April 12, 2010

Less ugly notes on the iPad

For reasons that probably made sense at the time (not that they were good reasons, just that they made sense) someone chose to use Marker Felt as the font for Notes on the iPhone and carried that over to the iPad. I dunno why exactly, as it's ugly and, worse, illegible at small sizes, but whatever. You also can't change it, which is doubly nasty. Yeah, I suppose font pickers are a bad thing in general and I can understand wanting to keep them away from the general user most of the time, but if you're going to do that you should choose a font that really doesn't suck.

Thankfully there's a way to get legible text out of Notes.

You need to enable the Japanese keyboard in the general settings. Once you do that, typing any single character off any of the japanese keyboards will flip the entire note over to use Helvetica. (I found this out by accident as it's really easy to switch keyboards) Doesn't matter how much text you've typed, and you can delete the japanese character without causing the note to shift back.

Yes, this is a horrible, nasty hack. It's lame and you shouldn't have to do it go get legible text, but it does work and if you happen to have the japanese keyboards enabled anyway it's even essentially effort-free.

Posted by Dan at 07:47 AM | TrackBack

April 04, 2010

A thing I want for my iPad

I've been fooling around with the thing since it showed up, and I like it. Using the iPad's different than I expected. I figured it'd be mostly like using my phone only with a screen big enough that I can see it from a distance, and with touch areas large enough that I can reasonably hit them. That, it turns out, is not the case. Having a huge screen makes interacting with it a mostly different experience, and one that's quite nice.

Having fiddled with it for a while, I realize that there's one thing very much missing in the accessory field. I want (I mean want, dammit!) a waterproof slide-in stand with screen protector. Something I can trivially slip the 'pad into and have it stand up so I can read it and tap the screen without worrying about getting stuff in the guts of the thing, mostly because of this:

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List

Yeah, that's right, an iPad app with nicely formatted recipes, ready for use in the kitchen, a place where the iPad most definitely shouldn't go. (If the state of my cookbooks is anything to go by, given how spattered they are) Give me a way to use the 'pad in the kitchen and I will be very, very happy. (And likely start spending far too much on cookbooks in the book store)

Posted by Dan at 06:51 PM | TrackBack

April 02, 2010

Reasons to go large

Now that Apple's opened up the App Store so we can go look at the iPad apps, I find I'm very, very glad I sprung for the biggest of the pads. I was thinking that 64G was way too much, but I could toss all my music on it and maybe a few movies for when I want to watch something. I mean, I've got an 8G iPhone, and while it's a bit cramped that mostly means I have to not put music I don't much care about on it. Yeah, I'm gonna put a bunch of ebooks on it, but even that won't take all that much space.

The iPad apps, it turns out, are bloody enourmous. The biggest of the lot so far is The Elements: A Visual Exploration at 1.74G (Gig! Eeesh!) but the rest of these apps are coming in at 50-70M a pop. Well, okay, Bloomberg for iPad is only 2.7M because we're just that good, but still...

Folks who bought the 3G iPad are going to find they are not going to be downloading new apps over the air. And I don't want to think about what the load on the local Starbucks WiFi networks will look like. It'll only take a couple of people going "Oh cool!" to swamp the net for an hour or more. It's a darned good thing the iGadgets seem to handle partial downloads with retry pretty well.

Posted by Dan at 10:54 PM | TrackBack