Multitasking

5 easy iPad tweaks

May 10, 2010: 8:25 AM ET

Magical it may be, but that doesn't mean Apple's tablet can't be improved

"It will come," Steve Jobs is reported to have replied last week, via e-mail, when a customer asked him "Why no printing on the iPad? What gives?"

Okay. Great. And while we've got your attention, Mr. Jobs, here a few more requests:

  1. Multitasking. Why do I have to shut down e-mail to grab a URL from Safari? This fix is coming too, when iPhone 4.0 is released for the iPad, but why do we have to wait until next fall?
  2. Multiple accounts. I'd like one iPad configuration -- apps, calendar, e-mail, bookmarks -- for me, another for my wife.
  3. Streaming music from a Mac. Videos can be streamed over Wi-Fi using third-party apps like Air Video. Why not songs?
  4. Apple app syncing. When using Pages, Numbers or Keynote, why aren't changes made on Mac documents reflected on their iPad counterparts?
  5. Tethering. There's a USB cable port on the iPad camera connection kit. What exactly is preventing  USB modems from working on it?

Note to Apple (AAPL) software engineers: We don't mean to suggest that these fixes -- or anything else you do -- are actually easy to execute. They could be fiendishly complex, for all we know. But unlike, say, adding a camera or a USB port to the iPad, they can be accomplished through software updates to the existing hardware platform.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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