Some thoughts on the iPad

Ok, it has been almost a week since I got my iPad so I thought I’d jot down some thoughts on it so far.

It always takes me a little while to get used to a new device, to figure out what I’m doing with it and how I want to use it, and sometimes the process can take weeks rather than days. Not quite the same with the iPad. Apart from the ridiculous amount of time the first sync took it has been a joy to use.

It is only fair to say that the screen and interface is beautiful, and whilst I know that loads of people have said this, it does feel heavier than I was expecting.

One of the immediate things I noticed was the feeling of space in the interface. My iPhone’s interface feels almost cramped by comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to give up my iPhone any time soon, but I’ve heard that lots of people now think of their iPhones and Touches like mini iPads and I can see that now.

All the built in apps have been really well designed to make use of the screen real estate, and I especially like iCal on the iPad and I think that it is probably better than on OSX itself.

So is it any good for music? Fair question. I’ve got a lot of my iPhone music apps already on the iPad and you can really notice the difference in load times from the 3G. I’m going to post a some more in detail posts about the universal apps and those that a built for the iPad itself, but here are some initial thoughts from a week’s use of music apps.

So far I think that the iPad is going to be an amazing platform for mobile music. I’ve been using apps like miniSynth Pro, Bleep!Box, iSequence, RJ Voyager, Retronyms Synth, Mixtikl, Sunvox, and iElectribe, and they are all amazing on this device.

At the weekend I went to a friend’s open mic night and played using my iPad / iPhone / Touch, plus I had two bongo players jam along with me, and the results were great. Sadly I neither recorded nor filmed the performance which was a shame, but I hope to do some more soon.

Using the iPad live was great. I really used it as to run arps and sequences (miniSynth Pro and Bleep!Box) then improvised with Bebot on the other devices.

I didn’t have time to get anything set up in iElectribe for the performance but I think that next time around that’s going to be the centre of a track or two.

If developers keep bringing out apps of the same quality as those already available for the iPad then this will be an incredible mobile music platform. My one hope is that the iPhone and iPod Touch don’t get forgotten at the same time.

I’ll be posting more on specific apps over the next few days, and I’m really interested in your opinions of the device and how you’re getting used to using it for composing or recording or performing.


  1. Its great to hear how you've been getting on with the iPad. I've been wondering what you'd have to say about it. It seems like such an exciting platform for creative stuff. I am also going to get myself one soon hopefully… Cheers! Tim

  2. Bebot, and Thumbjam, are the only reason why I still want to get that thing someday. If it weren't for them I wouldn't care at all about this device. I have tried it many times, and except news sites, its just horrible browsing with it, all the websites with flash menus are broken. Its only good if you visit the same sites over and over, try to wander hoping to find some new stuff and you will be reminded how incomplete the experience is (I was just searching for a free kaosspad like synth in the store for a few minutes and I only got 2-3 pages to render completely).

    As cool as Bebot is, I just can't justify 640$ for it (640$ is the price in canada with taxes).

    I thought about TouchOSC too, have you gave that a try?

  3. Do you think that it might be possible to export a pattern from iElectribe and then load it directly into Chippad or iSequence, or something similar without having to connect to sync with iTunes first? It would be wicked if you could do stuff like that…

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