iPad: iGlad or iSad?

TWO iPads? Try TWENTY.

Well, our contest should be up.

I mean, the iPad came out a week ago. And the contest said it’d end when we got 20 (16GB wifi models). So, we must have them by now.

You’d think.

Well, I’m not sure what the hold up is. I mean, *I* got one no problem on launch day. I don’t know why *YOU* guys haven’t yet. Of course, I had to pay for mine.

So don’t complain. Or if you do, don’t do it on twitter. Or if you do, don’t use the “fail”. I’m sure we’ll have our prize iPads in hand this week, and the winners will be announced soon thereafter!

In The Meantime

I thought I might as well give my early hands-on review of the device. After all, who doesn’t want to know what Internet-pundit extraordinaire Josh Jones thinks about everything?

iGlad:

* the battery does seem to last a really long time.
* and yet, it’s zippier than an iPhone 3GS… playing Katamari on it is radical.
* it’s good for games for sure. To me, Flight Control HD is worth the $503.99 all on its own!
* for now, it’s still a chick magnet.

iBad:

* I’m still a newb, but so far I still type faster on the iPhone keyboard. Grrr.
* it’s new and so are the apps .. sometimes the wifi doesn’t auto-reconnect, and sometimes apps crash.
* old iPhone apps do not all work perfectly. For example, NBA league pass crashes when trying to watch any video, and bobby universal remote doesn’t respond when you push any button.
* it’s heavier than you expect. After using it for a while, try picking up your iPhone. You’ll throw it through the ceiling.
* it’s awkward to use when sitting at a table. Or on a couch. It’s kind of hard to prop up on things… and nobody’s really going to watch an entire episode of Lost on a 1.5 pound tablet they’re holding in their hands.
* you can’t download .epub files from Safari straight into iBooks… you have to download them to your computer, import them into iTunes, then sync them with your iPad… the iPad in general still requires a real computer.
* at current prices, the magazine and newspaper apps are not too “game-changing.” They cannot charge $5 an issue for a digital version of Popular Science! Whether it’s rational or not, people feel like a sucker paying the same price for a digital periodical as they do a paper one. They won’t spend $5 on a digital issue of something they can get a year’s paper subscription of for $12.

So?

I’d say it’s definitely a “third device” .. one that’s not going to replace cell phones or laptops. At least not until somebody makes a case for it like this Lenovo thing:

This is why everybody's buying a lenovo ideapad!

That, along with multi-tasking in iPhone OS 4.0 (due in September on the iPad), could potentially make it a laptop replacement for some people. An easy-to-use, sub-two-pound, 10-hour-battery-life, instant-on laptop for $500!

Hmm, in fact, some guy’s already working on the iPad LapDock. Hopefully it isn’t going to stay made of wood?! I wouldn’t put it past him. Jackass.

But as is, the iPad is still a pretty fun gadget! I’d pretty much describe it as a “toy” for now… one your spouse, your parents, your teenage kids and your toddlers are all going to want for Christmas. And by December, the combination of new peripherals, apps, and the OS update are going to make the iPad a legit netbook killer to boot.

Speaking of New Apps

Well, it’s not exactly an App (yet), but one thing I realized about a week before the iPad launched was how perfect it was going to be for children’s books.

Thanks to the Kindle, this eBook thing is starting to take life, but so far the children’s eBook thing is stillborn, due to the Kindle’s e-ink screen. On the other hand an iPad, with it’s full-color display, multi-touch capabilities, and uncanny resemblance to every child’s favorite device, is just right for them!

Free Children's Books for the iPad!

Which is why I whipped up ePub Bud!

It’s basically “YouTube for Children’s eBooks” (right down to the logo)… which means you can use it to upload, create, and share children’s books for the iPad (or any other ebook reader that supports the open .ePub format)!

What can you do with ePub Bud?

1. Write your own children’s ebook, and illustrate it with pictures you upload or choose from 20,000 free images.. then share it with the world or just your own family!

2. Browse through thousands of free children’s books others have written or uploaded, and download them to your iPad, read them from your browser, or save them to your laptop.

3. Upload your existing ebooks in any unencrypted format and have them converted to the .epub file format for loading onto your iPad (.epub is the only format the iBooks can currently read)!

4. Mail us your physical children’s books and we’ll digitize them for free into an .epub file… the book world equivalent of “ripping” your CDs to your iPod!

5. Finally, besides rating, tagging, and commenting on books, you can even create a new “edition” of any book on ePub Bud, allowing you to edit it to your own liking. Translate it to another language, put in alternative illustrations, or just fix a typo… it’s like wikipedia meets eBooks!

So that’s it, go get you some free children’s books for the iPad today!

You don’t actually need an iPad to read or contribute. And I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, but….. it works for non-children’s books too.

Though you might as well get an iPad now. You’ll have one by December 26th anyway.

I get my tigers and my lilys mixed up.