A Day In
We've been playing around with iOS 4.2 on the iPad for about 24 hours now, and things haven't totally broken down for us yet–so we're doing well so far. In fact, things have gone very smoothly, it hasn't been anywhere near as frustrating as our initial jump to iOS4 was on the iPhone.
The toughest part of this is the setup. It's tedious to put all of your Apps in folders that first time, and we would suggest doing that through iTunes. On a positive note, the larger screen makes moving those Apps around much easier, but more on that later.
We were a bit worried about battery life at first. It seemed to drain pretty fast from about 100 percent down to 95 percent, then it seemed to stabilize a bit. With regular use, the battery doesn't seem to drain all that much faster. Unfortunately, we can't compare it side by side, so it may just be a mental thing because we are watching it more with more scrutiny than we normally would.
Stuff We Like
Things run a lot smoother than we had anticipated, even when there are several Apps running in the background. Switching between applications is smooth and worked without issue, but that was expected based on what we've seen in the past.
Folders are much larger. We tested a folder just to see how far we could stuff it (below). It maxes out at 20 Apps per folder (the iPhone/iPod Touch version maxes out at 12 Apps per folder), which is a good deal more than we figure the average user will need for any single folder.
As mentioned earlier, folder management is also much easier on the iPad thanks to the much larger screen. Once the initial setup is complete, it's easy to move applications around throughout your homescreen.
Stuff We Don't Like
We aren't fans of the new screen orientation lock. The shipped version of iOS on the iPad made it so that a switch on the side locks your screen orientation. That switch is now a mute button. It doesn't seem entirely necessary because holding down the volume down button (which happens to be right next to said switch) for about second automatically mutes the iPad. Now the orientation is locked by opening the multitasking dock and flipping over to the iPod controls to hit the lock. This takes a bit longer than just flipping a switch and feels unnecessary on a device that already has that extra button. As of the time of this writing, we didn't see a setting that changes this. On that note, we do appreciate the brightness and iPod controls being available on that multitask dock (file that one under "Stuff we like").
Multitasking was totally a welcome change on the iPad. Some of the Apps we tried still need to be optimized for multitasking, or it completely defeats the purpose. For example, Cracked for iPad relaunches each time we switch back to it. We imagine it will change with due time, but that's not something we can blame on iOS. We didn't notice any significant setbacks (we will keep an eye on our battery life) like we did when the iPhone was first given the ability to multitask.
Reader jtd posted a comment on our 1st hour impressions:
At the moment on a WEP wifi network, the everything works fine. Up until around 3 minutes, and then all downloads stop. I have to put the device into Airplane Mode or turn it off and on again, then the process repeats. Hopefully this is just restricted to the GM version. 3G seems to be unaffected, but I rarely run it on 3G. I've tried an extra restore, no effect.
We haven't run into the issue ourselves, but we don't have the same settings. Is anyone else having this problem? Feel free to leave comments if you have.