Open Thread: Is the iPad a Useful Web Working Tool?


Apple’s (s aapl) hotly anticipated new tablet device, the iPad, went on sale this weekend in North America. As for those WWD readers who were lucky enough to get their mitts on one, I want to hear how effective a tool you feel it is for doing web work.

While the early feedback appears to be largely positive, and there are already plenty of useful-looking apps available for the device, some people have spotted a few niggles that might be particularly annoying for web workers. For example, John Gruber notes that although the iWork apps are nice, working with the same document on Mac and iPad is tricky as you can’t save to, only export. And some users are reporting Wi-Fi issues, while others are annoyed because the device only lets you sync one calendar (although Kevin over at jkOnTheRun has posted a workaround for this issue using Google Sync (s goog)).

So if you managed to snag an iPad this weekend, what do you think? I’m particularly interested to hear how well the onscreen keyboard functions and if, from an ergonomic perspective, you’re concerned about using it over long periods of time. And more broadly, do you think the device could change the way you work? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Related iPad content from GigaOM Pro (subscription required)



As far as something that can be used for surfing the web, answering emails and especially for taking notes on the go at meetings, it is perfect! It is not meant to be a commuter replacement or a phone replacement, and if you look at it that way, then no. But for the perfect middle device that i carry with me everywhere, yes absolutely.

I am still looking , however, for a good FTP/HTML editor that can be used ti make some quick updates to the site, but i am sure it will come.

So far, it is perfect!



I think for normal web work it makes an excellent secondary device to keep your email/calendar/todo/twitter/skype etc on so they aren’t taking up screen space on your main computer.

For working in your local coffee shop, same as above. It would be like having a dual screen setup.

I think the strength of the iPad will be on other occasions when you don’t have a laptop with you. I think you will be able to be more productive than just with your iPhone with the larger screen. And if there is a Coda for iPad, I will be first in line to get it.

The keyboard is going to take some getting use to. I am having trouble keeping my fingers off of the screen when typing which is causing a lot of wrong characters to appear. It is also very sensitive which causes multiples of the same character. I think I will get the hang of it with more practice, just like when I first got an iPhone.


I’d say no. I couldn’t see myself using it for web surfing for a prolonged period of time.


As a daily work machine? No. Even if Coda or a similar third party provides an IDE it will still be a little clumsy compared to a laptop/desktop. The keyboard accessory would help make it more realistic as a development tool or on-the-go support for your clients, but I wouldn’t want to work a project start to finish on it.

Simon Mackie

I wasn’t thinking about it as a complete laptop/desktop replacement (although I would be interested to hear from anyone who thinks that might be possible in their work). I guess it depends on what you do, exactly, but: how possible to get work done on one? As a travel machine, is it a replacement for a netbook? Are there any tasks it does better than a laptop? I’m curious as I haven’t seen one (and won’t for a while, either, being in the UK)

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