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This article was published on April 6, 2010

10 Things That Suck on the iPad

10 Things That Suck on the iPad
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

Exactly 24 hours ago I received my iPad, from an anonymous courier, at Amsterdam Airport. I have been working with it non-stop ever since.

And I love it.

I love it so much that I left my MacBook pro at home today and am only using my iPad to do work. Yes, I’m writing this post in the WordPress iPad app on my iPad.

But the iPad isn’t all roses and sunshine. There are some bugs, strange effects, missing features and annoyances. I’m not even taking about no Flash or USB ports. We already knew those were missing. This is all new and fresh shit.

For all ya haters out there here is my “top 10 things that suck on the iPad”.

1: You can’t hover

Sounds obvious but is kinda annoying on a lot of websites. One example: on twitter.com the retweet and reply buttons aren’t visible unless you hover over the tweet, which isn’t possible with a touchscreen.

2: Lots of HTML rendering issues

A lot of websites don’t render well. Not just small ones but big ones too. On the right is a screenshot from the Facebook widget on this blog. It is a mess. There are just lots of little interface issues on different websites.

3: There is no ‘up’ or ‘down’

That means you often have it upside down. What I mean is that sometimes you want to press the Home button and it is gone, then you find out you are actually holding the damn thing upside down and the home button is now on top. Same goes for the volume buttons. You end up feeling all around the iPad with your fingers looking for them. I’m sure I will get used to it in time but for now it is annoying.

4: Apps are re-arranging themselves

In landscape mode the iPad shows 5 Apps and in the other view you get 4 in a row. Can be confusing (“Where the hell did that App go that was top right here. Aha, one row down on the left”.

5: No International support?

The iPad works fine in Europe except that you can’t access the iPhone App store unless you have a US iTunes account. For the iPhone I understand that as it is combined with a mobile operator contract so they want to restrict it to countries. But why the iPad? It is perfectly logical that people will buy them and take them all over the world. Music and movies have lots of copyright issues but Apps should just work anywhere. Why the hell can’t I buy Numbers, Pages and Keynote in Europe?

6: No stereo sound?

There are two speakers but they are located next to each other on the bottom (or top? See #3 ) of the iPad. They sound a lot better, and louder, than you would imagine but it isn’t stereo. Why not? Why didn’t Apple place those speakers on two sides to at least get us the impression of stereo sound?

7: No Settings for iWork’s Apps?

There are no settings for Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Weird, because they do have each have a dedicated Settings panel in System Settings. But all you will find there are the version number and credits. I can imagine a lot of little settings I would like to adjust. They are just not there.

8: Wi-Fi is buggy and unpredictable

This is a major issue for me: Wi-Fi doesn’t work as well as on my iPhone and MacBook pro. I couldn’t connect in my 3 favorite bars. In one it didn’t see the Wi-Fi signal at all and on the other one it hang on the login procedure. In the third bar it connected to Wi-Fi just fine but couldn’t receive any data. It works fine on my home and office Apple Airport access points. If I can’t show off in my favorite bars and impress the ladies than what the hell did I get it for?

9: iPhone Apps don’t rotate

iPhone apps don’t rotate to landscape view. Why not? Would be a lot easier to view them that way. Now if the App itself supports rotating then it does rotate within the iPad screen. But you can’t hold the iPad in landscape mode and see the iPhone straight up. Would be nice to have a setting for that some day. Or just a single button that says “Rotate App”.

10: No ‘No-Flash’ indication

Instead of displaying a missing flash icon the iPad just ignores Flash applets altogether. That means you are often not aware that stuff isn’t loading and are staring at a page in disbelief until you realize “Ah, there was supposed to be Flash here”. Sometimes the space where the Flash embed was supposed to be collapses and sometimes there is just a big white square in the middle of your layout. It is confusing and annoying.

Bonus point: People stare at you

This one is as much a problem as an opportunity of course. I was in a popular bar, reached in my bag and pulled out the iPad.it It felt as if the room went silent for 3 seconds, and then we heard the whispers; “iPad, iPad, iPad!”. For the first 6 months don’t expect to sit anywhere in public with your iPad without people approaching you to talk about it and wanting to touch it.


The iPad still rocks. It is an amazing device and for $499 you would be crazy not to get one (if you can afford it). The issues described here will undoubtedly get fixed over time and while annoying are no deal breaker. Did you find any other annoyances, bugs or missing features?

UPDATED: here are 20 more things that suck on the iPad. Via @Danischouten

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