iPad review, part two: Safari, Mail, Calendar and Contacts on the iPad
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

iPad review, part two: Safari, Mail, Calendar and Contacts on the iPad

Yesterday we looked at the iPad, its design and how well it works for music, movies and gaming. Today let's talk about how effective it is at handling web browsing, mail, calendar and contact info. The synopsis: pretty darn well.

First, web browsing. Safari simply flies on the iPad. I've never had a browsing experience where pages loaded this zippily. Anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3633/apples-a4-soc-faster-than-snapdragon) ran some benchmarking tests in this regard and discovered that the iPad runs much faster in rendering web pages than either the iPhone 3GS or Google Nexus One. Loading Engadget's web site was 59.4% faster on the iPad than on the Nexus One. Its benchmarked Javascript performance outdid the iPhone's by a big margin, and the Google smartphone by 37.6%.

What's more, pages look great on the 9.7-inch screen. Unless they use Flash. Like the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad doesn't support the Adobe technology. Since Apple's head honcho, Steve Jobs, HATES Flash that's not likely to change.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but most of the sites I visit aren't dependent on Flash. Plus, Apple has convinced sites such as "The New York Times," "USA Today" and "CNN" (among others) to create iPad-friendly (ie, no Flash) versions of their web sites. You can find a list at http://www.apple.com/ipad/ready-for-ipad/ .

However, many sites are still Flash intensive. If your favorite web pages are among them, Safari on the iPad will be a problem. Also, due to the lack of a file explorer, you can't upload a photo, video, PDF or other document from within the browser.

That aside, using Safari on the iPad is, well, just plain fun. You can view whole web pages in portrait or landscape on the large Multi-Touch screen. Rotate the iPad to landscape and the page you’re viewing rotates, too, then expands to fit the display.

As with the iPhone and iPod touch, and with a tip of the hat to the Yellow Pages commercials of yesterday, you can let your fingers do the walking. You can scroll through a page by flicking up or down on the screen. Double-tap a section on a page to enlarge or shrink it. Or pinch to zoom in or out. When you touch and hold a link, Safari shows you the URL so you know before you go whether it's a site you really want to visit. You're also offered a handy thumbnail view that shows all your open pages in a grid, which makes it easy to move from one page to the next.

You can sync your bookmarks from your Mac and to your Mac. Safari on the iPad offers a convenient bookmark view. Google and Yahoo! searching is built in; Google is the default search engine, but you can set it to Yahoo!, if you wish. When you want to enter a URL or fill out a form, an onscreen keyboard appears (more on that in a moment). If you check the same web sites every day, you can create icons on the Home screen that let you access them with a single tap.

The iPad's native e-mail program is more of a mixed bag. It's easy to set up with Exchange, POP3, and IMAP4 e-mail accounts. You can sync email with your Mac. And Mail on the iPad takes advantage of the device's bigger screen.

Hold the iPad in landscape and you can see both an opened email and the messages in your inbox, each with a two-line preview of its contents. If you want to focus on a single email message, go from landscape to portrait mode, and the email message automatically rotates to fill the screen.

When you’re ready to compose a new message, a single tap reveals a virtual keyboard with keys that are almost the same size as a notebook’s. Because it’s software based, the iPad keyboard switches between landscape and portrait orientation with a turn. However, there's no tactile feedback from the onscreen keys, so I have trouble using the keyboard as naturally as I would a physical keyboard. You can use a Bluetooth keyboard or Apple's Keyboard Dock for the iPad, but that makes it a bit more awkward doing any serious emailing while, say, sitting on the bed.

As far as email appearance goes, like everything else on the iPad, it's gorgeous. The device displays rich HTML email, with images and photos appearing alongside text. When you receive an email attachment, you don’t have to save it and open it with another app. You can just tap it and view it. The iPad works with most standard file and image formats, so you can rotate, zoom, and pan your PDFs, iWork files, and Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Another nice touch: you can save pictures to the iPad photo library with a tap.

On the other hand, attaching documents to an email is counter-intuitive. Files have to be attached to e-mails from the program used to create 'em.

Mail on iPad Mail can also convert web URLs, phone numbers, email addresses, and street addresses to links. Tap one and iPad automatically opens the app you need -- Safari, Contacts, Maps, etc. If you’re writing an email and you need to open another app to check a phone number or map an address, Mail remembers where you left off. Of course, if the iPad supported more multitasking, that wouldn't be necessary.

My biggest grip with Mail on the iPad is that there's no integrated e-mail inbox that collects e-mails from all your accounts filtering into one master inbox as happens on the Mac. If you have five different accounts like me, you'll have to exit and re-enter each account. Very inconvenient.

When it comes to Calendar and Contacts on the iPad, I have no complaints. Both look gorgeous and sync up just find with their counterparts on my iMac.

With Calendar, you can view your calendar by day, week, or month. The iPad changes views with a tap or a turn. In portrait view, you can see an entire month or the details of a single day. Rotate the Apple device to landscape, and you’ll find a list of the day’s activities on one side and your detailed schedule on the other.

You can create calendars for different schedules. Tap the plus sign to add an event, then assign the event to a calendar. Each calendar appears in a different color, so it’s easy to manage them all. And you can see all your calendars at once.

Ditto for Contacts on the iPad. You can sync wirelessly, via a USB connection or via MobileMe.

You can scroll through Contacts with a flick of your finger. You can use the built-in search. And you can group contacts. Turn the iPad to landscape, and you can view your entire contacts list and a single contact simultaneously. Another nice touch: tap an address inside a contact and iPad automatically opens Maps.

By the way, I've had no problems with getting my iPad to join or rejoin an Wi-Fi network, but some folks evidently have. Apple has posted a KnowledgeBase article on the matter. You can find it here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3304 .

Tomorrow: photos and ebooks on the iPad.

 
AAPL
$102.25
Apple Inc.
+0.12
MSFT
$44.88
Microsoft Corpora
+0.01
GOOG
$569.20
Google Inc.
-1.80

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Microsoft Office 2011 14.4.4 - Popular p...
Microsoft Office 2011 helps you create professional documents and presentations. And since Office for Mac 2011 is compatible with Office for Windows, you can work on documents with virtually anyone... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Hyperlapse Review
Hyperlapse Review By Jennifer Allen on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY VIDEO SNAPSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Want to make a great time-lapse video quickly? Hyperlapse is perfect for that.   | Read more »
Back To Bed Review
Back To Bed Review By Jennifer Allen on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STYLISH BUT LIMITEDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It looks gorgeous, but Back to Bed is actually a fairly simple and uneventful puzzle game.   | Read more »
New Cars, New Locations, and a New Seaso...
New Cars, New Locations, and a New Season in Asphalt 8: Airborne Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Award Winning Children’s Book Bedtime fo...
Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is a children’s storybook that emphasizes the importance of going to bed, dreams, and those magical moments right before being tucked in. Now Kelly Paniagua, author of the award-winning children’s book, is planning to... | Read more »
Happy Cube Death Arena Review
Happy Cube Death Arena Review By Jordan Minor on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CUBEDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Happy Cube Death Arena is adorably violent, but very, very shallow.   | Read more »
8bit Doves, the New Game from Icebreaker...
8bit Doves, the New Game from Icebreaker Developers Nitrome, is Now Available – and in Four Colours Posted by Ellis Spice on August 28th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace Review
Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace Review By Nadia Oxford on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DINO-MYTEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace combines space combat and weird humor into a fun game... | Read more »
Draw Stuff, Win Prizes. Glorkian Warrior...
Draw Stuff, Win Prizes. | Read more »
Lots of iOS Games Have Been Deeply Disco...
Labor Day is fast approaching, and so are the sales. Lots of sales, by the look of it. This list is already pretty sizable, and we haven’t even made it to the weekend yet. Naturally that means you can expect there to be plenty more price drops and... | Read more »
Letter Pix Review
Letter Pix Review By Jennifer Allen on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAWED WORDPLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Create words to clear the board and guess a photo underlay correctly in this fun but flawed word... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... Read more
Sapphire Screen “Most Wanted” iPhone 6 New Fe...
According to the ‘uSell.com iPhone Most Wanted Survey’ — a representative survey of 1,000 U.S. smartphone users conducted by used iPhone marketplace uSell.com — close to half of all smartphone users... Read more
The iPad’s Real Competitive Challenger (Not S...
It’s been my contention for some time that the iPad is suffering from something of an identity crisis, and I suspect that may be a factor in slackening sales this year. Apple can’t seem to decide... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Life Inventory iOS Apps – Learn to Know Thyse...
James Hollender’s Life Inventory apps s are now on sale with 20% off thru Labor Day, 09/01/2014. This is a great opportunity to get started on that Moral Inventory you’ve been putting off doing for... Read more
Pocket Watch, LLC. Reveals Cloud Server For P...
Beaumont, Texas based Pocket Watch, LLC. has announced the availability of its new ActivePrint Cloud Server Powered by Raspberry Pi. With this small standalone box almost any USB printer or available... Read more
902it Simplifies Area Code Changes For Nova S...
The east coast Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are phasing in 10 digit telephone dialing, to be fully in place by November, in order to accommodate a second area code to... Read more
Boomerang iPad Stand Mounts Your iPad Anywher...
Boomerang, a Mountable Stand with Multiple Viewing Angles, is now available for iPad Air. Boomerang combines several functions that aim to expand your iPad’s potential in one, elegant product. The... Read more
Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $10...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.