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
$104.83
Apple Inc.
+1.84
MSFT
$45.02
Microsoft Corpora
+0.64
GOOG
$543.98
Google Inc.
+11.27

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Delicious Library 3.3.2 - Import, browse...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more
Art Text 2.4.8 - Create high quality hea...
Art Text is an OS X application for creating high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, Web site elements, and buttons. Thanks to multi-layer support, creating complex graphics is no... Read more
Live Interior 3D Pro 2.9.6 - Powerful an...
Live Interior 3D Pro is a powerful yet very intuitive interior designing application. View Video Tutorials It has every feature of Live Interior 3D Standard, plus some exclusive ones: Create multi... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.7 - Advanced reminder a...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2.4 - Organize your digita...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more
jAlbum 12.2.4 - Create custom photo gall...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.1.7 - Access remote files o...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
OmniOutliner Pro 4.1.3 - Pro version of...
OmniOutliner Pro is a flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Give your creativity a kick start by using an application that's actually designed to help you think. It'... Read more
Evernote 5.6.2 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
OmniOutliner 4.1.3 - Organize your ideas...
OmniOutliner is a flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Give your creativity a kick start by using an application that's actually designed to help you think. It's... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Toca Boo (Education)
Toca Boo 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: BOO! Did I scare you!? My name is Bonnie and my family loves to spook! Do you want to scare them back? Follow me and I'll... | Read more »
Intuon (Games)
Intuon 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Join the battle with your intuition in a new hardcore game Intuon! How well do you trust your intuition? Can you find a needle in a... | Read more »
Ravenous Rampage (Games)
Ravenous Rampage 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Partia 2 (Games)
Partia 2 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Partia 2 is a SRPG (Strategy Role-playing) video game inspired by Fire Emblem and Tear Ring Saga series. In a high fantasy... | Read more »
Puzzle to the Center of the Earth Review
Puzzle to the Center of the Earth Review By Campbell Bird on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPELUNKING PUZZLESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Do some puzzles to make some platforms in this smart and fun free-to-play... | Read more »
Sleep Attack TD Review
Sleep Attack TD Review By Jennifer Allen on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: A TRUE TWISTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Sleep Attack TD is a tower defense game with a difference – you can rotate the layout – and it’s... | Read more »
Mecanic (Education)
Mecanic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Plates, screws, wheels ... Everything you need to achieve whatever you want... MECHANICWith 'MECANIC' kids will have fun... | Read more »
Earn Your Master Camper Badge in Camp Po...
Earn Your Master Camper Badge in Camp Pokemon Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Garruk Gets His Revenge in a New Magic 2...
Garruk Gets His Revenge in a New Magic 2015 Expansion, Coming This November Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Sentinels of the Multiverse Review
Sentinels of the Multiverse Review By Rob Thomas on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SENTINELS ASSEMBLEiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Greater Than Games’ tabletop classic, Sentinels of the Multiverse swoops in to save the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $125 on Retina MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
Textilus New Word, Notes and PDF Processor fo...
Textilus is new word-crunching, notes, and PDF processor designed exclusively for the iPad. I haven’t had time to thoroughly check it out yet, but it looks great and early reviews are positive.... Read more
WD My Passport Pro Bus-Powered Thunderbolt RA...
WD’s My Passport Pro RAID solution is powered by an integrated Thunderbolt cable for true portability and speeds as high as 233 MB/s. HighlightsOverviewSpecifications Transfer, Back Up And Edit In... Read more
Save with Best Buy’s College Student Deals
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through November 1st. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3 Best Tablets Yet...
The new iPads turned out to be pretty much everything I’d been hoping for and more than I’d expected.”More” particularly in terms of a drinking-from-a-firehose choice of models and configurations,... Read more
Drafts 4 Reinvents iOS Productivity App
N Richland Hills, Texas based Agile Tortoise has announced the release of Drafts 4 for iPhone and iPad. Drafts is a quick capture note taking app with flexible output actions. Drafts 4 scales from... Read more
AT&T accepting preorders for new iPads fo...
AT&T Wireless is accepting preorders for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, cellular models, for $100 off MSRP with a 2-year service agreement: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi + Cellular: $529.99 - 64GB... Read more
Apple offering refurbished Mac Pros for up to...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 Mac Pros for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Select MacBook Airs $100 off MSRP, free shipp...
B&H Photo has 2014 a couple of MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more

Jobs Board

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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.