As a blog with any sort of tech leanings at all, it’d be an oversight not to throw in my say about Apple’s big announcement today. The iPad. I must say, I was waiting for the bombshell for the entire presentation, and it didn’t come. Maybe the real “wow” moment with this product will come when a new OS is released (possibly iPhone OS 4.0 this summer), but I still would have expected to have a moment within that presentation that really sold me on it.
That said, I’d be kidding myself if I said I don’t want one. I just don’t want one yet. A widely-held disappointment with the iPad (aside from the name) was that it lacked a camera. When I first saw the device, all I could think of was how nice it would be to be able to curl up in bed with in bed with it and Skype. All the other things I long for in the iPad are attainable by software updates (multi-tasking, sexier home screen, etc.), but a built-in camera seems like a necessity to me. Personally, I’d like two. One back-mounted camera (as is on the iPhone) that could do live streaming, photo, etc. and another mounted on the face of the device for things like Skype or webcasting.
I’ve heard the argument already that the iPad is not as capable as PC tablets and as a result isn’t as cost effective. What I say to that is that the iPad, whether Apple likes it or not, is just not a primary device. It would not be able to replace my MacBook in my life. I don’t think they want it to – why sell me one device when you can make me want two? They want me to have both and love it. I think I would. I would love for getting in bed with my laptop to watch a movie to read an article or watch a video to feel natural for me, but it’s just not. The weight and awkwardness don’t make it easy. That’s not to say I wouldn’t get by without one; clearly I can function just fine without the iPad. It is not a necessity, but would be an incredible convenience. It’s a device that fills a gap in Apple’s continuum that goes from iPod shuffle to Mac Pro.
All in all, I’m excited about the iPad. It will definitely help steer the rest of the market and bring on some innovative and exciting products from other companies. It’s a device of convenience and leisure, which I don’t need, but would obviously be nice to have. Reading, watching, and listening may all shift over to the iPad, while laptops and desktops focus on more UI-intensive efforts such as composing, design, video editing, etc.
It’s the beginning of a new chapter of Apple’s history, and only time will tell if it’s a successful one. Based on Apple’s history with products that start with “i” it’s probably got a decent shot.
Image Credit: Apple