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I have an iPad

Today I did something very American (well it felt American): got in a line at an Apple Store to buy the new Apple iPad. The whole retail experience at an Apple Store is geared to an almost religious fervor & the launch of the iPad didn’t disappoint with the Apple staff decked out in their blue Apple t-shirts greeting you as you joined the line, handing out free bottles of water & even joking when collecting rubbish “any rubbish? drink bottles? Kindles??”. And then when you entered the store a line of the same blue shirted staffers clapped you in like you’ve just returned from battle.

And instead of purchasing with the people that didn’t have a reservation, we got to walk up to the third floor, usually dedicated to the Apple Genius bar, to have a whole other group of Apple staffers greet & meet & talk about how much you love the device you haven’t actually purchased yet. And then they clap you on the way out as well!

So now that I’ve got it home & have calmed down a bit what do I think? It’s fantastic. It’s basically a big iPod Touch – but that’s why it’s so great. Smart mobile devices like the iPhone are great at consuming content – games, music, news, Twitter – all accessible anywhere & anytime. The problem is that the form factor has never really been great when you’re not moving around. This is where the iPad comes into it’s own. The kitchen, on the couch, reading in bed, on the train – all where the iPad rules. I spend a lot of the time checking email, checking Tweets, surfing, reading, listening, watching. At the moment this is all done on my MacBook – but the iPad now makes it so much easier & somehow seem so much cooler.

Everything is very snappy – it feels like a real computer rather than a big mobile device (actually a little heavier than I expected it to be). The bevel doesn’t look big in real life & is quite handy because you feel you can really hold it properly without inadvertently launching an app. The keyboard is good – I can touch type on it without issue but my wife’s finger nails meant she was a little frustrated by it (that’s actually a feature – if she wants one she can buy one). Even though the iPad is a killer device for consumption I can see myself doing content production on it as well – it’s so intuitive to use & I’m really looking forward to the different types of apps that developers come up with that really push the platform to it’s limit. Have already loaded some apps – will be interesting to hear some comments from other iPad users as to the killer apps (I’ve got Tweetdeck, the new Kindle app & MLB At Bat 2010 so far).

So does Xero work on it? Of course! There are some issues with the fact that we have some Flash still hanging around, but otherwise both Xero & Xero Personal look & work great (actually everything looks great on the iPad – that screen is stunning). We will be releasing new versions of both products that are even more iPad friendly in the near future. Don’t ask us about us creating an iPad app though – at Xero we’re dedicated to the open web & reaching as many platforms & devices as possible. Having said that we are doing some work in this area at the moment to make the transition from the device to the web seamless so stay tuned.

 

Read more about Technology, Mobile

 

9 comments

Rod Drury
4 April 2010 #

Thank you for personally collecting my iPad. When I can expect it to arrive on my desk? No. Wait. Surprise me.

Matthew Bartlett
4 April 2010 #

I’m planning to get one too, but the purchasing experience you describe sounds creepy & like everyone involved had to cash in their souls beforehand.

Stuart Jones
5 April 2010 #

The only reason it seems American is because it’s the only bl***y place to buy one! Having said that we’re visiting our son in New Orleans next month so guess what my wife and I are doing on day one?

Tim
5 April 2010 #

Just wondering – are you trying to get rid of flash everywhere in favor of AJAX for platform portability now? Is Xero expected to work better on the ipad soon?
double question marks?? ‘initiative to use’ (did you mean intuitive?)

Tom
6 April 2010 #

I second the motion for more platform portability. As an iPad, iPhone and Xero supporter, more functionality across these platforms would be tremendously welcome. Keep up the good work!! I love my Xero (and now my new iPad).

Earl Rudolfo
7 April 2010 #

So Craig, now that you’ve got a iPad, what’s next? Here’s what I’m thinking – that Xero should have a contest of some kind for Xero users and give the winner an iPad -:) What do you think?

Jill in Arizona
7 April 2010 #

Your blog entry is very good news to me. Just today I had an appointment with a business manager at the Apple Store to try out the IPad for use in my mobile business. I left thinking that it wouldn’t work because when I tried to send a invoice from Xero to a client, the IPad froze (we tried three times). The Apple guy said that it was because of the Flash on Xero so I thought I was going to have to give up my dream of using the IPad and have to go to a (gasp) Netbook. Now I have hope. How long til Xero no longer uses Flash?

Craig Walker
8 April 2010 #

@Matthew The experience is actually really friendly & involving – though admittedly afterwords I felt a little dirty.

@Stuart http://www.apple.com/retail/lakesideshoppingcenter/

@Tim Good question. The medium term view is to get rid of Flash everywhere – the thing is you bring up platform portability but Flash has better support than HTML5 does (just ask IE7 :)). So it’s a matter of being pragmatic about how we do this.

@Jill Hello Jill in Arizona! Great to hear from customers in the US. First off: the Apple guy put you wrong – our use of Flash does not get in the way of any of our base functionality (we only use Flash for our pretty graphs). Having said that you have come across our first iPad bug! But don’t let that put you off – we do have some work to do but we’re doing it & Xero is a fantastic accounting system on the move.

I’m definitely still having a great deal of fun with it & the novelty hasn’t worn off at all. There’s an article over on Fast Company on why you shouldn’t buy an iPad yet with a great quote:

Only lemmings with no self-control and excessive disposable income buy first generation Apple products

Here’s the thing: Apple makes you want their products with or without the excessive disposable income. (If you’d like to see if you can afford an iPad get Xero Personal now!).

Craig

Will Croxford
8 April 2010 #

Problems with Flash on websites, what a surprise.

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