My experience with the iPad. What Microsoft needs to work on.
So last summer (which is in February where I live) I decided to buy an iPad so that I could use it to read my Newspapers and Magazines at a discounted price. (I think the issues are around 50% cheaper if not more if I buy them digitally).
I'll be honest while I still have some massive gripes with it I think it's a pretty great device, and I'm not sure that either Microsoft or Android are really going to ever catch up in the department the iPad, I think, excels at. Reading.
The Pros of the iPad:
- The 4:3 aspect ratio is great for reading, it's almost A4 which is pretty much the size in which every magazine is printed in and it makes it easier for Newspapers to adjust to it.
- Apple TV: It has been a massive benefit for me to be able to simply get a YouTube video up on my iPad and then to send it to my Apple TV for it to be shared with my friends. Microsoft may have the Xbox 360 but it won't be around for long and is too expensive for most people who just want an easy way to share.
- The availability of Magazines and Newspapers: So my favourite Newspaper (The Australian) publishes on iOS and Android but not Windows 8 as of so far, that's probably my main reason for getting the iPad and reading the Quadrant which, although a somewhat obscure magazine, is still sold on the iPad. I don't know how Microsoft can combat this, but it's definitely a selling point for at least a few people. (I calculated that in 2 years the savings in reading digital would have bought me a 16gb iPad 4)
- Apps: I know this has been the thorn in the side of Windows 8, but really the apps are pretty cool on the iPad. I wouldn't use it as a reason to justify my decision to buy an iPad because I honestly only use a few, but Snapguide is one that I've downloaded in recent months and It's pretty interesting. Windows 8 I don't think will get these kinds of apps for a long time.
- The iPad is a consumer device through and through. Sure you can do a few things on it but for someone who uses Office and Outlook it's a pain in the arse. The idea that it's somehow ok for you to get 2 third party accessories for you to stand the iPad up and then try and type out a document just doesn't sound appealing.
- One app at a time, please. This just kills me, unless I'm writing a comment on The Verge or doing an opinion piece for something I'm going to need at least something that I can reference to get some work done, not to mention that if I want to watch a YouTube video and talk to someone on Facebook it just cannot happen. That's probably the most frustrating thing.
- The apps keep crashing. I know this is more of a developer problem than anything else but it seriously happens a lot. Perhaps it's part and parcel of having a computer device but I don't have half the crashes I do on my iPad on my Lumia 920.
- I really think Microsoft should look at doing some kind of Xbox TV with Kinect. I'll be getting an Xbox One when it releases but for the masses I think it's going to be a massive benefit to just have a device that works with their Windows 8/WP8 devices seamlessly.
- The reading bandwagon. I think Microsoft needs to look at trying to address this. iPad has the Newsstand and Windows 8.1 has nothing to compare to it. That's at least a start, though I think they should look at releasing a device that is 4:3 that is focused on the reading experience for Newspapers and Magazines. I think books can be left to 7inch and e-ink devices. (Personally I see them as different markets)
- Local apps. This might not be much of an issue in the US but in Australia it's hard to get some local apps that you'll use on a daily basis (The Australian is one example). Windows is going to lag behind for sometime but I'm not sure Microsoft is giving it that much love at the moment. I think it makes a difference though.
Microsoft should build an Xbox TV and try and build up it's Newspaper/Magazine catalogue.