[This is veering pretty far off-topic (OK, waaay off-topic), but I know quite a few of our regulars are bloggers themselves, so I thought this might be of interest to those individuals who are doing some mobile blogging. —Alan]
Our daughter turned 15 last week and for her birthday we had an iPad reserved for her at our local Apple Store. We went down Saturday morning and got in line an hour before they opened. When we arrived there was already a crowd, but we timed it about right and got in with the first wave. It was a fun experience and the kid’s excited about her new computer. So far she’s impressed with the speed and responsiveness of the UI, the already good selection of apps, and the stunningly beautiful display. She’ll be using it for school work (running Pages), e-mail, movies, music, chat, and just about everything else she was previously doing on three separate devices. Dad’s quite impressed as well.
I’m still trying to sort out in my mind whether the iPad truly has the potential to be the ultimate mobile blogging device. I was skeptical going in, but the performance is much better than I expected, and the browsing experience is on par with my MacBook (if not superior). The big advantage is that the iPad weighs 1.5 lbs. compared to my MacBook at 4.5 lbs. The big disadvantage is that there has yet to be a photo editing app produced for the iPad/iPhone OS that does what I need it to do. If my blogging approach was based more on text and less on imagery, I’d probably already own an iPad. In the meantime, I’m waiting and watching to see what types of apps are released to fill the void for advanced photo editing. For those of you who are doing quick crops and uploads of photos direct out of the camera, this device could be a near perfect mobile blogging tool in my opinion.
As an aside, the EcoVelo header — the one at the top of the page that includes the rotating images — is a Flash object. As was true for their other mobile devices, Apple has chosen to not support Flash for the iPad. If you’re a new iPad user, you’ll notice a single, static image in place of the normal slideshow at the top of the page. The site’s not broken; since the iPad won’t display the Flash object, I put together a work-around that serves up a static image instead. If you normally read EcoVelo on a handhald device, you were already getting served our Mobile version sans graphics, and if you view the site on a standard browser, nothing has changed.
(UPDATE: Thanks to a little prompting from Greg, I figured out how to set-up a slideshow using jquery and the “cycle” plugin, so we now have a Flash-free slideshow on the iPad and iPhone. Thanks, Greg!)