(Do they still qualify as “first impressions” after owning the device for more than 24 hours?)
Yesterday I managed to get my hands on an iPad 2. Bear in mind that I had always thought of the original iPad as a good idea, but a bit of a waste of time and money – I mean, 400 quid for an overgrown iPhone that doesn’t let you call anyone? That, though, was before I saw the GarageBand demo. I saw one video on YouTube and it changed the game for me. As some of you know, I am often called on the be away from home, so having a very capable 8 track studio in my laptop bag is a big draw.
Anyway, I patiently waited my opportunity to pick up one of the new generation, albeit the bottom of the range 16GB wifi model. They first thing that struck me was how well it sits in my hands. That Mr. Ive is a talented designer, and his stuff always looks the part but I hadn’t realised how natural these devices feel in use.
The bundled apps on the device are pretty good too. Safari has always been a great browser and the iOS version is no exception. The mail client took seconds to configure with my main email account, and the app store experience is a joy after using the Windows Phone 7 marketplace for a few months.
So now came the big moment – installing GarageBand. I was expecting it to be more difficult than it actually was, for some reason. In the end, I just found the app in the app store, clicked on the buy button, and a couple of minutes later I was up and running with my new (almost) pocket sized studio. Having used the full version on my MacBook I was familiar with most if the functions, and it took me literally 10 minutes to get a half way decent recording down using just e out of the box instruments. Adding in the iRig guitar adapter that I bought, I was recording guitar parts that sounded like they had been recorded for a lot more money than I had just shelled out (apart from the dodgy playing, obviously).
So, all in all I’m extremely happy with the iPad 2. If you are a friend on Facebook you may well have noticed a few posts to that effect.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go explore the app store some more to find a good Facebook client…