The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad, a tablet for all seasons

Being iPhone app developers, we looked forward to Apple's iPad announcement with great anticipation. Secretly, I hoped it would be a scaled down Mac instead of the oversized iPhone/iPod. Running the standard iPhone OS, it is not multi-tasking and the walled garden surrounding apps is still there. However, I would think with subsequent releases, this will change. With a 1GHz custom chip with loads more computing capability, why would you want an iPod or iPhone on steroids?

But it makes a lot of sense as a first release, Macs have never been the PC killer and the number of iPods / iPhones sold is staggering so why not make sure the iPad can access the 140,000+ apps out there.

The opinion around me is pretty interesting. My good friend Tony raved about it. Why? he has a Sony Reader and given that the launch price is just a little more than a Kindle, Amazon should be afraid, be very afraid. For less than $100 more, you get a sexy device that is color, has browsing capabilities, access to iTunes, AppStore and iBook. Of course, if you're a hard-core reader, you'll realize that the Kindle is better for reading outdoors and has a much longer battery life due to it's eInk technology. But humans are swayed by shimmering, colorful things and I'm sure many potential eBook reader buyers will be swayed towards Apple.

It is also a great entry level for the non-technical folk. People who have never been comfortable near computers. Now they have a personal device they can hug and hold like a book. The keyboard dock or better still, the ability to use a bluetooth keyboard is a stroke of genius. I would buy the iPad before a PC for my parents.

My son who is in the market for a netbook was disappointed. I would be too in his position. While the iPad will have iWorks, it isn't clear whether this device will be a good substitute for a netbook which is only limited by its processing power and format but in every way a full-fledged PC. No multitasking and the omission of a camera for internet chatting are serious omissions. But it is first generation so some things must wait and hopefully available later.

Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll get a couple of them in the office if only to see how we can leverage the larger format. I'm intrigued by the format. I've often felt the iPhone was great if only it was bigger.

Perhaps now is the time to ditch the iPhone, buy a very small Nokia phone or Blackberry and get the iPad. But as my son pointed out, I'd be carry 3 devices, a phone, a tablet and a Mac around with me.

For many who are die hard Blackberry users, it is an interesting device that means they don't have to give up their phone or their PC. Now even Bill can buy one without feeling guilty about ditching his Windows 7.

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