Review: 7th Gen Apple iPad

Dear Apple,

I am probably not your typical customer. The previous time I purchased an Apple device, it was a second generation iPod, when those were new. I have not set up a new Apple device since then. I was in need of a self-controlled screen immediately and found that the cheapest option in stock at the local Best Buy was a brand new seventh generation Apple iPad, on sale. This was my experience setting it up:

The user cannot display the wifi password while typing during setup to see why it is incorrect. The time of 8-character passwords is ending and the time of 64-character passphrases has begun; being unable to even have the option to see the password is frustrating.

The popup default/Apple keyboard shows greyed out input options (symbol characters) in grey above the letters, but there is no way to access them without leaving the alphabet board for the numerals and symbols board. Pressing and holding does not grant access to those options (as it does on Android) and instead grants access to alternative European characters. Why even show inaccessible options?

If you try to type quickly instead of one-finger-poking each key slowly, you will find that an “undo” key exists, which wipes all input for the wifi password text field, and it is located directly in place of the right-hand symbol board key. That way if you try to instinctively hit the same spot to switch boards back from symbols to alphabet, you wipe your input. This was not a positive user experience for me.

One of the apps this new device needed was Zoom. Why does the App Store show the developer of Zoom as Meet Happy instead of as Zoom Video Communications?

Not only is it impossible to input a slash ‘/’ (for example, to manually type a URL) without switching away from the alphabet keyboard to the symbols keyboard, but it is also impossible to tap or slide the keyboard input cursor into the middle of text without spaces (for example, to add a space in between two search terms where a space was missed) while in the Safari address bar / search box.

But hey, at least it was the cheapest option. Is that what Steve Jobs wanted?

P&DA Pickup and Delivery Services Inc.

A number of outfits (including Google) have been working extensively on making self-driving cars. Someone should take that technology and apply it to a smaller automaton — create the P&DA Pickup and Delivery Service. This business would run a number of P&DAs (pronounced “pan-duh”, for Pickup AND Delivery Automaton) out of central garage/shop/repair/charging stations to handle a variety of pickup and delivery services. The v1.0 P&DAs would be slow, light, and small electric scooters with side wheels for extra stability and a box for cargo instead of a human driver/rider/passenger seat; I think I see them as speed-limited to like 15-30kph at first for safety in order to prove that the technology is reliable and can be safe. The service model would be to provide a smooth, web-based, mobile-accessible interface for “retail” customers, as well as more advanced features and contact/help for corporate/enterprise contracts, so that customers could order that a P&DA arrive at address A, be loaded with whatever, arrive at address B, get unloaded, and return to its home charging/service station. Have the container designed by the people who make ATMs, for physical security, and it could only be unlocked if its GPS coordinates were correct and a secret key code (sent by email to the delivery receiver) is typed into its keypad. I might also integrate a credit card reader into the keypad so it would only open once you paid for the delivery.

Imagine ordering a delivery made to you, even if you are out at the library or at a coffee shop. You could also use it to drop off packages to the post office (skip the line!). Would you order your next take-out food, grocery, or dry cleaning transportation from a P&DA?

Where is my car’s ringtone?

People like personalizing their possessions and the more expensive something is the more personalized the owner would probably prefer it to be. A car is likely the second most expensive thing someone owns, after their house. Most modern cars beep an acknowledgement when the associated keychain radio transmitter is clicked. It just beeps? Didn’t cell phones stop “just beeping” like 5 years ago, while nice phones had basic ringtones at least 10 years ago?

So, here is the idea. What if you could use a USB connection in your dashboard to load a 1-5 second audio clip that plays (midi-fied?) instead of beeping when the radio transmitter is used? You could even permit a set of them to be loaded, so that “lock”, “unlock”, and “find me” can have different audio settings.