

    At least Microsoft is more forthright with their brand of stubbornness. Apple? I don't know.

    To comment to the material of the article, though: It's much appreciated; I wouldn't want to waste my time with such a contorted workflow, nor to even wonder if the iPad, version "right now", could be a viable computing platform, for myself. Fanboi I am not. Needing a costly, practically inane tool, the Yoda's cousin Bo does not.

    Needing a word of relative wisdom from the Paris Hilton, the Bo might be, in face of the Apple's confusing ways.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Apple's design intentions....

      ....were once described to me (a very long time ago, to be fair) as "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we....".

      Which seems fair enough to me, except mostly the ideas that make it into production aren't cool, except by a self-serving, self-defining "It's Apple, therefore it's cool" yardstick.


  26. Steve Evans

    I can't help wondering...

    Given that people have been able to break themselves (RSI) using mice, and typing on "real" keyboards, how long will it be before stress fractures start occurring from "typing" on a virtual keyboard which is nothing more than bashing your fingertips against a sheet of expensive glass?

  27. Steve Hodson


    ..the iPad is the ultimate coffee table device and nothing more. It has the beginnings of more with the iWork suite and of course all the wonderful Apps in the store.

    Until file access/management arrives at a system (apple designed) will be kludgy. I fully expect Apple to address some of these shortcomings, maybe not in the way some people hope for...but there's no way Apple's intended experience for productivity matches the current scenario.

    Jobs Horns


    It seems to me, this is Apples modus operandi. A friend with a Mac uses iPhoto for all her images. Lots of them. And when something else was required to use those images (other than iPhoto) she was exporting them all the time - all the while her photos were sequestered away by iPhoto.

    I tried to sort it out for her (being unfamiliar with this magical 'just works' computer system) and was stumped until I discovered that in order to breach iPhotos protective wall (wherein all the images were locked) I had to create an 'alias' (in PC terms a dynamic shortcut) and through that she could directly access all her files and use them with other apps, without constantly exporting them, constantly duplicating them.

    The reasoning behind the horrible set-up seems to be 'don't worry your pretty little head about all this 'files' stuff, let Uncle Mac take care of it all!'. And then you discover your kindly uncle is really a rather possesive sort, who not only treats you like a dummy, but wants to stay firmly in control.

    Same with iTunes, same with the iPod squirreling away your music in a non-directly accessible manner, etc.

    It's almost like the security vs freedom argument: those who desire 'it just works' over their freedom, deserve (and get) neither.

    1. Mark 65


      I believe there's a setting in iPhoto to stop it from taking the photos into the package library and just leave them where they are on the hard disk - which assumes they've been imported there to start off with. Believe there is an app for that (the import). Only edits are then taken into the package library so they are non-destructive.

      iTunes as well can leave your collection where it is and... have manual imports, manage it where it is, or manage it in the default location.

      The "don't worry your pretty little head" default settings do work pretty damned well for the novice with all iLife apps pretty nicely integrated so the user can access movies, music, and pictures from other apps such as iDVD, mail etc. Timemachine will then take care of backups. Whilst it's not infallible and may not suit everyone it's good for the novice.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Fanboy nonsense.

        The default settings in Apple apps do not infact work well. They can be adequate if you are a very limited user. Then you find yourself in the position where you need some $80 helper app or your are tempted to extract all of your photos out of iPhoto and burn them onto DVDs.

        The "all our base belong to us" approach is entirely unecessary. Even with the "safer defaults" in iTunes, all of your own more interesting organization is going to be flattened and lost. The same goes for iPhoto. iMovie and iDVD are simply limited to Apple formats.

        The whole walled garden only seems easier if you aren't aware that there's some other way you could do something. Then it becomes unecessarily more difficult.

        Printing and saving on an iPhone is a great example of such an "out of the box" task.

    2. John I'm only dancing
      Thumb Down

      Pure bunk

      It is patently obvious that your female friend is absolutely clueless when it comes to using a Mac.

      I have various image handling software on mine and I certainly don't have iPhoto doing anything to them.

      I suggest you lady friend just finds a file, gets info and in the box where it says open with, change that to"............" (insert application of your choice), and hey presto, evertime a jpeg image is double clicked, it starts said programme up and opens the image.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Ho hum....

    Yet another blindingly obvious 'iPad is only good for media consumption in a walled garden' piece... Move along, nothing to see here.

    I hereby copyright the term 'Tunezkaban' :-)

  30. The Other Steve

    Look Away Now

    So I see that the cube monkeys' main problem with the iPad is - still - that they can't afford it.

    Let's say that I want to sprawl in bed on Sunday morning and surf the papers and trade press, maybe doing a little light research and some emailing. Maybe throw out some whimsical tweets or fire off a quick blog post.

    Sure I /could/ do that on a shitty 199 quid netbook. But I don't have to. If you think just south of 500 quid is to much payola for being able to that in a much nicer way, then you can look away now. You aren't in Apples target market for the iPad, or indeed any of it's other products.

    So you might as well all stop whining now.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      and your argument is?

      A rather feeble ad hominem reply to an actual argument that sharing files between apps has been made very difficult, and is an obstacle to ease of use. Apple touts ease of use as important (rather hard to deny), so why this set up which will not just make life harder, but creates all sorts of duplicates, eating up file space.

      Please indicate what this has to do with earnings?

      1. The Other Steve

        Ad what now ?

        "A rather feeble ad hominem reply"

        I think you need to go and google what that actually means. And practice your reading comprehension. I wasn't responding to the article, but to the continual whining about how expensive the iPad (or other Apple products are)

    2. Andy Enderby 1


      @ the other Steve.

      So your argument is essentially, "Look at my wad !, you're too poor, we don't want you".......


      Don't forget that 500 quid only gets you the castrated less useful model too.

      1. The Other Steve

        Almost, yes

        "So your argument is essentially, "Look at my wad !"

        Indeed, I had originally titled it "Fucking paupers", but I thought that might get moderated.

        "you're too poor, we don't want you"......."

        More like "you are not likely to part with a sufficiently large chunk of your disposable income to be in the target market for any Apple branded products, and therefore your opinion on their usablilty - or otherwise - is essentially redundant. They aren't aimed at you". But the broad thrust is essentially the same.

        "Don't forget that 500 quid only gets you the castrated less useful model too"

        Depends how you define "useful" doesn't it ? For the scenario described above, viz slacking off in bed (or on the sofa) the base model is perfectly adequate.

  31. Tim Brown 1

    the iPad - a great toy for cats

    nuff said.

    1. Syren Baran

      RE: the iPad - a great toy for cats → #

      Yes looks cute.

      How long till the pad is too scratched to be usable any longer?

      Though this does say something about the usefulness of the device. How come that so many people give their shiny expensive toy to their pets? Trying to figure out if at least someone likes it?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the iPad works like this?

    I don't work for Apple so I'm guessing but:

    A major problem with all mainstream desktop operating systems is that the security model is designed to protect the operating system, not your files. Once you run an application it can do what it likes to your data.

    One fix to this problem is to strictly associate each file with the application that created it. Under this model a malicious application can do what it likes but your data is safe. Unfortunately, this creates a host of usability problems as the article notes.

  33. jbelkin

    Complicating the iPad

    You missed the point of the iPad. For the average person, email lets you read WORD, EXCEL & PDF's. Any notes you write you can EMAIL to yourself.

    NOW, if you want more capability - you can complicate the situation by buying-downloading a PDF reader, mini spreadsheet app or mini whatever. IT IS AN OPTION and if you have the need or interest, there are THOUSANDS of add'l options but otherwise - NOT COMPLICATED unless you choose it to - that is the Apple ecosystem. Very SIMPLE - easy to use BUT if you want more and more complicated, YOU ARE FREE to go down that path - if it's too confusing for YOU personally, just choose the built path.

    1. Lou Gosselin

      Re: Complicating the iPad

      "Very SIMPLE - easy to use BUT if you want more and more complicated, YOU ARE FREE to go down that path - if it's too confusing for YOU personally, just choose the built path."

      Are you trying to be sarcastic? I do not understand your post, end users are limited by apple's gatekeepers whether they want to be or not.

      The suggestion that apple ought to give users a choice in the OS to "install only apple approved apps" and "install 3rd party apps" is a wonderful idea, but then developers would form third party app stores with which apple would have to compete. Obviously apple's intention all along was to prevent this.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @jbelkin: Why the ODD caps?

      I find YOUR CHOICE of capitalization VERY peculiar.

      You sound quite EXASPERATED. At THE end of YOUR TETHER, almost. Do you BY ANY CHANCE teach children with LEARNING difficulties? Or do YOU habitually TALK DOWN to people ANYWAY?

      Just CURIOUS.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


        I SUSPECT he has been PLAYING Beneath a Steel Sky JUST a LITTLE TOO much.

  34. bwrl

    You are right but there's a solution

    Apple's walled garden approach could hardly be better designed to kill the iPad as a productivity device if it tried. However, there is a solution.

    The solution is in the form of three facilities. Two of them are iPad apps, the other is a generic service.

    1. Dropbox. (Not the ipad app, the service). Use this instead of iTunes to transfer documents.

    2. Goodreader. Use this as your file manager. Organise and rename files at will. Use it to open your files in your productivity app of your choice.

    3. Documents 2 Go. This is your productivity app of choice. Forget about iWork. It is irrevocably broken - one hardly knows where to begin to describe its flaws, but they range from stripping out content, thru failing to display documents properly to countless others. D2G fixes all of this plus, and here is the killer feature, you can save back to dropbox at will.

    So there you are, document reading, writing, organising and editing all in 3 applications. Clumsy, yes, but it works. The fact that it's taken this amount of trial and error to find a way of doing what I need on the ipad points to either of two things. 1. Apple didn't properly think through how to make the ipad a productivity device. 2. they don't really want it to be one. On the first point, this is understandable. Foisting "real" computing onto a device based on the iphone/ipod lineage is challenging and may involve slaying sacred cows. If it's the second, it's just plain wrong. Competition will soon commoditise the consumption features of the ipad. Unless they can make it into an all-round "do everything" device - and quickly - others will get there first. The "i" phenomenon will be dead quicker than you can say knife and so, therefore, will apple.

    1. Mme.Mynkoff


      And useful too. Thanks.

  35. Bill Coleman

    AC: Why the iPad works like this?

    Spot on! The mac application model shows you a single icon for an app, but what is really going on under the hood is that this is actually the root folder of application, containing all the files that that application requires to run.

    In the case of iPhone OS permissions of the application are restricted to this containing folder of the application... i guess it is a security thing. but i don't see why they don't put in a shared read, write but not execute (666) folder space on the device and trust unix permissions to lock everything else away nicely. It might be a pain to implement this kind of a kernal hack, but it would be so worth it. It would make me re-think switching to android when my contract is up.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    makes me lol

    that genuine tech geeks think Dropbox is a real alternative to being able to move files around between devices that you have locally. I can imagine it being handy in a pinch for one or two files but it's not a long term solution. I think broadband internet has spoiled some of you guys.

    It'd be like boxing yourself up and calling Parcelforce to come and collect you, move you to their depot, then move you back to a different room in your own house. It's completely retarded. Not to mention you might soil yourself as you wait for them to return you to your toilet. But if you get up and walk there yourself Steve Jobs will Tase you back into line with the other Appletards.

    The 1984 Mac advert springs to mind, for all the wrong reasons. You guys fail like it's half time and the fail Olympics and they're handing out free samples of Fail.

  37. mmm mmm

    Ha ha ha


  38. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    "100 million shipped"

    Wow, that's a lot of iThingies. If the world population is close to 7 billion (10^9) then there's something mind boggling like an iThingie allegedly shipped for nigh every 70 or so people around....

    Great article. WRT your filesystem woes ... another great reason not to buy an iThingie imho. Thanks for the heads up.

    Have a beer!

  39. Anonymous Coward

    'nuff said. a waste of time/money

    no text, thank you.....

  40. noodle heimer

    How my mum got her ipad

    This is exactly how my mom wound up with an ipad.

    And she loves it. It lets her listen to music and read email and websites. She's never been able to sort out a computer with a GUI before, in part due to not wanting to.

    I haven't yet shown her the youtube video explaining that the ipad is the magical and revolutionary computing device for housecats. Seems unsporting.

    I have a large library of technical PDFs which I'd hoped to consult using the pad. But needing to use any of the kludges on offer was a complete fail - it simply wasn't worth the hassle to get the files on, and then to quickly update which were and which were not on it an ongoing way.

    A second issue is that my home network has a Netscreen running it, and Netscreens don't put the wireless network and the wired network in the same subnet. Nor do they make passing broadcast traffic between routed subnets trivial.

    Consequently, many bonjour based apps worked terribly in terms of reaching my filer. I was able, ultimately, to watch video from the filer - but I have a television for that, and if I want to watch something while out of sight of the TV, I want that something to be displayed on a screen that can be easily stood up, then repositioned.

    Now I have a CULV laptop for my dicking around the house toy. It runs win7 if I need it to, but spends most of its time running ubuntu. It has a useable local file system and is able to reach things in the house by IP address rather than by broadcast.

    It is not magical and revolutionary, but it is very much more functional for me.

  41. boingo

    love my ipad but

    Having the same frustration as the author.

    You get an email, with say a PDF attachment that I need to upload to our web based CRM system. Show me how!!

    Its really annoying that web based upload from local filesystem doesnt work on ipad. how hard would it be to have even a single folder where you can save email attachments and then grab from from within safari.

    As it stands I cant use my ipad for work while Im out.

  42. Exnewfie

    Air Sharing HD

    Great article. You forgot to mention that Air Sharing HD transfers (via wifi) at an amazing 0.5 MB/s so it will take about 36 hours to transfer 64GB. If you transfer via iTunes you can't transfer folders. As a viewer Air Sharing HD sucks. Apple has positioned the iPad as a tool to sell you more stuff.

  43. Britt Johnston
    IT Angle

    justifiying a mass order

    I have a colleague who recommends handing out an i-thingy to all employees with an app to maintain "their" company data. This will be cheaper than any IT data improvement project.

  44. M Gale

    Re: justifying a mass order

    Hang on a minute.. your colleague recommends buying a shedload of expensive tablets (and then jailbreaking them presumably, to run a company app).

    Over what.. buying a honking great (but much less expensive) server, writing a web app to do the same thing, and then letting your employees use any web browser/device that they want?

    Could even buy them all a cheapy 3G netbook AND the server, and still probably save money over buying everyone an iToy.

    Am I being thick here, or is it your colleague?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is an anagram of Arsehair.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Walled Garden

    Had a play with one of these yesterday. I personally would only buy one if it enhanced my ego - "I've got one".

    Sadly my ego will not allow me to part £450+ of my money on a device that looks nice, does a few neat tricks but in reality has a 10th of the functionality of my net book.

    OK my net book cannot perform the same screen magic, but can the IPad play Quake and run a proper web browser like Firefox? Oh and while I'm at it I will just ftp that file I need from the server!

    Paris because I would say 'I' to go to her Pad.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Grumpy old men?

    My intolerance for corporate moron bullshit has grown to the point that if it's any more than one step beyond the "Light Bulb on - Light Bulb off" idiots delight, then in the bin it goes.

    As fas as Apple and it's DRM -arising of my own property goes, I wonder if they understand what the words "Go fuck yourself" mean.

  48. Spider

    not a staunch supporter of any os

    but flicking through these comments, even the most ardent supporters of the iPad say something along the lines of "well, no, it's not easy or perfect" does kind of ring alarm bells...

    ...and no saying that linux or windows does something equally as annoying or badly at something else does not make apple any better, just equally annoying. Which is a shame, because for style and capability I really want to like them. Just because of their business practice I cannot bring myself to do it...

    bottom line remains for me, if I pay for something it is then my device/comp/phone, i'll keep using whichever treats me most as a customer and not a renter.

  49. megawatt

    iTunes proprietry control over iPhone will ultimately cost apple it's lead

    Thank goodness it's not just me tearing my hair out with the iTunes and it's control freak grip it holds over the iPhone.

    I bought the iPhone 3GS 32GB on O2 at launch and paid £275 cash plus signed an 18 month contract.

    The main problems with this phone are;

    1) iTunes proprietry control over iPhone;

    File transfer limitations / MP3's / Photos (iTunes not populating track/album names properly for my MP3 collection and not being able to get photos off the iphone onto my PC without iTunes wanting to erase my photos)

    2) Flash

    3) Battery life

    Two of these problems sound fixed with the new iphone 4 having LED flash and a slighty longer talktime with a bigger battery.

    iTunes just needs to be totally opened up or Apple risks losing the mainstream to

    technically superior next generation open smartphones that will play any media format

    and sync content easily between any PC/Mac/NAS/Cloud which are just waiting in the wings

    of the R&D labs of the other big players like Google, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft.

    A lot of friends with iPhone have also been moaning about how rubbish and locked down iTunes is when it comes to file transfers. Unless Apple ditches it's control freak habits I can't see the majority of iphone users queing up for an upgrade to experience a repeat performance of an iTunes lockdown. Google, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft please take note.

  50. Big-nosed Pengie


    "Jobsian fondle-slab"

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