Revisiting the iPad

Way back when I first got an iPad, I tried connecting a bluetooth keyboard to it to improve the typing and editing experience. My recollection at the time was that the arrow keys didn’t work, and because of that, they really didn’t help the horrendous text editing situation.

In the interim, I have managed to become reasonably good at touch-typing on the wide version of the keyboard. It’s not pretty, and I still have to do a lot of editing, but I’m far better than a two thumb hunt and peck. My most common issue is hitting the return key when I intend to type a single quote, so my text tends to be littered with “can
T” sorts of things that need editing.

So, now I’ve tried again, a few software updates later, and lo and behold, the arrows work. And OMG is it faster and more accurate to type on a real keyboard. Even on the ‘not as good as my beloved Model M 13’ Apple Bluetooth keyboard, I’m typing a good three times faster than on the onscreen one.

iOS 5 fixes a lot of the frustrations I had with the way that Safari did tabbed browsing. (though, I have sort of grown used to the iOS 4 way of doing it). There are now real tabs, that really can open in the background, so I can stack up a few more windows to read while I’m continuing with the first one. It’s also noticeable faster. There is one painful bug that I never noticed in iOS 4 — If you open a news page that you hit frequently, then go to a link from the page, then use the back button, often the cached version of the page is several days old, not the most recent one that you were just viewing.

It would be an interesting experience to see if the iPAD could handle all my on the go sorts of tasks. Adding the keyboard would make ssh far less painful, and it already handles the mail and browsing well enough.

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