"Great Product with Key Functions Crippled by Apple"3.5 starson by powgirl
Pros: Portable and lightweight, good for email, weather, contacts and to-do list
Cons: A lot of things you need to do are not allowed by Apple.
Summary: We just took our IPAD2 on a seven-week trip. It was great at checking email, the weather, skype, finding maps, and making little films we sent to the family. It could have been a perfect travel compantion. Unfortunately, a lot of things we would have liked to do are not supported by Apple itself--even though they could fairly easily have supported it.
A lot of hotel and accommodation sites use flash, so it is not advisable to rely on it to search for places to stay. We finally found an app browser that at least displays flash, so that helped when sites were suddenly disabled. (I think it is absurd to pay this much for a web device without even the option to turn on flash.)
Apple makes a big deal of 3G. We didn't have 3g, but managed to find wi-fi most places with a little effort. (hint: type things up in advance, so you have only to press send/receive at the wifi. See below.) 3G doesn't work in many places anyway, so that is not worth the extra money.
We bought some movies in English and a tv connector, so we could play them on the television set where we were staying. All from Apple. Which then said we were not allowed to play the movies on this device--meaning the tv. Why not? we paid of the Ipad, the movie and the cable. Two people trying to watch a movie on IPad doesn't work.
We couldn't drop photos in the file we shared with the family in Dropbox because Apple's camera roll doesn't support Dropbox. Why not? ICloud didn't exist, and now that it does, it only allows you to share files with your other apple devices, not with friends and family like Dropbox. They are our photos, no Apple's. This would be so simple to do. Or have a filing system, so we could do it ourselves.
And speaking of that. Anybody who says Apples are easier has never had to you that scrambled egg call ITunes as a their filing system--which is effectively what Apple forces Ipad users to do. So you have no filing system at all on the road. Don't buy the Apple apps that create documents. Find others that support things like Dropbox.
Typing on the screen keyboard in two languages with the infuriating autocorrect was a pain. It took an hour to spit out a few paragraphs. Next time, we would take a keyboard. Is there anyway to turn autocorrect off? We couldn't find it. We did like the international keyboards. That works well, though it takes a lot of looking around to install the keyboard then know how to select it.
Even though the apps exist, doing serious computing on the Ipad2 is impossible. We did like their travel spreadsheet template and used it all through the trip. We were forced to create Keynote presentations in other software and import before we left. We could then tweak it on the Ipad, but it would have taken a year to create it. Don't imagine you can do keynotes on the road.
We also bought a connection for our camera to the Ipad. But we were unable to use it because the Ipad couldn't handle the file formats except for low res jpegs and doesn't support Dropbox, so we could just send them home in their existing format.
IOS5/ICloud hasn't cured these problems that we can see. Had we been able to do some of these things, the IPad2 would have been a perfect travel companion.
Now that we are home, it's a wonderful thing to have around the house. Ours was a retirement present, but a rather expensive way to check your email and keep a to-do list. And very frustrating that it could do so much more if Apple would change just a few things. But apparently they have no intention of ever doing that according to your review. Without an attitude change, I don't think we would buy another IPad. A tablet certainly, but one without the shackles. It makes me wonder if the IPad is to survive as any more that the first of its kind.