My iPad is pissing me off – really!

I put off buying an iPad. It was cheap (good) but I was wary of the iPhone software. I expected some decent clones out in a few months of the Apple’s launch but got sick of waiting. It’s roughly what I expected.  Nice, natty and with some stupid things, like the absence of a USB port. I also believed Alan Kohler and others when they said that the iPad wasn’t efficient as an input device. But since I’d been waiting for years for a small tablet, and it was cheap, I went out and bought a Pad. I work on a laptop (with external keyboard and monitor) and so only use the iPad for ‘lean back’ reading. And it’s really pissing me off.

Here’s the thing. The browser is not Safari.  I prefer Chrome, but Safari is generally fine. Now I’m a ‘tabbed browsing’ kind of guy. I like to open tabs and leave them there and go and read them if I want to later. And at the end of the day I often find myself closing down a few tabs without having read them. The iPad allows you the equivalent of nine ‘tabs’ which are arrayed 3×3 on the screen.   A nice natty way to do it, though it’s not too good when the tabs run out.

But the real pain is the little things. Most tabbed browsers allow you to load something up while you’re on the page you’re on.   Its hard or impossible on the iPad. You have to ‘open in a new page’ and then close the page that then opens up and go back to where you were reading. But when you go to the page you opened, it may not have loaded up while you were reading. The alternative is to open and wait for the new tab to open up.  That’s annoying. Then you might read it and want to return to where you were. If more than about a minute has elapsed, the page you want to go back to will reload – and another few seconds tick by. Since the point of this device is to make browsing easier, it’s pretty infuriating.

The other thing, a truly amazing thing is that the browser does not reformat carriage returns as you zoom in on a page, so at some stage of zooming you find yourself having to make the text smaller again, or move the screen back and forward with each line you read.

Ladies and gentlemen this doesn’t happen on my somewhat clunkier Android Phone which has a lovely browser. Though it only has four tabs, they load in the background as the default and they resize and reformat text to one’s heart’s content. Those (dead obvious) features alone make up for its foibles.

Meanwhile I’ll wait for the avalanche of clones (I detect a mixed metaphor).  And though Android is fine, I’m thinking Windows 7 would be OK if they don’t charge too much for it – anyway, with my choice of browser it would be lots better than Apple’s iPad OS, or that Chrome OS might be just the go. Thing is, Apple will presumably fix all this when they have to, which is when the clones arrive. I hope I can just update my software.

A final thought. I wonder if this is arrogance, stupidity or chicanery by Apple. These problems are so easy to fix, that I figure that Apple is trying to push me into apps which they can then control.  Anyway, lots of people love their iPad so maybe it will work for Apple.  But it won’t work with me, not because of any ideological distaste for what they’re doing, but because it’s a pain in the arse and the sooner I can get something to do what I want it to do, the better.

And of course if anyone can tell me how to fix these problems I’d be very grateful (I haven’t been able to find anything useful from a wander around ‘settings’, but something may be there.)

This entry was posted in IT and Internet. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
c-sez
c-sez
11 years ago

Can you install any other browers as apps? Opera perhaps? There was talk back in May that Opera was going to be in the app store. I haven’t been able to find anything more recent about this though at a quick glance.

Joshua Gans
11 years ago

Why don’t you just download a tabbed browser? You paid x$ for the iPad you don’t want to pay a little more for the browser you like?

You expect Apple to bundle everything according to your preferences?

And the zooming issue depends on the site. If the site doesn’t optimise for different browser windows, it won’t do so for the iPad. Full stop.

Peter J. Nicol
11 years ago

Thing is damn annoying. Can’t resize the browser font size, which is what you are talking about.

This is one of my original reasons for going to firefox in the daft old IE 6 days.

Now Apple have repeated this blunder. Can’t use the bloody thing till they fix this. The “zooming” is next to useless for reading web pages.

Crispin Bennett
Crispin Bennett
11 years ago

Always interesting to see how different perceptions can be of the exact same object. I’m finding the iPad marvellous, and I’m no gadget enthusiast. It’s amazing how much Apple have got right on what is essentially a virgin device category.

Yet .. cheap? Well, perceptions vary here by income I guess (but it strikes me as a luxury product at a premium price).

Anyway onto your specific issue Nick. You might want to try the Atomic browser, which has both tabs and a fullscreen mode. I don’t know how it deals with text reflow (haven’t tried it as I’m happy with Safari, but reviews are good).

A temporary expedient pending finding a device and/or browser you like might be to try Instapaper. Don’t bother with the native app, just use the web site via Safari. When I come across things whilst browsing that I may want to read later, I just email the link from Safari to my Instapaper account. Then in Instapaper, they’re easily available, and nicely formatted for reading; no zooming required.

trackback

[…] the original post: Club Troppo » My iPad is pissing me off – really! This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged apple, decent-clones, expected-some, […]

Grendel
Grendel
11 years ago

Browser – Atomic, tabbed browsing and you can tell it to identify and act as if it were IE, Firefox, Opera etc.

I double tap to zoom – and have not experienced your problem with that aspect. Like Crispin I have found my experience with the device to be excellent – I don’t own a smartphone or a laptop and it fits so neatly into my ‘missing tech’ niche that it gets used constantly.

It does have limitations, but the rate at which apps are created or updated makes those limitations a reducing pool and I use it extensively for productivity at work. The trick is not to assume that it can fill the role of a laptop – it can’t. but if you play to the device’s strengths rather than its clear deficits then it is a marvellous tool.

Best productivity app? SoundPaper – simple notetaker that also voice records and links text to timestamps in the recording so that tapping on a word takes you back to the point in time in the recording where you entered that text. If you have complex meetings this is invaluable.

Antonios
11 years ago

I too have hated that you can’t open links in new Safari windows, but then I read this:

http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/ipad/ten-useful-apple-ipad-tips-tricks-20101012-16h4u.html

Happy times indeed!

Nicholas Gruen
11 years ago

Well I downloaded the Atomic browser. A big improvement I can tell you. But it still won’t resize in google reader where I do a lot of my reading. Meanwhile my Android phone does all this effortlessly and smoothly. Is it that hard?

Nicholas Gruen
11 years ago

And whenever I go out of the browser, say to send an email, when I go back to the browser it’s back to square one – the home page and all my tabs lost. Nope, if you’re not after apps, if you want to rad the net the Android, for it’s occasional clunkiness is wy ahead.

Anyone want to buy my iPad?

Crispin Bennett
Crispin Bennett
11 years ago

If you’ve decided the iPad isn’t your thing, fair enough. But if you were to continue reading feeds on it, it’s a paradigmatic case of native apps doing a better job than generic web apps. Plenty of RSS apps for the iPad sync with google reader accounts, and they cache for offline reading. Some are free. I use this one: http://www.nibirutech.com/mobilerss-google-reader-iphone.html

Nicholas Gruen
11 years ago

Thanks Crispin,

One of my problems, I realise, is that I don’t find the iPad functional enough for it to be a major user of my time, and if it were I’d naturally be hunting around for this kind of thing much more. Right now I’m typing this on a little netbook sized PC (which is actually a lot faster and more functional for input). I’m on it because I was reading a pdf file and it referred to something else, and I wanted to go get a reference in it, and didn’t fancy all the stuffing around that would occur once I got out of the browser (I’m reading the pdf in the browser because I’ve never mastered the file management system (I don’t really think there is a native iPad one, but I know there are apps for that.) So one thing feeds on the other. Anyway, lots of people love the old iPad so there you go.