Living the iPad lifestyle, what it can’t do…

So a week plus into being an iPad user the initial shine continues…

But in the interest of balance a short list of the things that really fall in the ‘you can’t get there from here’ category.

File Handling
For most of the things you want to do on the Internet from email to updating your blog, the iPad can get it done – until you hit the issue of files. Whether it is sending an attachment in email or uploading a picture to your blog there are some serious limits. Now I use Gmail for almost everything so saving a file locally and attaching it to another email really isn’t an issue for me. But if you are using a conventional mail service (POP/IMAP) I think the average person is going to run into problems. The limit I hit was taking some pictures off my iPad and post them to my blog. You can do it but forget even basic edits before you throw them up. In short, if the web enabled service can manipulate what you need, don’t count on the iPad doing it locally.

Per User support/Guest Mode
This sounds silly for a ‘personal’ device but unlike and iPod or an iPhone it is significantly more common for someone else to be using my iPad. I know many people share laptops and never think about multi-user set up. There are too many hard coded preferences in the iPad apps to just pass it around as is. At the very least a ‘guest mode’ with limited access to some Apps or their preferences (twitter clients, email, and facebook come to mind) would go a long way.

Multiple Clipboards/Scratch Space
I use multiple clipboards on my regular machines all the time and I love it. The ability to key the last 10 or 20 things you cut and drop it back in just saves so much hassle. In the iPad with no ‘drag and drop’ option there needs to be a way to keep the app switching to a minimum. Just the idea of taking a URL and a clip of text from webpage in Safari and get it into a email seems be a little more than I really want to do.

Browser Extensions
The issues with Flash on the iPad is well known. Not really something I worry much about as I run Flash blockers on my desktops as well. But there are many useful browser extensions that I would like to run. Not the least of which is my password manager 1Password. Since Safari 5 just recently got browser extensions, which allows for things we’ve seen in Firefox for years, you hope that a similar capability may exist on the iPad. In the interim, I’ve had luck running bookmarklets, 1Password has one that replaces some of the funcitionality of their extension but not all, the bit.ly sidebar tool works, and tools for Boxee and Pinboard do work.


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