Don't get me wrong, I'm as excited about a shiny new toy as any other warm-blooded geek. That said, no gadget is perfect, and there are a few things the iPad doesn't do that we really wish it did. In fact, without a lot of these things, the iPad isn't going to be able to take on netbooks like Apple wants it to — though it still may have a shot at ereaders.
Click continue and check out 7 things Apple left out of the iPad, and why it's making it that much harder for us to really fall in love with the device.
Right up front is one of our biggest gripes with the iPad: you can only use one app at a time. Want to fire up Pandora and run it in the background while you hammer out some text in iWorks? You can't. With all of these wonderful apps, why make us choose just one?
2. Flash Support
I'm all for the iPad's promise of being the best way to surf the web. The tablet lends itself well to that kind of casual experience, but without Flash support you just aren't really getting what today's web has to offer. If you wanted to head over to Hulu and watch a show, for instance, you wouldn't be able to.
3. Handwriting Recognition
A tablet such as the iPad absolutely screams for handwriting recognition, but, alas, Apple's touchscreen technology is still mired by the mindset that it's only good for finger-pecking. With some kind of write-to-text, we wouldn't be at the mercy of the clumsy virtual keyboard (more on that below).
It's something that the iPad's ol' cousin, the iPhone, also suffers from, and we're sad to see it passed on to the iPad as well. Especially for people who live in cities such as New York City and San Fransisco, where the virtues of 3G are often questioned due to congestion. If the iPad had tethering available, it'd make the $500+ price of entry easier to swallow for those of us who
don't want to pay a subscription fee.
(As pointed out in the comments below, tethering isn't a workaround when it comes to a subscription fee. What we mean is that with tethering, we'd have the kind of versatility we need when the primary means for a largely online-dominated device doesn't cut it. Tethering can in fact be more expensive, besides, if your plan doesn't allow it.)
5. Better Virtual Keyboard
If the iPad wants to be known as more than just a "giant iPod/iPhone," then it probably shouldn't have the same virtual keyboard as its predecessors. While the virtual keyboard works fine on the iPhone, the iPad's wideness makes typing with two hands feel clumsy and awkward, yet its size and the presence of iWorks makes it feel like something you want to type on. Sure, you could get an external keyboard, but at that point you may as well just get a cheaper netbook.
6. A Camera
The iPad's roomy, crisp screen is great for viewing photos, and Apple's really outdone itself improving pinch controls to help you navigate through your albums. That said, you won't be taking any new photos with this thing. Not only that, but the iPad would have been a great candidate for video conferencing as it has a mic. Still, no dice. No camera.
7. A Real Computer OS
A few of these problems — such as flash and multitasking — could have been avoided altogether just by having the iPad run a meatier processor, but it's stuck with iPhone OS 3.2, which keeps it locked into that family of devices. It did learn a few tricks the iPhone can't thanks to its bigger screen such as split-views and popovers, but it's going to take more than that to win us over to the iPad.
As a device, we're excited to see where the iPad will go. As it stands now, however, this is a first generation product and it certainly shows.