Monday, 20 February 2017

My iPad Is An Ornament



Yes, the industrial design of the iPad Air 2 is really very good, however nerdy-geeky as I am even I wouldn't suggest using technology for purely decorative purposes in the home. Nevertheless, that is the only role that my iPad plays right now.

My iPad usage has never been great, in fact having tried and failed to get on with the iPad 2 a few years back, buying a replacement in the shape of the iPad Air 2 was a a mistake in retrospect. 

After a brief honeymoon period I found that all the shortcomings that frustrated me with my previous iPad still existed.  In essence the iPad is only as good as the apps you use and my experience of iPad versions of the things I use has been poor.

That's not to say that great iPad apps don't exist, they do in abundance, but generally they are edge use case items - things that you don't normally do unless you are a) appearing in an Apple iPad advert or b) trying to show off your iPad to your friends.

Safari on the iPad doesn't deliver the whole internet. You can't use any other browser because Apple locks third parties into the Safari engine and what you end up with are Firefox or Chrome skinned versions of the default browser with all the same limitations.

So the iPad has been relegated to a few tasks around the home, tasks that it performed well. Bedtime stories with my children, the occasional YouTube video, nothing too taxing.

Except that in recently it hasn't been able to perform even those basic functions well.

First the YouTube app failed to complete an update and spent three or four weeks in a state of paralysis - not able to launch, not able to delete, not able to update. The options for dealing with this sort of thing are limited and I was left to the YouTube web page in Safari until it magically resolved itself.

Now the Overdrive Library app - which I  use to meet the demands of reading with each of my children for at least half an hour every evening - has begun to misbehave. Book downloading times are incredibly slow, much slower than any other version of Overdrive, including the iPhone, page turning is sluggish and chapter end markers are causing the app to pause for 30-40 seconds or miss the fnal page in each chapter completely.

As you can imagine that's not something that can be tolerated. 

Now the latter issue may be specific to the iPad app rather than the iPad itself, but the upshot is the same: I've stopped using the iPad for that task and short of any other use it sits on my bedside table, wrapped in its lovely red leather Surface Pad cover performing the task of landing pad for my phone, wallet and keys each night.

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