How to get started with your new iPad

by Volker Weber


The iPad is not yet available in Germany. I got mine through Oliver B., who just attended WES 2010 in Orlando and offered to bring one over. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't want to rub it in that I have an iPad, and you don't. Yeah, right. Anyway. Here is some information to give you a head start once you get yours. You don't want one? Quit reading. Before I get started, I just want to say it really helps if your data sits in the cloud, and if you already use services like Google Apps, Evernote and Dropbox.

If you have an iPod touch or an iPhone, you know how to start this thing. Hook it up to iTunes. Once you are through that, set up your Wi-Fi and your mail account. If you have your mail, calenders and contacts on Google, just set it up as an Exchange account with as your server. Instant push mail and all your data.

Now you have a nice tablet to surf the web. But you want a lot more. I installed 31 apps in two days, and most of them are pretty good.

The iTunes store does not work yet on the device itself, if you want to get your apps with a German account. You can fetch your apps through iTunes on the desktop though. For some apps you currently need a US account. Setting one up is quite easy, but if you want to spend any money on apps, your best choice is a gift card. $50 will do for a while.

There are now three types of apps in the iTunes store: iPhone/iPod apps, iPad apps, and universal iPhone/iPod/iPad apps. Don't bother installing your iPhone/iPod apps, unless you really, really need them. For me, that would be the Sonos remote for instance. Here is what I got for universal apps:

universal apps

The only must-have is Evernote. IMDb is a huge time sink, since it lets you watch trailers, cross reference actors, etc. Once you start, you can't put it down. Kindle is for, err, it's your second or third Kindle. Very nice app. Google Mobile app is your starting point for all Google service. Google Mail has a special iPad interface. Very well done.

Here are the iPad apps:

iPad apps

There are four paid apps. Keynote, Numbers, Pages, $10 each, and GoodReader. That's the killer app, and it only costs a dollar. Why? It lets you view your documents, and it will connect directly to your servers, and your services. That's right, you can fetch them directly from Google Docs, from Mobile Me, from Dropbox, etc. Don't leave home without it. And then there is is iBooks. You can only download this from the US store, so this is where you need your US account for now.

iBooks will nicely display ePub books, if they are not crippled by DRM. (Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.) You just throw them into iTunes and the iPad will sync them from there. Good sources for free ePubs are Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks. If you already have un-crippled ebooks, you may want to take a look at Calibre which will convert about everything to ePub. And there is a somewhat hidden secret: Calibre lets you convert online content into ebooks, for instance The New Yorker. For free.

As you can see, most of my other apps are news apps. Some ore good, some won't survive. Feeddler syncs with Google Reader. Twitterific is not terrific, but Tweetdeck isn't working well so far.

And now I have to put this thing down or I won't get any work done today. Oh wait, did I tell you it's a lot simpler to type on than I thought? And yes, the editor-so-refuses-to-give-it-back-award is earned. Why would I even want to give it back? This is not a test unit. It's mine. Shiny. Precccccious.

My American friends, what can you tell me about your iPad?


Glück gehabt. Ich war auch auf der WES. Der Apple Store in der Florida Mall hatte kein einziges iPad mehr auf Lager. Im Laden lagen noch diverse Geräte rum. Ich fand das Look&Feel und die Haptik schon wahnsinnig gut und hätte mir für den Preis (372€) auch direkt eins gekauft ... aber es gab ja keins *heeeuuuul*

Heribert Schlubbe, 2010-05-03

Das ist schon bitter für RIM, wenn die Konferenzteilnehmer vor allem nach Apple-Produkte Ausschau halten. :-)

Die Florida-Mall war zu nahe an der WES. Ich höre, der Kollege Marco F aus K hat täglich die Bestände aufgekauft. Ich hatte weniger Glück als einen sehr engagierten Käufer, der auch die Millenia Mall kennt. Aber bis der das Gerät gesichert hatte, saß ich auch auf heißen Kohlen.

Du musst übrigens noch die Sales Tax dazu rechnen und landest dann eher bei 400 Euro für das kleine iPad, sicher einen Hunni unter dem deutschen Preis.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

Außerdem muss man noch die Einfuhrumsatzsteuer drauf rechnen... ;-)

Stefan Opitz, 2010-05-03

In dem Fall nicht. Für den persönlichen Bedarf darfst Du bis 450 Eur mitbringen.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03


der iPad sieht schon toll aus und ich kann mir sehr gut vorstellen einen Anwendungsfall für ihn in meinem Leben zu finden. Trotzdem, gibt es für mich eine sehr wichtige Frage an dieses Gerät (oder an diese Geräteklasse): fährt man diese Geräte runter oder bleiben sie immer an wie ein Smartphone?

Ich habe jetzt ein Android-Smartphone und ich benutze es eigentlich wie ein kleiner Rechner, der auch zufälligerweise telefonieren kann. Aber manchmal hätte ich einfach einen größeren Bildschirm. Ich will aber nicht warten müssen bis die Sache hochfährt.

Ich sollte wahrscheinlich die Reviews lesen, steht sicherlich überall dieses Detail mit dem Runterfahren.

Auf jeden Fall, viel Spaß mit dem Gerät!

Rafael Mayoral, 2010-05-03

Always on. Wie eine Maxi-Version eines iPod Touch.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

Oh je, ich fürchte ich muss anfangen zu sparen :-)

Rafael Mayoral, 2010-05-03

I was thinking about getting one of these for my Mum, but it sounds like you have to plug it into a PC to do quite a few things. I was under a false impression I guess, that the device could be pretty much be used 100% disconnected from anything else.

Carl Tyler, 2010-05-03


Is there any negative impact to having two iTunes accounts? Most of my new iPad apps were bought through my UK account, but I'm out in the US at the moment, and tempted to pick up a USD gift card as per your suggestion.

What happens when trying to sync multiple accounts with your iTunes on the Mac?

Can I have iTunes on the Mac to be my UK account, and App Store on the device to be my US gift voucher iTunes account?

Do you see what I mean? I guess I'm trying to get the best of both worlds, but want to be sure there are no negative symptoms of doing this...


PS - when are you next in the UK again?! Drinks on me!!

Lewis Turek, 2010-05-03

@Carl - the iPad must be connected to a PC/Mac when you first buy the device. However yiu can ask the staff in the Apple Store to do this for you in store. From that point onwards there is ABSOLUTELY no need to ever plug it into a PC or Mac again. Everything can be managed locally on the device.

Lewis Turek, 2010-05-03


there a few small side effects. For instance, you can't do an "update all" on your apps anymore, since it will find apps that don't belong to one of your accounts. Other than that, you can mix things easily. Once you acquired things, you can keep them. It's just not easy to maintain them.

No immediate plans to visit the UK. And IIRC, you already bought me chips at my last LotusBeer. :-)


Lewis is right that your mom can use the device pretty much disconnected. A few caveats: you need iTunes to update the OS. You need it for backup, and you need it to move stuff in and out, if you have a lot of photos, music or videos to sync.

Having said that, I am pretty sure your mom would not need all of that. She can still buy stuff from iTunes without a PC/Mac. She can Google, surf the web, do email, look at pictures, follow you on Facebook,, etc. :-) But she can't print.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

Thanks Volker/Lewis.

Pretty sure my Mum doesn't even know what iTunes is. She'd use it primarily for email, Facebook, Flickr and Youtube.

Think of it as a Facebook Tablet :-)

So I imagine once I had it setup she would actually be all set.

Carl Tyler, 2010-05-03


Ok, if you don't want to answer me there - then i'll try it here... :)

Ok, this time it's a "the editor refuses to sell it" award. I'm not quite sure if I'll keep mine. It's ok. Fun to use - sometimes. But I don't see the "must have" yet.

But it's nice to hear that you like it since our two ipads were on the same flight back from the US... :)

It'll be interesting to see how this new kind of computers will grow.

What I don't like: you need another computer for a lot of things, like activate the device, sync epub books to it etc. Maybe this will change. I hope so...


Erik Sternischa, 2010-05-03

To be honest I was kind of hoping that you would find that it wasn't all that great. Damn! Oh well.... best I get saving. :-)

John Lindsay, 2010-05-03

got sonos on my also , sadly no ipad version yet but its better than nothing

Flemming Riis, 2010-05-03

I'd be surprised if Sonos would not be hard at work to deliver an iPad controller later this year. Actually, they said so.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

yeah saw the posts on their forums will be great with upgrades graphics for it.

Flemming Riis, 2010-05-03

@Volker: 450? Oh, ich war länger nicht mehr drüben. Gute Nachrichten für August :-)

Stefan Opitz, 2010-05-03

Thanks Volker... In that case, I might as well wait a few more weeks before pulling down KeyNote, Pages etc...

I love my iPad!

Lewis Turek, 2010-05-06

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