Friday, April 09, 2010, 08:05 am PT (11:05 am ET)
In-depth review: Apple's IPad and iPhone OS 3.2
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iPad software: other notable details
Contacts: Rather than being a simply listing like iPhone, the Contacts app for iPad presents a nice looking interface that shames Mac OS X's Address Book, both in visual appeal and actual usability. You can slide though the alphabet, touch a bookmark to page over to your contact groups and then back to your contact listings, and you actually see the contacts' photos.
Calendar: Like Contacts, Calendar presents a rich display that borrows a lot from the Mac OS X Calendar. But it also adds "touch to inspect" controls to your events in the calendar that make it a snap to edit. And when you edit, you get a familiar iPhone-style entry editor, with date and time spinners. Again, you also get a slider control that lets you quickly navigate through time.
Notes: More room to type, with a nice looking navigation list of your synced notes. Takes advantage of iPhone 3.2's spell correction, which highlights unrecognized words and offers suggested alternatives at a touch.
Maps: The user interface shrinks down into a thin toolbar strip, leaving a vast area open to multitouch perusal. Setting up point-to-point directions is fast and easy. Doesn't yet support Google Maps Navigation, but this could likely be part of iPhone 4.0.
Safari: Again, a mix of iPhone's simple bookmarks and history lists, an alternative to tabbed browsing that lies between iPhone's and desktop Safari's Top Sites. synced links to your desktop Bookmarks Bar (shown below), and a vast expanse of area devoted to the content you're browsing.
Mail: More of that familiarity of the iPhone with a redesigned interface sporting a simple toolbar on top and lots of room for viewing your content. When you receive emails with attachments, Mail will Quick Look view them in place, and can offer to open Office/iWork documents with iWork apps (as shown below). iPhone 4 will extend this feature to other third party apps that open documents.
Photo: Apple remade this application for iPad to show off pinch and hold gestures, making a fun and fast way to find and show off your photos. You can also browse pictures by iPhoto 09's Faces and Places (show below), as well as by album and event. There's also a handy interface for selecting a batch of pictures you can then either copy to the clipboard or send in an email via the touch of a button.
Videos, iPod, iTunes and App Store: Well this is confusing. iTunes is actually the iTunes Store, which is somewhat understandably separate from the App Store. At the same time, iPod actually looks like the desktop version of iTunes. But unlike the iPhone version, it only plays music. If you want to watch your movies, you have to launch the separate Videos apps. This seems a little confusing. Why not one integrated app?
YouTube: Apple's client for Google's YouTube service emphasizes logging in as a user and viewing your videos, subscriptions and favorites. These features were available in the iPhone app, but the new screen real estate on iPad makes it easy to present more options, as well as more videos, larger and in high quality.
On page 8 of 10: iPad overall impressions; iPad's exclusive period of little competition; and Comparisons to previous Apple products.
On Topic: Current Hardware
- Teardown of 27" Retina iMac reveals identical parts, construction as last-gen model
- Apple's new Mac mini lacks user-replaceable memory
- Apple discontinues Mac mini server, limits storage options with latest hardware refresh
- First look: Eyes-on with the new iMac's super-resolution 5K Retina display
- Apple's Mac mini receives long-awaited update with 4th-gen Intel CPUs, price cut to $499