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
$97.02
Apple Inc.
-0.17
MSFT
$44.46
Microsoft Corpora
-0.41
GOOG
$593.93
Google Inc.
-2.05

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.8 - Connect...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
xACT 2.30 - Audio compression toolkit. (...
xACT stands for X Aaudio Compression Toolkit, an application that encodes and decodes FLAC, SHN, Monkey’s Audio, TTA, Wavpack, and Apple Lossless files. It also can encode these formats to MP3, AAC... Read more
Firefox 31.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals... Read more
Little Snitch 3.3.3 - Alerts you to outg...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activityAs soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Thunderbird 31.0 - Email client from Moz...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Together 3.2 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more
Cyberduck 4.5 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes...
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes Price to $3.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. this...
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Epic Skater
For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there’s all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals,... | Read more »
Cultures Review
Cultures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLOW-PACED EMPIRE BUILDINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Cute it might seem, but Cultures is a bit too slow paced when it comes to those pesky timers to... | Read more »
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint...
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint it Back! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Order of Souls Review
The Order of Souls Review By Campbell Bird on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STORY GRINDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Order of Souls is a free-to-play, turn-based RPG with a genre-mixing art style, interesting... | Read more »
Revolution 60 Review
Revolution 60 Review By Jordan Minor on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LASS EFFECTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Revolution 60 is a bold, cinematic action game with ambition to spare.   | Read more »
Matter (Photography)
Matter 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Add stunning 3D effects to your photos with real-time shadows and reflections. Export your creations as photos or video loops... | Read more »
Fanatic Earth Review
Fanatic Earth Review By Brittany Vincent on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: BY-THE-NUMBERSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Kemco’s stable of mobile RPGs grows, but in Fanatic Earth’s situation it’s a case of quantity... | Read more »
Together for iOS (Productivity)
Together for iOS 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Together is an app for keeping things in one place. Notes, documents, images, movies, sounds, web pages and bookmarks... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

What Should Apple’s Next MacBook Priority Be;...
Stabley Times’ Phil Moore says that after expanding its iMac lineup with a new low end model, Apple’s next Mac hardware decision will be how it wants to approach expanding its MacBook lineup as well... Read more
ArtRage For iPhone Painting App Free During C...
ArtRage for iPhone is currently being offered for free (regularly $1.99) during Comic-Con San Diego #SDCC, July 24-27, in celebration of the upcoming ArtRage 4.5 and other 64-bit versions of the... Read more
With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now...
Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there’s been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale starting at $799, free s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) a...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils Cycling Ride Pouch...
High end computer case and bag maker WaterField Designs of San Francisco now enters the cycling market with the introduction of the Cycling Ride Pouch – an upscale toolkit with a scratch-free iPhone... Read more
Kingston Digital Ships Large Capacity Near 1T...
Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc.,has announced its latest addition to the SSDNow V300 series, the V310. The Kingston SSDNow V310 solid-state... Read more
Apple’s Fiscal Third Quarter Results; Record...
Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter ended June 28, 2014, racking up quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Senior Interaction Designer, *Apple* Online...
**Job Summary** Apple is looking for a hands on Senior…will be a key player in designing for the Apple Online Store. The ideal designer will have a Read more
*Apple* Sales Chat Rep - Apple (United State...
…is looking for motivated, outgoing, and tech savvy individuals who want to offer Apple Customers an unparalleled customer experience over chat. At Apple , we believe Read more
Mac Expert - *Apple* Online Store Mexico -...
…MUST be fluent in English and Spanish to be considered for this position At Apple , we believe that hard work, a fun environment, creativity and innovation fuel the Read more
*Apple* Industrial Design CAD Sculptor - App...
**Job Summary** The Apple Industrial Design team is looking for a CAD sculptor/Digital 3D modeler to create high quality CAD models used in the industrial design process Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.