I blame Steve Jobs and his evil, demon sales ways

Summary:Fine. So I finally broke down and bought a bleep-bleep-bleep, bleepin' iPad.

Fine. So I finally broke down and bought a bleep-bleep-bleep, bleepin' iPad. I know, I know. I've been bitching about this thing since the day it was announced, and now I have one. I don't know why, but suddenly I just had to have one.

Buyer's remorse has already set in.

OK, so reading books on the thing is awwwwwsome, far, far nicer than on the Kindle. I tried iBooks and the reading experience is excellent. So is the reading experience using the Kindle app. PDFs are far more challenging, but I suspect I'll get them to show up reliably on the device eventually.

I have fourteen days to return the thing.

Netflix on-demand is quite cool on the iPad. Of course, I have a big-screen HDTV, so why I need Netflix on a tiny screen is unclear. But it's definitely cool.

As long as I have my receipt, and it's undamaged, I should get a full refund.

There were some weirdnesses getting the thing to start working. When I first plugged the iPad into my iMac (yes, I have one of those monstrosities as well), iTunes insisted I'd already configured an iPad. I hadn't. I'm sure of it. But eventually, it let me talk to the iPad.

Then, it decided to dump all my iPhone apps (even the stupid ones) onto the iPad. If I delete an app off the iPad, will it delete it off the iPhone as well?

Oh, and the iPad insisted I use a different iTunes account from the one I use for my iPhone. I'd had to create a new iTunes account to submit my book to the iBook store, so suddenly iTunes decided that was going to be my account for the iPad. Eventually, after some futzing, I convinced the iPad to accept the iTunes account I've used for almost a decade. Joy.

Then again, I could just take the device back tomorrow.

All whining aside, I'm very concerned about the battery on this thing. I've read everywhere that it's supposed to have a 10-hour battery. But as far as I can tell, this battery lasts less than the iPhone. I've been using it for about two hours and it's already at 50% power. That gives the iPad a battery life of about 4 hours -- not 10 hours. I haven't plugged it in overnight yet, so we'll see if that makes a difference. (Update: it did. The iPad charged fully, although I don't know how much run time it has).

Fortunately, the store is only about a half hour away.

I downloaded a few iPad apps from the App store and so far, I'm completely underwhelmed. I'm even less impressed with the apps that come with the iPad. First, of course, three of the apps are actually stores. There's the App store app. There's the iTunes store app. And while the iBooks app doesn't strictly come with the iPad, as soon as you open the App store app, it harasses you to download the iBooks app, so it might as well have been pre-installed.

Which brings me to the bizarre creation called the iPod app. I downloaded a couple of podcasts. They suck. But now I can't delete them. Apparently, I have to dock the frickin' iPad to iTunes before I can remove them. Wow, how hokey can you get?

The returns desk is open until about 9pm.

So I spent $600 on a bigger version of the iPhone. Why? The iPhone already sucks. Could it have really taken Apple four years to discover the idea of folders for apps (and only for the next release of the iPhone). Oooh, what a fabulously innovative feature! Hey, Steve! Palm from 1997 is calling -- they'd like their folder feature back.

So I have this 32GB device, my wrist kinda hurts from holding the thing (it's heavier than it looks), there's nothing it does that the iPhone doesn't already do, and for six hundred smackeroons, the thing didn't even come with a case. Not even a crappy case. Nothing.

If I take back the iPad, I wonder if I can get my $3 back on the iPad apps I just bought.

I haven't even told you about the idiocy that's the iPad email app. Although I'm continually annoyed by the iPhone email app (which doesn't know from collapsing folders), the iPad email app is an exercise in you-must-be-kidding-me. Did you know that you can't just get a message list view? You're always dropped into an email message. Automatically. You must read an email message to use the app. As a result, you're always forced into an open message, which forces it to have "read" status, and which may force you to read something you otherwise wouldn't. It's a spammer's dream.

I honestly don't know what possessed me to buy this dog. I can only blame Steve Jobs and his evil, demon sales techniques. Sure, it beats the pants off the Kindle. And sure, reading is nice. But what else am I going to do with it? It's going to be another piece of consumer electronics gathering dust in my office.

My wife thinks I should keep it.

Some days I truly wonder about Apple. What is it that makes these things so appealing? It's like consumer electronics crack. But like crack, there's no good that can come from these things. On one hand, we're complaining about Apple's policies and on the other, we're running down to the store, hoping there's just one more left in stock.

Sigh. I have the receipt. I do hope they'll take it back. What was I thinking?

I hear Plants vs. Zombies is fun. And We Rule. And Angry Birds. And Cogs. And Dominion...must get them all...NooOOOooOOoo!

I know you want to TalkBack below. I do not want to hear it.

Update: My wife loves it, soooo we're keeping it.

Topics: Apple, Apps, Collaboration, Hardware, iPad, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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