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new iPad 3: Ten Things I Hate About You


New iPad 3: Ten Things I Hate About You

The new iPad (iPad 3) has shot to the top of many people's wishlists for a good reason. Its stunning new screen and vastly superior range of apps make it the defacto choice for anyone looking to get in on the tablet fun. However, it does have some limitations and after spending a couple of weeks with it I'm just chomping at the bit to shout about them. So without further ado, here are my top ten bugbears about the new iPad, and perhaps more importantly my suggestions of what Apple should do to fix them.

I hate the iPad 3's size

It has been said ever since the first iPad arrived and the simple fact of the matter is that it's still true: the iPad is too large and heavy for one handed use and isn't pocketable, making it a bit useless on public transport and for use when you want to travel as light as possible. Kindles and other ebook readers can actually fit in a jacket pocket, while some smaller tablets such as the BlackBerry PlayBook and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 are also much more manageable. What's more, despite being smaller devices, they don't lose any of the large screen charm that makes a tablet a joy to use. Moreover, a number of other large tablets are at least noticeably lighter (100g or so lighter).

new iPad 3 ten things I hate about you

I hate that the iPad 3 doesn't have a keyboard dock

If the iPad isn't going to be a smaller device then it needs a laptop dock like the Asus Transformer Prime. That the vast majority of people I see on the train with iPads are using them on their laps, either with a 3rd party case that holds it vertically or just flat on their legs, tells you all you need to know about why. A keyboard dock makes typing vastly quicker and holds the screen at a comfortable angle. Add in enhanced connectivity and a battery life boost and you have such a no-brainer that even an amoeba would get in on the action.

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I hate the iPad 3's mono speaker

The new iPad has one of the best speakers on any tablet in terms of loudness, but it's positioned off in one corner on the back. This makes it absolutely rubbish for watching video and playing games - you have no sense of stereo and with many 3rd party cases the speaker is almost completely blocked too.

The solution? Forward facing stereo speakers, as seen on the new range of Samsung Galaxy Tabs – they're subtly integrated and work brilliantly. Sure, sometimes you'll be using the tablet in portrait mode so you won't get a stereo effect, but then just have the software automatically switch to mono when held that way round.

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On the iPad the speaker is tucked away round the back. On the latest Samsung Tabs, they're on the front.

I hate that the iPad 3 doesn't have a stylus

Go on, let it all out... Laugh it off... "Who needs a stylus when the touchscreen is this good?"… "The iPhone got rid of stylii and we're glad they're gone"… I've heard it all. And you know what? You're wrong.

It's absolutely true that no-one wants to use a stylus on a phone, but phones and tablets are very different beasts and actually using a stylus on a tablet is more comfortable, natural and accurate than a finger.

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Sure, you can get capacitive styli that work on the iPad, like the Wacom Bamboo, but they're only so good. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, however, takes things to another level. Its proper digitiser has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and a much finer nib, making for a vastly more accurate, natural-feeling drawing and handwriting experience.

Maybe it's just my current obsession with Draw Something that has really lit my stylus-loving touch paper, or perhaps it was Apple itself talking up its brilliant iPhoto app, but whatever it is I think digitisers are the next step for tablets.

I hate the iPad 3's limited connectivity

Even allowing for my suggestion that the iPad needs a keyboard dock with extra ports, the iPad itself needs better connectivity. Again, it's the same argument as with the stylus – the iPad is a tablet, not a phone, and it can do ever more sophisticated things, thus it needs more abilities built-in.

Yes, you can get a plethora of accessories for the iPad but who wants to carry around a bunch of accessories when you can simply have the connectivity onboard like on many (particularly Android) rivals? SD cards straight from your camera, HDMI straight into your telly, USB for keyboards and gaming peripherals – who wouldn't want all that straight out the box?

Admittedly you may have to carry around a few cables to make it all work, but at least they're universal and should work on your Android phone, as well as a number of other peripherals too.

Cliff Cheetham

March 27, 2012, 9:55 pm

Bless you Ed, but surely this is a Friday afternoon rant, far too good for a Tuesday!!
I get my new iPad tomorrow, paid for by work... yes I'm being smug about that :-)


March 27, 2012, 10:03 pm

Brightness is actually one of the few things you can adjust without going in to the menus:

Double click the home button and swipe the multitasking bar right for quick access to volume, brightness, rotation lock and music controls.

Adonit have a nice stylus (pressure sensitive version also) and a very good keyboard case called the Writer.


March 27, 2012, 10:23 pm

"if you want to adjust brightness you have to close whatever app you're using, find the homescreen with the settings app, open the settings, open Brightness & Wallpaper and adjust the slider."

Nonsense dear friend. Double tap home button to bring up multitask bar, swipe finger to the right, revealing iTunes controls. Brightness is on the left, opposite the volume slider.


March 28, 2012, 12:57 am

I hear you Ed, the more computer's (of all shapes and sizes) one has, the harder it is to justify an iPad. A tablet has to be flexible, from iPad style lean back experience to the no hassle ultra portable laptop of my dreams.

Preaching to the choir


March 28, 2012, 2:17 am

Oops. Right your are. I'll clearly have to come up with a more... correct example. :)


March 28, 2012, 4:30 am

At last - a tiny glimmer of reason relating to the iPad 3, on a reputable tech site! To be fair, all of the above have applied to all the iPads in my mind.

I was with you right up to the last point; the bit where you caved in and wanted one anyway. You must resist!


March 28, 2012, 1:57 pm

Firstly the iPad 3 doesn't really offer enough to make me trade in my version 2, but this is simply because the 2 was so good already.

We seem to be approaching a big turning point for computing. Right now there are too many different techs and they need to start coming together. Desktops, laptops, ultrabooks, tablets... Perhaps windows 8 will be the catalyst to start this happening. Going to be an exciting few years coming up.

Btw. Since I bought my iPad 2 I have virtually stopped using my main pc for anything other than work or serious gaming. The iPad dominates my normal computing needs from casual gaming to email with the iPhone 4 pretty much relegated to phone calls and a few useful apps.


March 28, 2012, 2:20 pm

So it seems that the TR line on the ipad line is that if you want a tablet, ipads are still the best option, but they're flawed. Android addresses many of the concerns in a piecemeal fashion, but no-one has managed to come up with an Android based package which, as a whole, is compelling as the ipad.

If you subscribe to the view that what drives technology is economics, this makes perfect sense. Why would Apple want to address these concerns whilst no other OEM is holding a credible threat to them. They can maximise their revenue by doing the least possible. Then, when Android finally gets its act together, they can address all these niggles and sell devices to the same audience all over again!


March 28, 2012, 8:30 pm

Interesting list.

Size and weight turned out to be #1 for me. 10 days in, I still haven't worked out how to hold it for prolonged periods - it's too heavy for one-handed holding, and sitting it in your lap with your neck bent sharply downwards is an ergonomic nightmare. Certainly not a comfortable Kindle replacement for kicking back with a novel... on the other hand, for reading PDFs - thanks to the outstanding screen - it leaves the Kindle in the dust.

Also the locked-in nature is an occasional irritant, particularly the expectation that you use the execrable iTunes for media management, though thankfully (unlike prior versions of iOS), syncing to iTunes is no longer mandatory to even get the device as far as first boot.

And I was very surprised by the number of crashes. Perhaps, in fairness, apps hadn't been updated for the retina display, although some of these were crashes of built-in apps. The handling of the crashes was also an interesting surprise to an Android user - instead of a prominent 'Force Close' dialog, the device coyly behaves for all the world as if you'd accidentally pressed the Home button. Only a crash log as long as my arm gave the game away for certain.

Having come from Android, I found myself concluding (against expectations) that ICS on the Galaxy Nexus equals, if not exceeds, iOS in terms of smoothness and stability. I also missed on iOS an always-accessible 'back' button. And (although ICS has taken a daft backward step by swapping out the 'menu' button for a 'running apps' button), it is still generally easier to find app menus on ICS. Whereas iOS is maddeningly, gloriously inconsistent: Sometimes there's an icon for menus. Sometimes pressing the top line of the app brings up a hidden menu bar. Sometimes (e.g. Maps), they are concealed under a corner 'page-turn'. Some apps (e.g. Safari) have no menus and use the Settings app. What a mess.

But iOS has a huge edge in tablet apps, where Android is yet to make a mark. Also, its ubiquity means website support is very good - the vast majority of sites recognize mobile Safari and have been tested on iPad. And it's an exceptional device for reading PDFs away from the desk, which is something I do a lot (troublesome ergonomics aside... were Jobs and Ive so seduced by the slim glass-and-metal sexiness of the device on the drawing board that they forgot about this aspect?).


March 29, 2012, 12:11 am

I've always been a bit sad really, being a Windows fan. I use an HTC Windows Touch Pro 2 phone even, because I like the slide out keyboard.
My brother in law however has gone Apple mad, everything is Apple, phone, PC and iPad2, I have no doubt he will get this one and donate the old one to the daughter. Last time we visited him and my sister I got to play with the iPad, I just could not see the point of it; I played with it for well over and hour, there is no way I would have bothered to type out this post on it, as I am doing with my trusty old HP laptop sat here while watching the telly. I can however see the point of a tablet, but a smaller one, 7" with Windows 8. Or maybe the Windows 8 version of my phone if they ever make one that will take a 32GB micro SD card.

Dan the Man

March 29, 2012, 1:59 am

My personal bugbear is having to buy apps that I've already bought, sometimes at 4 times the price. Just because they've increased the pixel count?


March 29, 2012, 3:00 am

android is a defunct system that we cant get rid of,just like it father linux.

stylus? i dont even like using a biro anymore

pocketble? who puts a 10" device or say an ultrabook or a mac book air in the back pocket

come on now grow up gordon,i bet you told everyone you hated prisoner cell block h but secretly taped it at midnight.


March 29, 2012, 3:30 am

and he didnt even say "it's just a big ipod touch"

agree about the speaker,but people where sued.so only so many decibles are allowed,at least its better than the vita.


March 30, 2012, 11:15 pm

I'd go with size as first and SD slot as second but for third I'd like either another slot for extra memory or 128Meg to start off with, it would be great to have one to go in the camera bag but at the moment it's not up to it.


March 31, 2012, 2:42 am

With Apple being so litigious I doubt it would look brilliant if they suddenly decided to ape a load of Samsung hardware features, though no doubt they have the brass neck to do just that.


March 31, 2012, 11:50 am

I was set to buy a new ipad but once I had taken off the rose tinted glasses and distanced myself a little from the hype common sence took over and I found it lacked everything that would make it useful to me out of the box. It began looking like a toy for which I would have carry spending to use. I can not justify paying so much for such a locked down tablet (in their favour). No SD card slot, not even a micro SD one and no drag and drop are the key deal breakers for me. Sad but I agree with everything said in this article.

Ting A. Ling

March 18, 2013, 5:00 am

This has got to be one of the worst design flaw: There is no way to retrieve deleted data if you've never synced with Itunes! Why would I sync an Ipad with Itune? It's never even occurred to me to do that. It's not an Ipod! I don't listen to music on my Ipad! Dumb. Plain dumb!


September 14, 2014, 3:56 pm

I hate the search engine for the fact that it is linked to so many commercial sites. For instance if you are searching a town somewhere up pops all the hotel search websites. Then you can't get away from them. It makes me shut down the iPad and go to my windows laptop where I am in charge not the advertisers!!

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