Europe holiday week 3 – summary of experience with the Apple iPad

Written by Gary on October 25th, 2010

It has now been 3 weeks of travel in Europe with an Apple iPhone and iPad, so time for an update on how well this combination works for the travel photographer.

Email whilst overseas scores 5/10:

Although not an iPad issue, I was not able to configure my ISP’s email to send email except by going through their webmail system.

Webmail on the iPad is very dysfunctional and very frustrating to use.
Whilst one can scroll using the iPad, it will NOT let you scroll within a webmail text message which is a big pain, but worse, you cannot send photos with webmail because Apple has NOT allowed Safari web browser to access your photo folders!

You can of course copy a photo then paste it into your email but unfortunately this only copied the file name of the photo – not the photo!

Furthermore, my friend tried to change his Yahoo password using Safari and this was impossible to achieve.

I solved the photo emailing issue by creating a hotmail email account and this worked OK for emailing a photo – although cumbersome as one has to go into the photo application, find your photo, then select email and then it opens a new email message and you have to change the email account to your hotmail account, and Also make sure you are logged into live Messenger in Safari!

Of course, you do not get any options to alter image size or jpeg compressn prior to sending – you just send the already compromised “optimized” jpeg file that the iPad had created when you imported the photo from your came a or SD card.

Another frustrating aspect of writing emails is the iPad spellchecker – it can drive you crazy and make your emails illegible, particularly if you like to use abbreviations And not adhere to correct grammar!

Mine even kept reverting to the Italian keyboard AND spelling even though I had deleted Italian from the settings!

Web browsing scores 5/10:

There are a number of issues which cripples ipad’s web browsing experience:
– no support for Flash player – it is surprising how many websites become inaccessible, and it is often the ones you really need like 3 mobile.
– no access to your photos so unless you use a dedicated application, you cannot upload a photo to a website using Safari, unfortunately, only a few websites have iPad application to allow this.
– no ability to save a web file for offline use, let alone save files into organized folders! You can buy an app called Downloader HD which I highly recommend as a compromise.
– no ability to scroll within a text box on a web page – this makes editing a word press blog post very difficult indeed! In fact, this post was primarily authored in the iPad Notes app in plain text, then copy and pasted into a new post within Safari, but as I was not able to scroll through it in Safari, nor choose WYSIWYG mode, I had to resort to using a WordPress app to finish the editing, and even then had to use HTML to format it! Just not good enough Apple!

Photo browsing scores 5/10:

The user interface for browsing photos can be quite fun and enjoyable, but zooming in On a photo Is not as useful as iPad only stores a low resolution image with loss of detail.

A nice feature of the photo app us that it categories your photos by Events which essentially Are the dates the photo was taken on.

Unfortunately, you cannot create folders on the iPad so that you can organize your photos, or even create a best of folder.

I did buy an app called Photo Sort HD which allows you to create folders for your photos, but the interface is very clumsy, and you must import photos from your main photos folders, and this is done by viewing tiny thumbnails which makes this process very frustrating.

Even worse, the display of images in browsing is quite slow to load making the app poorly responsive and during a slideshow it would continually crash.

Photo editing scores 2/10:

Whilst you can download apps to do rudimentary photo editing, there Is not much point wasting your time editing the small resolution images that the iPad only allows you to play with.

Uploading photos to your own website scores 4/10:

You need to buy an FTP client application to upload photos to your own hosted website, but again, you are dealing with the low resolution images and it is a slow process.
Worse still, there is no native JAlbum application to create these albums on your own website as you can with a Windows computer – nor can you update existing albums.
There is a application which will allow you to upload photos to your hosted albums, which may be useful, likewise, there are similar apps to do so for uploading photos to Facebook, Picasa, etc.

Photo backup scores 1/10:

As mentioned in a previous post, backing up your original image files and jpegs is virtually impossible to do on an iPad.

It does a reasonable job of importing your photos although the SD card reader is buggy and requires rebooting several times to get it to be recognized as a valid device, but the imported Files are degraded jpegs only – only for worse case use as backup.
Whatever you do, make sure you choose the KEEP option after importing otherwise all your originals will be lost forever!


Don’t waste your money on this first version of an iPad – sure it is relatively light, compact and cool to play with, but when you really want to use it, it let’s you down in so many unexpected ways.

And of course, there is no easy way to print anything, such as your flight booking card, as there is no USB connection for printers, and you cannot use USB memory sticks as your intermediary device.

Buy a Windows net book or similar instead!

I thought I was doing my wife a favor buying an iPad for her but she just hates it – and she only uses it for webmail and surfing the net!

ps.. I did find an app that will allow me to send a photo from my iPhone to the iPad via Bluetooth – it’s called picTransfer and seems to work well.


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