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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
Service Assistant - *Apple* Chevrolet *App...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.