I’ve just arrived back home after a week-long family vacation to Disney World. It was my first vacation to not take a laptop on - just the iPad. There were a couple of things I missed about not having a full computer, but the lightness of the iPad really made up for it. I think the perfect traveling companion would be an 11 inch MacBook Air with a portable USB drive, but that wasn’t in the budget this year.

I was mostly using the iPad as a place to offload photos from our 2 cameras; it keeps the RAW format files from my DSLR so that worked great. We ended up with nearly 1500 photos and the iPad worked very well for the purpose and as a tool culling through them and deleting the cruft. Where it fell down for me was not really an iPad issue, but more of third party applications or web UI’s:

  1. I wanted to have offsite backups for my photo’s but there are not many good iOS apps that allow bulk uploading like that - I ended up using FlickStackr to put them into my Flickr Pro account, but it’s a little buggy and doesn’t offer the organization flexibility that the Flickr web site does.
  1. Flickr.com’s web based organization interface is great - as long as you have a mouse. Fortunately, Flickr uses HTML for most (all?) off it’s tools, so their are no Flash dependencies to worry about, but unfortunately their UI often assumes you have a mouse to and drag items around with; on a touch pad this breaks down since dragging is interpreted as a scrolling motion. A similar failing also surfaces on Citibank’s web site for drop-down menus that only are navigable with mouse hovers since, that too, has no touch pad analog. (Hey you Android, BlackBerry or WebOS tablet users, do you guys have some unique way to handle these issues?)
  1. Lastly, Box.com’s iPad application is useless: I had hoped to use it as a way to ship the photos up to their free 50GB of storage that they gave iOS users a month or two ago… unfortunately, their iPad app has no upload capability at all.

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10 December 2011


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