My 2d worth on the iPad

February 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Posted in waffle | 2 Comments
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I’ve posted a couple of times about touch-screen technologies and e-book readers, so you can imagine that I awaited the Apple event with baited breath – and like so many others thought ‘Is that it? A big iTouch?’  The Register’s ‘Next from Apple: the Pocket iPad‘ pretty much summed it up. Ho ho. Or should that be Ho Hum.

A couple of days later the penny dropped and I realised why  the iPad and its soon-to-be-announced competitors (powered by Google Chrome maybe) really are the next big thing. ‘Proper’ computers running Windows or OS X are more than most people need – or can cope with. What they want is something that “just works”, like their TV, their mobile phone, their Wii etc. Something that works as soon as you  press the ‘on’ button. And that is the experience I get from my iTouch right now – and that the iPad will replicate with a larger screen.

No hierarchical file store? No need, all your docs will be stored and edited online in the cloud. More than anything, this is a device built for our new age of always-on high-speed wireless connectivity.

No multitasking? No problem, provided I can listen to music while I use Facebook/etc/etc. Most apps save their state when you switch back to the home screen anyhow, so switching is seamless and quick.

No USB port to connect my camera so I can upload my photos? They’ll sell you their ‘optional camera connection kit’. It will sync your photos and other files with the cloud, so no need to plug in backup drives etc.

Want to type longer emails? No problem, they’ll sell you their optional charging stand with built-in keyboard. This is good, because you’ll want to sit properly for this kind of work anyhow.

No built-in camera for video chat? Ah, that’s what your iPhone 4G is for… the iPad  is just one part of the digital ecosystem that Apple want to sell you. See this video about the ‘Digital Hub‘ from 2001.

Expect to see a tight wireless connection between your iPhone and your iPad so that you only need one data plan to use your iPad away from a Wi-Fi hotspot. Expect to see wireless bluetooth headphones so you can enjoy your music without tangles.

I want one already… but on the other hand I have a really nice MacBook which allows me to do all these things and more… sigh.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Hmm,
    not sure I agree with this.
    I like the fact that I have 500GB of storage on my MacBook (upgraded the hard drive) which means that on long flights I can watch one of 300 movies or listen to any one of my 750 albums)
    I personally think that iPad will be a total complete and utter flop, especially when you consider the iTablet which has a fully functional windows 7 OS and a camera even though it is an admittedly shit UI
    Personally I’d go for a low form factor (c.f. Netbook popularity) probably dual touch screen clamshell with a 10″ screen. Agree with the bluetooth headphones though, although Apple were what? 5 or 6 years later then Palm in integrating a A2DP stereo bluetooth stack into ANY of their devices? Don’t think this will happen any time soon.
    I also think it will flop because what people want is a convergence device so they don’t have to carry around a laptop, a tablet and an iPhone. If I could give keynote presentations from my iPhone I would, or (even better) if my MacBook had a 3G sim I’d use THAT as my phone (with a mono bluetooth headset – can do this already using Skype if I have a wireless connection)
    In all I was underwhelmed by Apples offering. Being a Mac fanatic I was looking forward to this but was sadly disappointed. Not surprising really that Apple’s shares took quite a dip just after the announcement.
    JMTW (Just My Tuppeny Worth)

    • The iPad doesn’t need so many GB of storage because it is designed to stream media from the cloud. My son and daughter rarely download music or films, but stream everything from our all-you-can-eat wireless broadband. No wonder Apple bought LuLu recently!


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