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New iPad Air Wi-Fi - Personal Review - Comments.
Old 02-02-2014, 08:53 AM   #1
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New iPad Air Wi-Fi - Personal Review - Comments.

Last week someone was kind enough to give me a Brand new iPad Air Wi-Fi 128gb as a birthday Gift. Before I start I am a retired Electronic Engineer and I would like to think I am NOT electronically challenged, in the past I have usually given in an jumped on a new FAD.

As basically everyone I know uses iPads I have had plenty of time to decide that I HATE it!, and all Apple products in general. My main pet peeve is being held against my will in Apple Jail. But all dislikes aside I decided to give it a shot. I played with it for 3 days (without removing the protective plastics or using any of the accessories that came with it.) I even purchased an iLuv pro BT KB to make my life easier. I have not even used the first battery charge it comes with.

Results:

I am NOT convinced of it's long term value, and it is most likely going on Craiglist, into Local Paper or eBay, and most likely I am going to sell it. But alas there are some really nice things about. Unfortunately NONE IMHO are due to usability and app availability which is the substance of all reviews on the net. Here is my uneducated review.

I will start with the cons again IMHO.

1) All the metal makes it pretty heavy in my opinion.
2) My Galaxy S4 does EVERYTHING and much more without any Apple Jail Restrictions. (The Screen unfortunately is a little small, I should have got a Galaxy Note) Free Paid Apps every day with Amazon, See an app on your computer you like, DL it copy it to Android, install it and your done.
3) iTunes again Apple Jail.
4) No direct unrestricted connection to MS Windows 7 or 8 for file transfers and FTP etc.
5) No Memory expansion (SD Card)
6) Multi Tasking is a Kluge, having to double click to stop apps running. There should be an IOS 7..4 option to close app on exit. In fact apps should have an exit button.

The Good, Now I will admit they out weigh the cons (really only because of the mechanical and ergonomic design) and of course if you like being told what to do, buy and how to use it by Apple.

1) OUTSTANDING Screen, although if I was to choose I would have bought an iPad Mini with Retina.
2) Did I mention the screen is brilliant!
3) FAST overall
4) It Looks trick, sexy and modern. (The kids like it)
5) Potentially a good gaming platform
6) Excellent for Web surfing.

Summary:

*** - If it ran Android, I would buy 3 for the whole family. - ***

The only real good for it again IMHO is as an Web Browser and a reader, most other things are tedious. For a Kid who lives on FaceBook it is good too. If you cannot move around, it is handy to look up stuff from your armchair without going to your laptop. But one could argue that if the laptop was near you.......

I much prefer my laptop for everything including surfing, I do have 3 laptops around.

So my verdict in next week it goes up for sale, someone will get a great deal on a brand new unit, for $100 under what it sells for everywhere. I will give my local friends first refusal, they may want to upgrade their older iPads.

I will then go out and buy an open android tablet, put up with the sad below averaged screen, a minor inconvenience that my eyes sooner or later will get used to as I do not spend all day playing Angry Birds or Poker. And begin to use my Samsung S4 as a phone.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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Interesting review, although I find both tablets and oversized phones like the Samsung to be cumbersome and useless compared to a nice laptop with a regular keyboard.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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We have always been an Apple household, not because I 'love' Apple, but because I always thought they were less bad than Windows/MS.

So I've moved to Linux, which 99% of the time I find I like FAR better than OSX, and any smartphones under my control are Android. When I finally buy a tablet, it will be Android (or maybe some other Linux variant). Some comments on your specific observations:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
...
2) My Galaxy S4 does EVERYTHING and much more without any Apple Jail Restrictions. ... Free Paid Apps every day with Amazon, See an app on your computer you like, DL it copy it to Android, install it and your done.

3) iTunes again Apple Jail.
But the Apple store also has lots of free apps, right? I'm not sure this is a big deal?

But I do HATE the way the Apple App Store operates. They ONLY include the latest version of an app. If you liked the old one better, and try the new, you will be out of luck (unless you managed to archive the old app somewhere so it does not auto-magically get 'updated'). Worse (and this bit me), if you are trying to use an older device for simple tasks, often the only apps in the store are the new ones, and they don't support your old OS. This has made a perfectly serviceable iPod Touch I have almost useless. I don't expect the old device to handle the newest features in apps, but why can't I get access to the apps that were written for my device, and suit my limited needs just fine? They are gone - I can't get to them! 'Thanks' Apple!

No such restriction in the Android world.


Quote:
5) No Memory expansion (SD Card)
This is a biggie for me as well. You can get 8GB SD cards for ~ $6, swap them out for different needs if you want, move/share with another device, or decide to upgrade to 16GB or more later for cheap. Apple locks you into whatever you bought at a high price/GB. No flexibility - No thanks.

I'd add 'no HDMI port' to these issues. I'd like the flexibility to connect it directly to a TV or monitor with a cheap, generic, reliable standards-based cable instead of needing some expensive proprietary method to connect.

And standard micro-USB for charging and computer connection, and ability to just store things on the device by mounting it as a USB drive. Apple doesn't easily allow for this.


Quote:
6) Multi Tasking is a Kluge, having to double click to stop apps running. There should be an IOS 7..4 option to close app on exit. In fact apps should have an exit button.
I just find IOS kludgy in general compared to Android. Android has those standard menu keys always available (especially useful is that 'one step back' button), whereas IOS only has the 'HOME' button.

I just started using the SWYPE keyboard on Android, and it's fantastic. And it doesn't force you to swype, you can hunt-peck letter by letter just like the 'standard' input, it just gives you option and works far better. Oh, SWYPE is not available on IOS.

When I upgraded DW's iPad to the latest IOS, I couldn't believe how bad it was. There are so many 'actions' now that work in non-standard ways, and have absolutely no 'hinting' to suggest how to use them. An example is the camera app - to choose between Video, Picture, and 'Square Picture' mode, you don't tap the icon for each of those, as we have been trained since the very first touch screens - you grab them and slide them to a pointer!? I had to go on-line to figure this out, I couldn't get it to work reliably - and plenty of other people were confused as well. And tapping the screen in different areas does different things - w/o any 'hinting' to guide you. It's a real mess, IMO. This version of IOS has forced me to read the manual far more than any other version, because there are so many inconsistencies. That's not progress.

-ERD50
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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We have a Win PC and laptop so I'm not an Apple devotee, but I use my iPad2 daily and wouldn't be without. When/if they offer a 12.9" iPad Pro I will upgrade. I use the iPad far more than our desktop or laptop.

We have Android smartphones, and they seem functional enough but definitely not better. All the alternatives have basically copied what Apple created offering "me too" products for the most part. Apple "just works" and they lead reliability surveys over and over, that's worth something to some folks.

Look at the bright side, whether you prefer iOS or Android "jail," consumers benefit from the smartphone and tablet competition.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
The only real good for it again IMHO is as an Web Browser and a reader, most other things are tedious. For a Kid who lives on FaceBook it is good too. If you cannot move around, it is handy to look up stuff from your armchair without going to your laptop. But one could argue that if the laptop was near you.......

I much prefer my laptop for everything including surfing, I do have 3 laptops around.
I like both my iPad and my laptop. However, for me, well, my iPad is more like a pretty toy and my laptop is my actual computer. So if I had to choose between them, my laptop would win hands down.

Luckily, I don't have to choose! I can have, and enjoy, both.

Honestly I don't really see iPads and laptops as competing with one another at all, because to me they are different types of devices with different function and a different purpose in my life.

Don't know anything about android.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
...

Honestly I don't really see iPads and laptops as competing with one another at all, because to me they are different types of devices with different function and a different purpose in my life.

Don't know anything about android.
But the OP is not debating IOS versus laptop, he is comparing IOS to an Android tablet:

.... I will then go out and buy an open android tablet

-ERD50
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
But the OP is not debating IOS versus laptop, he is comparing IOS to an Android tablet:

.... I will then go out and buy an open android tablet

-ERD50
Oh for Pete's sake. Are you THAT bored this morning? Did you even read his post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
The only real good for it again IMHO is as an Web Browser and a reader, most other things are tedious. For a Kid who lives on FaceBook it is good too. If you cannot move around, it is handy to look up stuff from your armchair without going to your laptop. But one could argue that if the laptop was near you.......

I much prefer my laptop for everything including surfing, I do have 3 laptops around.
(emphasis mine)
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Oh for Pete's sake. Are you THAT bored this morning? Did you even read his post?

(emphasis mine)
Just trying to clarify - I thought the main crux of his post was Android versus IOS, that's all.

No snarkiness required.


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Old 02-02-2014, 10:29 AM   #9
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Just trying to clarify - I thought the main crux of his post was Android versus IOS, that's all.

No snarkiness required.
Exactly, so I look forward to your omission of such snarkiness aimed at me next time, especially when you obviously haven't even read the original post. It doesn't elevate the level of discussion.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:39 AM   #10
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I am NOT convinced of it's long term value, and it is most likely going on Craiglist, into Local Paper or eBay, and most likely I am going to sell it.
One thing that's pretty nice about apple products is that they hold their resale value very well. Think 5 year old laptops still selling used for $400-500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
So I've moved to Linux, which 99% of the time I find I like FAR better than OSX, and any smartphones under my control are Android.
One of the reasons I like OS X is due to unix underpinnings. Unfortunately Linux has never had good photographic support which makes it a non-starter for me except as a secondary machine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
But I do HATE the way the Apple App Store operates. They ONLY include the latest version of an app. If you liked the old one better, and try the new, you will be out of luck (unless you managed to archive the old app somewhere so it does not auto-magically get 'updated').
This has annoyed me too. I've often downloaded a free app which was later updated to have way more advertising or some other very annoying feature. I guess part of me thinks I shouldn't complain since it's free, part of me blames the app developers, and I'm also annoyed at apple for the reason you stated. In this case I usually delete the app.


Quote:
This is a biggie for me as well. You can get 8GB SD cards for ~ $6, swap them out for different needs if you want, move/share with another device, or decide to upgrade to 16GB or more later for cheap. Apple locks you into whatever you bought at a high price/GB. No flexibility - No thanks.
I was surprised to learn that my Nexus phone also has no SD card slots.


Quote:
And standard micro-USB for charging and computer connection, and ability to just store things on the device by mounting it as a USB drive. Apple doesn't easily allow for this.
I actually like the lightning connector. With my nexus 5 I have to look at plug and device to make sure it's going in the right way.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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So my verdict in next week it goes up for sale, someone will get a great deal on a brand new unit, for $100 under what it sells for everywhere. I will give my local friends first refusal, they may want to upgrade their older iPads.

I will then go out and buy an open android tablet, put up with the sad below averaged screen, a minor inconvenience that my eyes sooner or later will get used to as I do not spend all day playing Angry Birds or Poker. And begin to use my Samsung S4 as a phone.
Thanks for the review. It's nice to have both options, and everyone's feedback is welcome here.
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New iPad Air Wi-Fi - Personal Review - Comments.
Old 02-02-2014, 10:48 AM   #12
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New iPad Air Wi-Fi - Personal Review - Comments.

I would just like to say that I wish someone would give me a 128 gig anything. Really nice!

I have a non retina ipad mini. Will probably get an iPhone now just for the integration of texts and photos as I need a new phone and am tired of jumping hoops to do it with android phone and apple ipad (and don't want to invest any time in trying to make it easier when I need a new phone anyway). Also DH, both kids, and their spouses are iPhoned and iPadded so FaceTime is huge with us.

I love my windows laptop for real writing etc. and will never move to an apple for that. Maybe. Still holding a grudge about the IIgs....
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New iPad Air Wi-Fi - Personal Review - Comments.
Old 02-02-2014, 11:06 AM   #13
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Re lightning connector--the cord is quite fragile at the lightning end so don't ever let it bend there. I am on my second one in six months (reviews on apple store agree), and I believe iOS 7 will not work without an official apple connector so no trying to get a cheaper one on Amazon. I could be wrong on that.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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If you have no interest in apps, then the cheaper Android apps make more sense.

Otherwise you're mostly getting apps. designed for phones stretched on those Android tablets.

Also, some people prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio for browsing and reading in portrait mode while others prefer the 16:9 aspect ratio of Android tablets for viewing movies.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:14 AM   #15
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I've often downloaded a free app which was later updated to have way more advertising or some other very annoying feature. I guess part of me thinks I shouldn't complain since it's free, part of me blames the app developers, and I'm also annoyed at apple for the reason you stated. In this case I usually delete the app.
Isn't it funny how many of us, self included, expect a developer to write apps that we want without expecting to be paid - either directly or via advertising? It's completely unrealistic when you stop and think about it IMO.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:34 AM   #16
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Interesting anti-Ipad review. I was too cheap to buy into Apple and went with the Nexus 7 for a tablet. It's great value play for me. I prefer a more open source for software.

Still need my desktop PC though. And DW has the laptop.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #17
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I waited a long time before getting an iPad as I thought there was no useful niche for a device positioned between my desktop and smartphone. After siblings and coworkers got them and loved them, I gave it a try.

My iPad gets at least as much use as the phone and much more than the desktop. As time has gone on, I find more uses, both practical and entertainment, for the tablet. For example, when watching TV (whether sports, movies or regular shows), it's really nice to have a device to get stats, find out more about an actor, story, etc in real time. The browsing experience is much better than the phone and makes the experience quick and seamless.

My thoughts on the OP's review...to each his/her own on devices, operating systems and computing "ecosystems." However, I recommend giving the device a month or so rather than 3 days before deciding that it doesn't have enough utility. You can still sell it for much the same price in a few weeks and your view may have changed with more use. My iPad wormed its way into many parts of my entertainment and information life over an extended period of time, rather than a couple of days.

Just one guy's thoughts...
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:59 AM   #18
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Oh gosh, I feel like a relic with my one desktop PC that I "built" a few years ago. I own no other internet or wifi connected devices, other than an internet radio that operates from wifi. I don't even have a cellphone, smart or dumb.

The good part of it is that when I leave the house, I am gloriously unconnected. No-one can reach me. I rather like that, and feel even more free to watch life going on around me, greet passers-by, and not have to be concerned with Tweeting/Googling/Facebooking every other thought that comes into my head. In case that last sentence makes me sound rather smug, I do spend an inordinate amount of time online on the desktop when at home though. I'm certainly no saint

It's nice being away from it though.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:08 PM   #19
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My thoughts on the OP's review...to each his/her own on devices, operating systems and computing "ecosystems." However, I recommend giving the device a month or so rather than 3 days before deciding that it doesn't have enough utility. You can still sell it for much the same price in a few weeks and your view may have changed with more use. My iPad wormed its way into many parts of my entertainment and information life over an extended period of time, rather than a couple of days.

Just one guy's thoughts...
I am definitely going to advertise it for sale next week. If it does not sell, or I cannot get what I think is a fair price for it I may take your advice. I have had a lot of $550 offers. I think I will Jailbreak it. I really do not have anything to loose and most I have read about it is positive except form Apple store geeks and apple them selves, but that is understanding.

I cannot forget the Screen. It is the best I have ever seen and there really is nothing to compete with it in that respect. As people have suggested, it is the ecosystem and philosophy of it I despise. Coming also from a Unix history.

The post was not intended as IOS vs Android, but just one person's opinion on the technological "Jails" we are all being forced into.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:18 PM   #20
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The post was not intended as IOS vs Android, but just one person's opinion on the technological "Jails" we are all being forced into.
+1

I agree about the "Jails", although I think probably there is not much we can do about it. These devices seem very popular and sell easily. Oh Brave New World.
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