I’ve used a lot of tablets. Android, Chrome OS, Kindles, even Windows. The new 2018 iPad caught my attention, though. It turns out Apple has good tablet design down pat.
I’ll admit up front, I’m generally not a fan of iOS. This is partially because I’ve been using Android since the G1 came out, but also because I’ve rarely gotten along with Apple products. There’s nothing wrong with them. They just weren’t for me. So I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about using an iPad. To the shock of exactly zero Apple fans, though, it turned out to be one of the best tablets I’ve ever used.
After a Brief Adjustment Period, the iPad Feels Fantastic
Early on, using the iPad felt clunky to me. The interface simply didn’t do things the way I expected, largely due to years of mental programming using other OSes. For example, on Android, you swipe left-to-right to dismiss a notification, but on iOS it’s right-to-left. There’s no app drawer to place miscellaneous apps, so I’m left organizing icons on the home screen. It’s not wrong. It’s just different.
This says something about the nature of what’s “intuitive” in an operating system. The iPad is fast, fluid, and has some of the most crisp transition animations I’ve seen in a device. So why does it feel unnatural to me? Well, because I’m used to swiping this way instead of that way. These are my issues, not the tablet’s.
The iOS interface is fluid and it’s nearly impossible to miss what you’re aiming your finger for.
Once I accounted for that mental hurdle, I started to notice the little ways the iPad was ideal for what it was doing. For starters, everything has a huge touch target, making it easy to tap every little button. Most apps make use of the large display effectively, which is a sore point for Android tablets in particular.
More than anything, though, the size is perfect. While Apple has the iPad Mini to let people quibble over which sized tablet is just right, but for me the 9.7″ display is ideal. It’s large enough to fit a full novel or comic book page on the screen without feeling constrained, while it’s still small enough to hold comfortably. Frustratingly, most other tablet manufacturers aren’t putting their best foot forward at this size. It’s easy to find a good enough 7″ tablet that isn’t running iOS, but at this size, Apple has it covered.
The New 2018 iPad Is Blazingly Fast
Comparing the new iPad to previous generations is like comparing a juicy steak to a slightly juicier steak. It’s largely similar to Apple tablets in the past. It has the same display that every large iPad has had since 2012, the same fingerprint scanner since 2014, and even the same $329 (32GB) starting price as last year’s iPad.
What’s new, however, is the A10 processer Apple put in it. Previously, you could buy the iPad Pro with an A10X processor, which is one of the fastest mobile processors Apple…
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