The Next Thing: The iPad

It’s been a couple days since Steve Jobs at Apple announced and showed off the iPad. I’ve had enough time to mull over all the features — included and not included. Overall, I’m fairly impressed and excited by the device. It’s pretty much what I expected to see come out in the first rev. I probably won’t be buying one, though, unless I win the lottery. The chances of picking up the second revision, however, is high.

So, here are my thoughs, no in any particular order:

  • The big move forward here is in the interface. It’s what Microsoft keeps saying they’re going to do, but never does (not including commercial level toys like Surface). It’s fantastic.
  • The lack of a camera is disappointing, because there’s so many possibilities with one. A quick video call/chat session with your SO? All that’s lacking is the camera and the bandwidth. I expect that a future version will have one, and probably v2. I mean, the Nano has a camera.
  • iBooks is nice, but not really superior to the Kindle for reading books. I don’t care if there’s color or not when I’m reading a novel. For newspapers or magazines, though, this blows away Amazon’s device. This might be the Chosen Device that the periodical industry has been waiting for.
  • No announcement yet on the issue of DRM on their book downloads. I would be (sadly) surprised if it was DRM free. This is a big deal, and just holds the eBook market back from truly being a replacement for dead trees. I can pick up a book I bought 20 years ago and read it — which I actually do once in a while. DRM’d copies of books, though, almost certainly won’t let you do that. At least,  not without breaking the law and stripping the protection off of the files. As it is, because of this, eBooks really aren’t worth more than the price of a throwaway paperback, and perhaps even less so, since you can’t pass it along to a friend. Any more than $5-6 a book is probably overpriced.
  • I suspect that anything less than 64 GB will be limiting for the average user, given the size of movies and TV shows. At that point, you’re talking about some serious money, so it’s another reason to hold off until v2. 16 GB isn’t nearly enough.
  • What I’d like to see is a truly wireless device. I want it to sync automatically with my home PC, as well as anything in the cloud, without having to tell it “sync”, and without having to plug it in. I also want to be able to access all my home PC and file server data from anywhere without headache and without major security issues. The bandwidth is there right now for this, and Apple has some really smart coders working for them. This would be flat-out revolutionary.
  • I think a pound a half, while light compared to netbooks, is still too heavy. The target should be about a pound or a little lighter.
  • I LOVE the iWork apps. I believe it to be truly a window into the future of computing.
  • The big hurdle to all these mobile computers that hasn’t been addressed yet (by anyone, including Apple) is providing an interface for lots of typing. With the iPad, if you want to type a long email or document out, well, either suffer on the virtual keyboard or use a real one. And who wants to carry around a keyboard everywhere they go? Hopefully there’s smart people in Cupertino working on this right now.
  • I think this could be a natural fit for someone with an iMac at home and an iPhone in their pocket. I’m not sure if it’s a great fit for someone that already has a laptop with them all the time, though.
  • I’m impressed by the monthly AT&T fee structure, but cheap or not, it’s still another monthly fee that will have to be considered and absorbed.

That’s long enough, I think. While I’m learning towards waiting for iPad v2, my wife is salivating NOW for one. So, perhaps I’ll be able to play with one sooner rather than later. We’ll see.

One response to “The Next Thing: The iPad

  1. Thanks for the blog. I trust your instincts and judgement and will also wait for v2. My love to the girls!

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