Originally Posted by dbpropp
We're PC people, but thought we'd dive into the Apple world with the introduction of the iPad. We bought one for portability and frankly, because it seemed cool. Looks like it's great for reading ebooks, viewing photo's & listening to music, and it'll probably be good for word processing etc. after we download some apps.
The iOS devices are all about apps. Thankfully many of them are cheap enough that you can try them out at will.
We use Facebook extensively, including many Facebook apps. My wife is Extremely disappointed, though (as am I) to learn that none of the many Flashplayer based applications that we use with Facebook will work on the iPad. This means we'd have to carry around both a laptop AND an iPad if we want to be productive.
Interesting, I've never been able to grasp FaceBook and have an account that I never use. The question I have to ask is how can anybody be productive on Facebook as it seems to be a waste of time more than anything.
This is, to us, a major, major design flaw (or failure in negotiation) that apparently makes my $900 iPad a gimmicky toy that's not worth anywhere near the price we paid.
That is one way to look at it but you won't likely get a lot of support for that position on this forum. To put it politely as I can Flash sucks on mobile devices and has never been supported well by Adobe. It isn't likely that Adobe will ever be able to get Flash to run well on current hardware found in cell phones and tablets. It isn't possible currently to put enough CPU power into battery powered devices of this sort. That isn't to say the future might not be different, as integration continues to go up and feature size down, we will find ourselves with some extremely powerful hand held devices. That is not the case at the moment though.
Unless we can find a work-around, we will be returning it to the retailer in the next day or two in favor of a lightweight, PC based notebook (or netbook). Not as cool, but much more practical and functional.
Depending on your needs a notebook (it doesn't have to be PC based) might have been a better choice. iPad is designed around the idea of consuming information instead of creating it.
Am I missing something?
Yep I'd say so. The world has changed a lot and Flash has pretty much run its course of acceptability.
Is there a workaround?
In many cases apps. App store is huge, I'd look there if for things that fit your needs.
Did Apple let us down?
Not at all Apple has fully disclosed their position on Flash very publicly and it is well known in the industry. Even if Adobe did offer up Flash for iPad the performance would be pretty terrible as can be seen on with their Android offering.
And is there any reason we shouldn't take this back to the retailer while it is still returnable?
Yeah a couple.
One; is that you might actually sell it for more than it is worth, at least you could a few weeks ago.
Second; it looks like you haven't taken the time to grasp just what iOS devices are and how they are maturing technology wise. I don't have one at the moment but likely will when they come out with one with more RAM, but the device is extremely impressive when you grasp what some of its capabilities are. The long battery life and almost instant usability can be extremely handy traveling. It goes deeper than that but I wouldn't dismiss iPad just because it doesn't do Flash, that in my opinion is a very good thing.
Third; One of the things I love about iPhone is the way it is integrated into or ties together so well with my laptop and my Mobile Me account. While still young and improving the syncing capability is fantastic. Frankly I've never tried with any PC devices so I'm not sure if this will apply to your situation but the fact that I can tap in an address in the field somewhere and have it show up in my Mobile Me account an on my laptop address book is extremely liberating. Many other things sync well also. Once you get use to it this capability is just the nuts and makes Apples handheld devices more useful than you might think.
Fourth; Maybe iPad isn't perfect for your needs, I'm a big iPhone user so you might want to consider that you have the wrong device or that it should be supplemented with something better. In my opinion Apples iOS devices really come into their own when used in conjunction with other PC's be they Macs or Windows machines. Some will object to this idea and admittedly the iPad can function all by itself pretty darn good, but the fact remains that an iPad or iPhone can be seen as peripheral to your main machine. A very powerful one at that, that doesn't require lugging around.
Fifth; if you move to Mac hardware the integration with iPad is even better than that seen with a PC.
It is up to you in the end to keep or dispose of but realize that the device is not a laptop replacement by any means. Rather it is a different approach to mobile computing. It will either work for you or not.