Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things About My iPad That Drive Me Crazy

I’m on record stating my admiration for my new iPad. But there are a few things about it that drive me crazy. They’re extremely frustrating because they’re no brainers to fix, and I bump into them nearly every day.

So, some questions for Apple:

  1. Why the goofy USB cable? You couldn’t use a standard micro-USB cable like just about everyone else on the planet? I have to carry around another cable in my computer bag, that always gets lost among everything else that’s in there. Dumb.
  2. Why can’t the iPad share my computer’s network connection through this USB cable? In Android phone parlance, we call this “wired tethering”. The fact that this tiny thing is missing from the iPad is infuriating, and insulting to the users.
  3. Why is the toolbar for the Mail app at the top? It should be at the bottom. I get a lot of mail. But I delete most of it after glancing at it. So my finger is generally poised over the Trash button. But then my arm blocks the reading pane. I thought you guys were supposed to be great at UIs?
  4. Speaking of this app, why plain text for mails? I understand that on a phone, but the iPad has a nice big roomy screen. Why not some styling capabilities?
  5. And why do I have to click on a link to find out where it goes? Outlook shows me the actual URL for any link before I click on it. So if I suspect it’s a phishing link, I can look to check before I click.
  6. Who designed the App Store, and have you fired this person yet? Seriously, this should be lesson one in “How not to design an e-commerce app”. Specifically:
    1. The searching is awful. It searches the entire store, not by category. There’s no keyword search, so if I’m looking for, say, RSS readers, and I type “RSS reader” into the search, I’m going to miss most of them. Why? The search only searches for names. I have to know the name of the product I’m searching for before searching. UGH!
    2. In the Android Marketplace, if I buy an app, I have 30 minutes to return it for a full refund. No such luck with the App store. I must’ve checked out 20 different RSS readers and Twitter clients (once I figured out their names with Bing research). Almost all of them cost money, and I had to buy every single one. And most of them I knew within 30 seconds of starting them up that I wasn’t interested. But still I was out my $2, $3, and in one case $10 for each of them. Thanks so much.
    3. Also, this isn’t your problem, but the apps in the Android marketplace are generally cheaper (a huge percentage of them are free), get more frequent updates, and are higher quality.
  7. Why can’t I set an order of preference for WiFi access points? I have two at work, a public and a private. So, the information is stored on my iPad on how to connect to each. I always want to connect to the private net unless it’s down for some reason. But the iPad just apparently joins whichever one it sees first. More often than not this is the public one. I had to make the iPad forget how to connect to the public to get this working. One day I’m going to need to reconnect to it though, and I hope I can find the passkey again.
  8. Why is it so expensive? Just like most of your products, it costs too much. I love FaceTime. It’s a wonderful app for video calls and the iPad’s size is so much nicer for something like this than a cell phone. I’d love to buy iPads for my parents and my wife’s parents so that they can video call our daughters.  But your price point puts that out of the question. I could almost talk myself into the $299 for an iPad 1, although that’s still probably $100 higher than I’m willing to go. But the iPad 1 doesn’t have cameras. No FaceTime. Grrr.

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