Now that it has been “hands on” for a few days with iPad, the issue of posture while using the device comes into play. It is sort of an acknowledgment that how you hold the iPad is a user
issue, coming from the screen orientation lock switch — which, from what I read, was added or finalized late in the development process.
While the gravity oriented screen is cool, it you are reading in bed, holding the iPad so that the screen is horizontal is a nice touch. That feature could have been software based from the settings screen, but it would have been a major hassle to lock and unlock the screen when going from a prone position to sitting up.
While iPad is not really heavy, holding it at the right distance from the eyes does get tiring. I find myself propping it up a lot. I invested in a silicone cover that keeps it from sliding when inclined. The keyboard docking station combo Apple is offering really supports the laptop mode of use. I have found the touch key pad to be useable for short to medium writing tasks. To fully replace a laptop, a dedicated keyboard is necessary.
When sitting up in bed or using iPad while in a sitting position — and without a table — the options are to lay the device down on your lap or hold it against your chest to steady it or hold it out on the palm of one hand. Typing with one had is slow with the latter position. People have various vision issues and finding the best distance from the eyes to the screen will also vary. Screen size and text size are two solutions for optimizing use. The pinch and un-pinch gestures control text size — and Apple wouldn’t be Apple if more screen sizes were not being worked out in the lab.
I loaded a speech-to-text app but haven’t played with it yet. That might be good solution for entering text without posture issues. Ergonomics, the study of human interaction, of people using devices, is an Apple stronghold.
It is my opinion that touch computers are the next phase of computer development, and Apple is leading the pack. Could robust voice control with touch back-up be the step beyond touch? Personally, I became an iPad developer anticipating that the iPhone OS and Cocoa touch will be the next “Gold Rush” in the tech world.
Also, a recent email response from Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicates an iPad operating system printing solution is coming. That will be helpful in integrating the iPad into mainstream use. I carried my new iPad around with me yesterday and showed to a number of people who mostly gushed with promises to buy one. All I can say is “Buy Apple stock!”
— Greg Mills
Greg Mills does faux wall art (http://www.gregmills.info/GregMills.info/Home.html) and runs Cottage Industry Solar Shops (http://www.cottageindustrysolar.com/cottageindustrysolar/Home.html).