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Michael Crump Microsoft MVP, INETA Community Champion and XAML Advocate.

The Apple iPad is currently getting a lot of buzz because of the app store, the book store and of course iTunes. I had the chance to play with one and this is what I have learned about the device.

Let’s get this out of the way first, the iPad is awesome. It is the device for media consumption and casual web browsing. But how does it measure up to those of us with .NET on our brains all days. Let’s find out…

Main Screen – you can customize everything on this page.

I guess I should replace that image with a C# or VS logo. Its pretty standard stuff if you have an iPhone.

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Programming Books

If you have a subscription to Safari Books Online, then you are in luck, its very easy to read the books on the iPad. Just fire up Safari web browser and goto the Safari Books Online. The biggest benefit that I can see with the iPad is the ability to read books wherever and not have to worry about purchasing books that I already have the .PDF for.

Below is a sample from Code Complete 2nd Edition.

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Below is a PDF of the ECMA-334 C# Language Specification. As you can see its very readable and you should have no problem reading actual code.

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Example of Code shown below:

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It is however easier to read the PDF and store them with a 3rd party PDF reader. I have seen several for .99 cents or less.

You can however switch the screen to vertical to get more viewing space as shown below:

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I was disappointed with the iBooks application. I could not find a single .NET programming book anywhere. I was able to download the excellent sci-fi book “A memory of Wind” for free though. If I just overlooked them, then please email me with the names and titles. I couldn’t even find a technology category in the categories list.

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Web Surfing – Technical Sites

Below is an example of my site in Safari. The code is very readable and the experience was identical to viewing it in Firefox. I tried multiple programming site and the pages looked great except those that used flash and of course it did not display on those pages.

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News Apps - Technical Content

The standard NY Times and USA Today looked great, but the Technical Content was lacking. It would probably be better to use Google Reader for online technical news.

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YouTube Videos – Technical Content 

Since its YouTube, we already know that a lot of technical content exist and it plays great on the iPad. I watched several programming videos and could clearly see the code being written.

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Taking Technical Notes

The iPad comes with a great notepad for taking notes. I found that it was easy to take notes regarding projects that I am currently working on.

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Calendar

The calendar that ships with the iPad is great for organizing. You can setup exchange server or manually enter the information. Pretty standard stuff.

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Random Applications that I like: TweetDeck.

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and Adobe Ideas. Adobe Ideas is kinda like SketchFlow except you use your finger to mock up the sketches. 

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Don’t forget that the iPad is great for any type of podcasting. That pretty much sums it up, I would definitely recommend this device as it will only get better. I believe the iOS4 comes out on the 24th and the iPad will only get more and more apps. You could save a few bucks by waiting for the 2nd generation, but that’s a call that only you can make.

Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2010 2:36 PM Hardware | Back to top

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