Where the iPad 2 lets you down: Top 12 complaints

The iPad 2 is the best tablet available, but it brings its own share of frustrations

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4. The Smart Cover's obscuring of the 30-pin connector. The (optional) magnetic Smart Cover is both cool technologically and a lightweight cover that doubles as a stand. But when closed, it sticks out a bit past the edge of the iPad 2, which just so happens to make it hard to connect the 30-pin connector used to charge and sync the iPad. I can no longer do it by feel, as I can when the Smart Cover is open or with the original iPad and Apple's cover for it.

5. Accidental volume changes when the Smart Cover is attached. The Smart Cover magnetically attaches on just one edge of the iPad 2, so when it's attached, the side of the iPad with the volume rocker switch becomes the bottom portion. It's a problem when I have the iPad 2 in my lap: The volume rocker sticks out enough from the edge of the iPad that it presses against by hand, leg, or whatever the iPad is resting on. Thus, the volume goes up and down, as if possessed.

6. Nonmodifiable alert rings. You can set your ringtone for when someone calls, but you can't set the sounds for other alerts, such as when you have new mail. At home, it's never clear whose iPhone or iPad is announcing a new message. I've also been to several business and personal events where an iPad (or iPhone) alert sound plays and we all look at each other asking, "Is that yours or mine?" The iPhone and iPad are now popular enough where the chances of there being several in a room or at a table are pretty high -- Apple, help us tell them apart via sounds.

7. Lack of filtering on email. I'm on email all day long, and I shift from my iPhone to my Mac to my iPad for messages, depending on where I happen to be at the moment. But it's really annoying that my iPad can't run the same junk and other filters as my Mac, so mail is sorted and cleaned as it arrives. Sure, if I leave my Mac on, its mail rules kick in and the iPad updates its messages accordingly the next time it syncs, but who wants to leave a PC on just for that? The iPad 2 has enough horsepower to run email rules. Maybe creating them would be too hard in the iPad's touch interface (I doubt that), but syncing them via iTunes or wirelessly should not be difficult.

8. Lack of warning before cellular data plan renewals. I don't need 3G data access every day, since I have Wi-Fi coverage in my home, workplace, and favorite café. Thus, I tend to buy a 3G data plan just before I go on a trip. But Verizon Wireless doesn't provide a heads-up that the 30 days are about to expire and give me a chance to opt out of the automatic renewal; in fact, it autorenews the day before your term elapses. AT&T is little better; on my original iPad, it sent expiration warnings the first two times I had service active, but then stopped, resulting in the same issue I have now with Verizon. If anything will make you believe in the need for regulation, it's a carrier. Apple: Please use your clout to fix this.

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