My Thoughts on the Apple iPad

January 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

Apple finally unveiled the highly anticipated tablet today called the iPad. When I heard it was called the “iPad,” the first thing that popped into my mind was definitely not a multimedia device. I can understand Apple wanting to stick with the iPxx naming scheme, but they could have broken out of that and called it an iSlate or iTablet, or iTab or something like that. But, we’ll save the jokes for later. Let’s talk about this new creation!

Although I haven’t actually touched or seen an iPad up close, I already know I love and I want it. I’ve already thought about what I would use it for months ago. I’ve actually been shopping around for an eBook reader for some time now. I liked the simplicity of the Kindle, but also the complexity of the Entourage Edge that I saw at CES. The iPhone has spoiled me with all the touchscreen movements and commands that seeing buttons on a device like the just doesn’t seem appealing to me.

I’ve very happy that I waited on purchasing an eBook reader. I know I’ll be using the iPad for mainly that purpose. I don’t expect it to replace my netbook completely, but it can once more hardware is added to it (probably in the next versions). The iPad may seem bare right now, but I think it has a lot of potential. The new SDK is out, and seeing the kind of apps that developers are able to make for the iPhone just makes me think this iPad can pretty much do anything.

I’ve invested a lot of time and money in my iTunes App collection, so hearing that all iPhone / iPod Touch apps will work on the iPad was such a joy. That was definitely the right move on Apple. I can’t wait to play some of my games on such a big screen. It’ll definitely be a fabulous experience. Plus, if you invested a lot of money in your Kindle eBook collection, they will still be readable using the Kindle iPhone app. Also, I’ve always wanted a Wacom Cintq so I could draw and edit graphics right on the screen. Although the iPad isn’t as powerful, I can see basic features for it in a drawing app. I’m sure there will be stylus accessories coming soon.

Things I love about the iPad are:

  • App Compatibility – being able to use iPhone apps on the iPad will prove to be very powerful. This will be in the hands of app developers and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next!
  • Design – the design looks gorgeous. It also seems a bit fragile, but that’s a great reason to shop for some amazing accessories. I’m hoping Speck will come up with something super awesome.
  • Lightweight – it’s only 1.5 pounds and is super thin. It has the basic options and is prefect for the frequent traveler.
  • User-Interface – the UI is familiar, elegant, and beautiful. Perfect for average users as well as super geeks.
  • Color – why read in black and white when you can have color?

So those are my main uses of the iPad – ebook reader, gaming console, and an artist tool. As great as this tool sounds, there are a couple of drawbacks:

  • No Camera – the biggest drawback to my iPod Touch was the lack of a camera. When I first got my iPod Touch, I didn’t mind hunting for wifi hotspots as much as I did not having a camera. A lot of the apps used had a picture upload feature, and I wasn’t able do use it. Sure I had a separate camera with me, but pictures wouldn’t have the instant upload quality that I was looking for. I’m guessing there’s no camera option to keep the price on the device in the affordable range.
  • No multi-tasking – is a big negative on the device. The iPhone has a much smaller screen, so running one app at a time sort of makes sense. But the iPad has so much screen real estate that running only one app at a time doesn’t make sense to me at all. I’d like to listen to music and surf the web at the same time, not just look at an album cover while the music is playing. When I’m surfing the web, I like to copy and paste text into Evernote so I can remember things. Closing apps and opening each one everytime seems to be a lot of steps to me. This is a software issue though. Hopefully we can see an update to the OS in the near future. Being a geek, I want a little more control over my devices.
  • Storage Space – When I travel, I like to dump my photos onto my netbook so I have extra space on my sd and cf cards. I’m not sure if there’s an easy way for me to do this on the iPad. Looking at the specs, I don’t see a usb slot anywhere. And also, why would I want to store my photos on another machine just to sync it onto my iPad? This would make sense if I wanted to carry around my portfolio or a presentation on the iPad. I don’t see myself putting my vacation photos on here.
  • Note-taking capabilities – The main reason I want an eReader is to read technology books (away from the computer). I’d like to be able to take notes on the pages and such, just like I would in a textbook. I’m hoping the iBook app or the other book apps themselves would have this feature.
  • Model Options – I don’t quite understand why there are so many model options. Couldn’t Apple just cut out the wifi only models? Surely the hardware to add 3G capabilities isn’t over $100 is it? I say $20 extra max.

Overall, I think it would be an amazing eBook reader that happens to do a little more. Remember when the first iPhone came out? I didn’t do too much beside make calls, look pretty, and tell you what time it was. Look at what the iPhone is now. With the explosion of apps, it could do and be anything. So app developers, go code and make me proud! There is the incentive of being showcased front and center if your app is optimized for the iPad! I’ll be on the lookout for some amazing ones to review!

I don’t think the iPad is for everyone. But if you get one, what would you use it for? What do you like or dislike about it?

Many thanks, GDGT, and SlashGear for their live blogging of the Apple Special Event! It was so much fun to follow and I felt like I was as the event!

For more information on the Apple iPad, see their official website.

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  • Jeff Kawa

    Daynah. Regarding your Storage Space section. If you look at
    Towards the bottom of that page they show pictures and mention an “iPad Camera Connection Kit”. I think that might be what you are looking for.

  • Daynah

    Thanks Jeff! I don't know how I missed that. I guess having the iPad work the way I want it to will require a lot of new accessories.. :)

  • Naim Falandino

    The fact that it's 2010 and I need a dongle to connect a camera to this thing drives me insane. Wasn't this why we invented USB? So that we can have “Universal” device interfaces? But I digress.

  • brousselaine

    I like the product overall, but feel totally let down if I compare what was presented to the level of secrecy present. I mean, even K. Rose didn't utter a whisper.

    It was a v1 product that should have felt like a v.10 of the iPhone/PodTouch.

    Still like the product, but will need to be won by a breakthrough app to have me buy it. The basic stuff is not different enough from my iPhone.

  • Deedubau

    Looks nice but I don't think it's a very desirable product since I own an iPhone already. If the iPhone never existed then I would probably be much more excited! You really can't beat the convenience and portability of the iPhone :) I really thought this would be the next revolution for Ebooks and magazines with some type of magical unique screen technology but it's really just a bigger iPod touch to me.

  • ericspears

    The latest question on my survey blog is “What should Apple have called its new tablet computer?” Come on by & share suggestions.
    Thanks, Eric

  • -=TiM=-

    One thing I've been contemplating is that since e-Ink is a bit easier on the eyes than LCD, if you want a device that's predominantly for reading eBooks, then maybe a Kindle is a better way to go. Lack of color is the compromise there though. XD

    But yeah, I was seriously hoping this thing was going to be a tablet PC with Mac OS on it instead of iPhone OS. The whole concept of iPhone OS makes sense on phone sized devices, but not on a device like this.

    I might buy one, but I plan to wait and see first. :)

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