- iTunes and the App Store
As with just about everything else, the new layout for both iTunes and the App Store is quite different from what you might be used to. I am not even sure if it is better to be honest; it is just different. This brings up something very interesting.
At the launch one of the claims that Apple made was that because there were so many iPod Touch and iPhone users, the iPad would fit right in because people already knew the interface. Yet, things are different once you get inside the iPad. The layouts are different by necessity and due to the major differences between the two formats, but still it is not as cut and dry as Apple would like you to think.
Still, both the iTunes and App Store interfaces are easily learnable after a few minutes inside each.
We briefly covered this application earlier; there is really not much that is different except for appearance. You still have the same general options and limitations on what you can and cannot do in the settings pages.
This app works pretty much the same as the one on the iPhone. Apple has changed the look (as we mentioned above) to give it a new "feel", but other than that you are not getting a whole lot more out of Mail than you would from the iPhone.
Ah, one of my favourite topics; the browser on the iPhone. Well, you are pretty much getting the same thing on the iPad. Safari for iPhone has been listed as "the best way to experience the web" in many Apple advertisements. The problem with that is the complete and total lack of any support for Flash or Silverlight.
These two items make up a large portion of the internet experience, yet for some reason many members of the press keep making excuses for it not being on Apple's products. We have talked about it before and it all comes down to control and money.
But all of that aside, even with Flash and Silverlight you are still missing a large part of the internet. A recent article stated that you can still go to sites like Facebook, Flickr and others which is true. However, you cannot upload anything to those sites using Safari, as you have zero access to the file system.
Take a look at what you get when you try and upload photos to Facebook using Safari; the same thing with Flickr and of course same thing with Photobucket.
Now I know that I am going to catch hell here as there are Apps for each of these. But here is the rub with that; Apple says it will not allow applications that mimic functions of the device. Ok, so that means that the Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook and many other Apps should not be allowed as they mimic something that Safari SHOULD be capable of doing.
What is worse is that both of these apps look terrible on the iPad. As they were designed for the iPhone's resolution and screen size, you have to use the pixel double feature to get them full screen. Otherwise they only occupy a small window in the center of the 9.1-inch iPad screen. As you can see, once you use the pixel double, all of the text starts to look like you are back on an 800x600 monitor with no 3D (or even 2D) acceleration. It is a joke to be honest. And there are many, many apps that are like that. Their only purpose is to fill in the gaps in the way the iPhone OS is restricted for the user.
- Photos and iPod
The last two items in the "pre-installed" app list are Photos and iPod. These two have also benefited from the larger screen area. The photos app has been given a very nice make over. However, I am a tad disappointed that even on the iPad I cannot rotate the view. It remains stubbornly in portrait mode. You can move it around and even spin it with your fingers, but...as soon as you let go, it snaps right back to the original position.
There is also no way to create a new album inside the photos app. This is something I would think Apple would want to put in place. It would be an excellent option for people that might be considering the camera connectivity kit.
The iPod app is really the same app found on the iPod Touch or iPhone with a larger screen area and a cleaner UI. Nothing much to see or talk about here.