dig2kindle

Here’s what happened: I had ordered an iPad Wi-fi + 3G which means I would be waiting until the end of the month until I got my iPad, but I really wanted to see one in person, so Saturday afternoon my son and I went to the local Best Buy store and played with one for 45 minutes. We were just blown away, so I told the guy at Best Buy “I’ll take one” (I got totally carried away, especially since I already had one ordered).

He asked his supervisor how many they had left. He looked at me and said “Zero. We’ve been sold out for hours.” We asked if they could call around to the other Best Buys in the area. All sold out. Then I found out our IT guy had already bought two for us for testing purposes, so I snagged one for the weekend. Whoo-baby it is sweet! Anyway, here are the seven things that surprised me most:

(1) It’s better than I thought
I was expecting it to be pretty cool. I remember seeing ads and reading about the original iPhone, and I thought it looked cool, too. But once I actually held one in my hand, everything changed. Same thing here. Whatever your impressions of the iPad are, they will change once you actually hold one in your hands. It’s a beautifully designed piece of technology.

(2) It’s heavier than I thought
I knew it was a few ounces heavier than the Kindle, but it feels twice as heavy. Sturdy and well built for sure, but definitely heavier, and certainly heavier than I thought (seeing as it’s so thin).

(3) It’s faster than I thought
I’m really stunned at how fast things happen on the iPad. Photos appear instantly. You scroll through hundreds of photos in an instant. Apps launch fast. Everything just feels really, really fast. I know I’m not the first person to point this out—everybody’s saying the same thing, but I didn’t realize it would be as fast as it is.

(4) The screen is much better than I thought
I knew the screen would be good, but the screen is way over the top crisp, bright and sharp. In fact, I don’t know what they’d have to do to improve the screen itself. I’ve never seen a device this size with a screen like this. Heck, I rarely see a device of any size with a screen like this. Everything looks great on it.

(5) It Makes You Hate Your Old iPhone-sized Apps
To really experience and fall in love with an iPad, you have to use Apps redesigned for the iPad. They’re brilliant. So far, the developers seem to have not merely just up-sized their existing apps—they’ve upgraded them big time. It’s like they’ve broken free from what must have been a very limiting experience (design-wise) creating apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, and now they’re like, “OK, now we can really do what we’ve always wanted to do!” Unfortunately, this makes you kind of hate your old iPhone apps (which get copied over to your iPad when you sync it with your computer), and honestly, I can barely stand to run them. They’re pixelated and almost “old fashioned” looking once you see what can be done at full iPad size and redesign.

(6) The Screen Seems Much Bigger Than It Is
The screen size is so perfect, that it actually seems to be much larger than it really is. It feels like there’s space galore, instead of it being at a premium. Movies look great, and feel big. Maybe it’s because the whole thing is just one big screen, but everything feels nice and big—-bigger than the screen actually is in reality.

(7) Books and Magazine are Much Better Than I Thought
Apple’s free iBooks App is just plain amazing. Way better than I thought it would be. It makes you want to read books on it. Engadget.com said it better than I could, when yesterday they wrote:

“It’s the first e-book reading experience we’ve seen that seems to truly understand the visceral, sensual enjoyment of holding an actual volume in your hand.”

The iBooks App is simply brilliant for reading novels, business books, reference books, etc.. The selection is somewhat slim at present, but like the iTunes Store, it’s going to explode with lots of titles very soon (including a bunch of my own).

Also, Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPad is amazingly good, too (in fact, since it’s in color, my Kindle format books look much better on Kindle for the iPad, than they do on an actual Kindle reader (which displays the photos in black and white), so good job Amazon—your iPad App rocks (which in my opinion, was a very smart business move for Amazon). That’s my book shown in the Kindle Reader for iPad above.

The Bottomline
When people say, “Oh, it’s just a big iPod touch,” they’d be right if all they did was run their old iPod touch Apps at 2X the size, but it’s the redesigned and new iPad Apps (like the iBook App, the Marvel Comics App, and the ABC TV App, among others) that make it an entirely different experience.

I was met with a room full of skeptics during an Easter get-together at my house yesterday—-a room full of “Oh, it’s just a big iPod touch, right?” But everybody left saying, “I have got to have one!” That doesn’t come from running iPod touch apps at twice their size.

It blew everybody away. They all already have iPhones or iPod touches, so they were expecting “more of the same,” but man did they all fall in love once they saw what it could do. I couldn’t get it out of their hands to show the next person how it worked. It has an impact that you can’t get from an article, or an Apple TV ad, or a video on their Website. You have to hold one and try it yourself. Once you do, you’ll hear what I heard half a dozen times or more yesterday. “This is way better than I thought.” I totally agree.