Saturday, April 03, 2010

Touched an iPad

I touched an iPad today. My roommate and I went to the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto around 9:30 this evening, and we fiddled around with the "revolutionary" new product.

Read different web pages (TED Talks, NY Times), tested apps like iTunes, Numbers (the Apple version of Excel), YouTube, Photo Gallery, etc. 

The iBooks application was quite interesting: it simulated many aspects of a book quite well, like flipping pages, searching through chapters, even showing you how much of the chapter is left. But the two things I wish it could do better: (1) There should be an easy way to highlight and keep text that you want. The current method is a bit involved; you have to double click, then drag a node to highlight text. Maybe you could just hold a button with your left hand, and then any text you highlight or circle would become highlighted. And (2) you should be able to write notes on the page, on top of the text.

Left: Roommate watching a TED talk. Right: Me reading the NY Times. As always. =P

Another neat thing: I could also hand-write Chinese characters! Woohoo! It was kind of awesome. There's something very tactile, something that gives one a sense of pleasure in writing the characters themselves, instead of simply typing the pinyin and selecting the matching symbol. That directness is very satisfying, like pen to paper -- perhaps even closer, because it is one's own finger. I do wish Apple would hurry up and provide support for 正體/繁體 traditional characters, though.

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