iPad vs. Netbook, the Rebuttal, Part 1

This actually started off as a comment to Mara’s post, but it was becoming so long and drawn out, I decided it warranted its own post.  I will opt to provide a counterpoint to that post.  My intentions are entirely civil, and are intended to provide information.

First point, ease of use provided by keyboard.  This one should be fairly easy to counter.

The Apple Wireless Keyboard.  A work of art, that works (tm).

I have one on my desk at work, and have paired it to my iPad.  Works quite well.  Done.  Next?

Well, I would counter Mara’s second point, but it seems to be pro-iPad, so what’s the point?  Well, I could do the full-on counterpoint game, and speak in favor of the netbook, saying that while it is a small notebook computer, the small size of it prevents it from providing a full computer-esque experience the way a full-size laptop would.  I’m certainly not going to give up my 15″ MacBook Pro to use my netbook full-time… it’s good in a pinch, but certainly not a laptop killer.  I don’t feel so hot about this point, so I’m just going to move on to number 3.

It is true, multitasking in Apple mobile device world, is not so great, even with iOS 4.  However, if you can see beyond the negative (and incorrect) connotation the word “jailbreak” brings (if you care, it actually is a reference to escaping the way the BSD system on the iDevice locks you into a subset of the total filesystem via a chroot environment, otherwise known as a BSD jail), you can have multiple apps running at once… with the assistance of a plugin called Backgrounder.

When I first received and (jailbr… jailbroke… jailbreaked… caused to be jailbroken…) personalized… my iPad, Backgrounder had not yet been updated to run on iPhone OS 3.2 (which is what the iPad runs).  However, as of… mid-May-ish, it has been updated to work with version 3.2.  So, again, with Apple’s default software, you can’t multitask, but you CAN have more than one app going at once… you just can’t SEE more than one.  But they are indeed running, I assure you.

Mara also brings to light a good point about a major downfall of Apple’s mobile implementation of Safari… a lack of desktop-esque tabs.  Sadly, to my knowledge, there’s no way to modify Safari itself to enable real tabbed browsing.  However, Safari is not the only browser available for the iPad.  Two that I have used, that do indeed support a full tab system, are iCab ($1.99), and Atomic Web ($0.99, free version also available).

I look forward to Mara’s part 2, so that I can add mine. =D

About Christopher Galik

Tech Services Department, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District, Buffalo, NY. My district's name is longer than yours. I fix things with plugs.
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5 Responses to iPad vs. Netbook, the Rebuttal, Part 1

  1. Leslie Gates says:

    I’ve head the keyboard disables the touch interface. True? I haven’t bought a keyboard for this reason.

    • Christopher Galik says:

      Indeed, I am typing this reply on my iPad with my Apple Wireless Keyboard. I arrived at this page through the touch interface.

      This line is being typed with the on-screen keyboard, which I have made appear by pressing the “eject” button on the Bluetooth keyboard.

      The on-screen keyboard is still on-screen, and I am typing this line with the Bluetooth keyboard. You can indeed have your cake and touch your screen, too. =)

  2. Christopher Galik says:

    I will have to verify tomorrow, but I don’t remember that being the case. It does disable the on-screen keyboard (there are ways around this), but I don’t know how you would possibly be expected to interact with the iPad w/o the touchscreen, so I don’t imagine it disables it completely.

  3. Perfect Browser $2.99 has tabs and many other features including simulating a firefox, Internet explorer, or other browser interface. I like it a little better than Atomic.

  4. Joel says:

    I work with Safari for iPad’s “pages.” I find it more convenient than tabs because it’s out of the way, it’s a button press to access, and it provides page previews.

    I only brought my iPhone and iPad at ISTE. I use the iPhone when I’m mobile and to take pictures.

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