I am writing this on my iPad.
It is a bit clumsy. Part of that is unfamilarity, part of it is software, part is just the nature of the beast.
I started with the included notes app with a Bluetooth keyboard. When I'm done writing, I can easily copy the text and (using iSSH for iPad) connect to my server, call up vi and paste in the text. I can email this to myself. I can even print it by pasting it into a free Printershare utility.
Obviously, I can do 90 percent of my daily work with this alone. I have ssh, vnc and Remote Desktop. I can email, browse, listen to podcasts, watch movies, read books. or some things, the iPad is the preferable platform. For others, it isn't.
An external keyboard helps. I bought Apple's wireless keyboard because most of my iPad use will not be sitting at a desk. The on-screen keyboard is very usable for many tasks, but it can be very clumsy and annoying for others.
For example, consider arrow keys. You don't need them for browsing web pages, but they sure come in handy when editing text. The iPad on-screen keyboard has no arrow keys.
However, software comes into play also. Within Notes, the arrow keys on an external keyboard are functional. Within the iSSH app I bought, they are not - it uses a on-screen control for arrows, escape, control, tab and other keys. While vi is usable without arrow keys, Bash history recall is really not, so while the iSSH app is usable, it isn't ideal.
That's reality for many of the iPad apps I have tried so far - whether free or not, usability is less than ideal. Part of that may be because of the normally lower price point for these apps - developers may not wish to invest a great deal of work for a low priced app. It may be a matter of developer learning curve too - obviously if Notes can use the arrow keys on an external keyboard, so could iSSH - they may just not have thought of it!
I expect that we'll see great improvement in usability and interface design. It's not easy - I've been thinking about a few possible apps myself: making use of the unique features of this device is challenging. However, I think it will come.
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