Apple iPad, Day 29: Five Things I Like Most


4. App Store. You might recall that I have had some . I'd like to see it cleaned up and better organized to make searching through 400,000 apps a little easier, and I wish the App Store would implement a test drive or return policy that would enable me to check out an app and scrap it if it doesn't meet my needs without getting charged for it.

Complaints aside, though, there is a lot to like about the Apple App Store. For one thing, apps are relatively cheap--many of them are simply free. Granted, The iWorks suite of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote is nowhere near as flexible or powerful as the Microsoft Office 2010 suite, but it only cost me $30 compared with a few hundred for Office 2010. Madden 11 HD from EA Sports may not be quite the same as Madden 11 on the Xbox 360, but it only set me back $10 instead of $60.

Aside from price, there is also the benefit of ubiquitous access. If I am working from Starbucks and decide I need a certain application, the odds of being able to locate it online, download it, and start using it immediately are virtually zero. With the Apple App Store, however, I know that I have access to the complete library of iPad (or iOS) software, and that I can install and start using any of it within a matter of minutes--or even seconds.

5. Front Camera. The is essentially useless. If Apple doesn't plan to make significant jump in the quality and capabilities of that camera in the next iPad model, it should just eliminate it. The , on the other hand, is quite nice.

The ability to conduct FaceTime video calls, or participate in video conferencing sessions using Fuze Meeting, or WebEx make the iPad 2 much more valuable as a mobile productivity platform than its predecessor.