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iPad Progress Report 374

Posted by kdawson
from the floor-wax-and-dessert-topping dept.
Now that the 300,000 early adopters have had a few days to play and work with their iPads, we're moving beyond the "first impressions" articles (but here's a video of a 2-1/2-year-old's first encounter with the device). The detailed reviews aren't out yet. The largest source of early complaints is a complex of problems with Wi-Fi reception. Apple has posted a technical support note implicitly acknowledging the problems and suggesting some work-arounds — specifically, changing SSIDs or encryption methods on base stations that offer both 2.4-GHz and 5.8-GHz signals. Finally, here's a detailed look at the gratuitous pain Apple imposes on those desiring to get iWork files transferred from and to the iPad.
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iPad Progress Report

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  • Wi-Fi problems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:38PM (#31752736) Homepage

    Our neighbor picked up an iPad on launch day, and he has definitely experienced the Wi-Fi problem. His Acer Aspire One in his basement can connect to his wireless G Linksys router on his top floor with a good, strong signal. His iPad can BARELY connect while he is on his ground floor, and in his basement you can forget about it. His Aspire One can also see our wireless network as well as the network belonging to folks on the other side of him, but even if he shoves his iPad against the wall dividing our town homes, he still can't even see our router, much less connect to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:39PM (#31752750)

    with a Jailbreak [slashdot.org].

    Yours In Kuybyshev,
    Kilgore Trout

  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:48PM (#31752922)
  • by CompressedAir (682597) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:49PM (#31752942)

    It sure seems strange to me that Apple, who sell themselves as the "complete" and "it just works" experience would release the iPad before the next version of iPhoneOS comes out. This sounds like the kind of giant pay-to-beta-test sort of thing that Apple is known for NOT doing.

    As someone who uses an iPhone and would like an iPad, Thursday will be very interesting.

    Is anyone else reminded of the 10.0 release of OSX?

  • by ShadyG (197269) <bgraymusic@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:53PM (#31752990) Homepage
    What I'm really interested to know is will the iPad allow me to write a book, save in unencrypted ePub format, and upload it to my own device, to be read by iBooks? I happen to be in the market for an e-reader, but not one that won't allow me to read self-authored content.
  • On the 2.5 YO (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Swanktastic (109747) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @02:58PM (#31753064)

    The little girl had obviously spent a lot of time playing with an iPhone or iPod Touch. While cute, I don't think it really qualifies as much of a First-Encounter-type UI experiment.

  • Re:early adaptor? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MoFoQ (584566) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:05PM (#31753162)

    at first I thought it was a typo too....but then realized that "adapter" is more fitting that "adopter"....as ppl who do buy 'em will have to "adapt" to using it (and later deciding not to use it)

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:20PM (#31753352) Homepage Journal

    especially sunlight. Sorry but with this type of device I was really hoping I could use it outdoors without fearing the light. No go. Sorry its abysmal. It also has the problem of not being viewable in page format with polarized lenses, landscape was fine. When I borrowed my friends Kindle I found I could read outside just fine. Let alone the weight, sorry but it really amazes me how much it gets to you over time.

    I don't need another device that is trapped indoors. Summer is almost upon us and I don't want something I fear leaving in the sun, let alone using with the sun out. I guess I can sit under the umbrella but really, my marine GPS is beautiful in sunlight, why can't we have an iPad for the outdoors instead of basement dwellers?

  • Re:Wi-Fi problems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:21PM (#31753366)

    Definitely true.

    If you take a look at the iPad Teardown [ifixit.com], you'll see the WiFi antenna (step 24, bottom), which can only peer out of the Apple logo. There's no use thinking otherwise - it's just that one antenna out the spot in the back. The rest of the case is metal, and the screen probably has a metal backing on it, making the only place for signals to escape is that little patch of plastic.

    I'm surprised you get any signal at all without having to "aim" the back of the iPad at the AP.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:22PM (#31753376) Journal

    Sometimes Apple has a period of greatness and then they have a period of... well, not so greatness. Maybe it is time again?

    Personally, I don't know. The Wifi problems sound odd, but then again, who exactly thought putting an metal shield on an antenna was a good idea? But surely Apple would have tested that.

    I think what we are finding is that a lot of people are putting this device under an intense microscope, determined to find any and all flaws and blow them up out of proportion. High trees catch a lot of wind, especially if they fail to fall in previous gusts of hot air. Anyone remember people scoffing the iPod and iPhone? They must be getting desperate for Apple to have one of its famous screw-ups again.

    I think Apple had a simple reason to launch the iPad now. One of its uses is to go outside and use it. Who is going to go outside in the winter? And soonish they will have to announce a new macbook pro anyway (core 2 duo is getting very long in the tooth) and that makes more sense later in the year, and two must have's should be seperated so the victim eh customer has time to recover from the bloodletting that is called buying an Apple product.

    Frankly, I have seen all this negativity before. I don't put much stock in it. If someone were to introduce fire in this day and age, people would find plenty of stuff wrong with it and claim that nobody really needs it.

  • Re:Wi-Fi problems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @03:34PM (#31753574) Homepage

    I'd be willing to bet a dumptruck full of Gnutella that the reason why this design decision was made was to maintain the overall look of the device.

    Huzzah for form over function!

  • by Altus (1034) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @04:04PM (#31753970) Homepage

    There were some problems with older routers dealing with 802.11g devices when those first came out. I ran into that myself. The entire network would lock up shortly after a G device was connected to it. Since my router was pretty old (802.11 b I think) I just picked up a new one anyway.

  • Re:Wi-Fi problems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by illumin8 (148082) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @04:53PM (#31754726) Journal

    I have an iPad and I've been sitting in the opposite corner of my 2,000 sq. foot house, through 6 walls, an elevator shaft, and numerous electronic devices, and have had no problems with wifi whatsoever. In fact, I downloaded 1GB of music and it was fast, easily maxing out my 20 megabit cable Internet connection, while sitting in the opposite corner of the house from my wifi router.

    I'm using an Airport Extreme base station (the original, not improved new version), with WPA2, wireless-N enabled, so YMMV. My anecdotal experience is that the iPad actually got a strong, usable signal, sitting in the same spot of the house where my Windows 7 gaming laptop drops due to a weak signal and too many walls.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @05:52PM (#31755456)

    My Apple product is brand new.
    My router is old and dusty.
    Maybe I should get a new shiny router.
    Maybe Apple could sell me a shiny new router?

  • Re:No problem. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @07:04PM (#31756194) Homepage

    The only reason it's "harder to do" is because Macs don't really advertise their internal specs. When you buy a PC, they go around boasting "DDR3 this, Quickpath that". PC marketing is atrocious, but at least you have a list of jargon that says what's inside the plastic box.

    It certainly doesn't help that Apple often revises the hardware without changing the name. They've been selling Mac Pros for nearly four years, but the earliest ones were Socket 771 with DDR2 FB-DIMM memory, while current models are Socket 1366 with DDR3 ECC Unbuffered memory. To many Mac users, these models are referred as "the fast Mac Pro" and "the faster Mac Pro". As a non-Apple tech, you really have to crack the thing open to figure out what goes in it.

    In the end, once you know which parts will fit, it's just a computer like any other. This is also true of their consumer devices... so what if Apple doesn't sell a battery for your iPhone ? Check a message board, you'll find a bunch of unreputable accessory manufacturers in Asia selling replacement parts. You might have to work a bit harder to install them yourself, or find a local geek to do it for you, but the gear is out there. Up where I live, we have these repugnant little shops that sell all manner of junk like XS Cargo, Factory Direct, and surely others : refurbished and unlocked cell phones, no-name gadgets, gaming accessories... it's like a pawn shop minus all the bad 80's cassettes and unloved guitars. Those guys tend to have all the gray-market modding and repair stuff you could ever want, and they often have an EE flunkie on-site to do the labor rather cheaply. The stuff Apple won't do, those sketchy guys will happily do for a few bucks - that's their business model.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @10:13PM (#31757392)
    Bah, the 8's so close the the 9. I of course meant the 90s. Was a Dauphin 486 tablet.

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