My Initial Thoughts on the iPad
I am sure that everyone who owns an Apple product or is remotely connected to the tech world has heard about the iPad. Many will believe that the iPad is merely a scaled-up iPod touch or a simple, dumbed-down version of a laptop. Even I, was intially disappointed in the iPad. I thought it would have futuristic capabilities such as a tactile surface. After reading numerous articles from reputable bloggers however, I believe that the iPad is something more. Although I have not used one myself, for obvious reasons, I believe that the iPad will revolutionize mobile computing. Simply put, the possibilities for it are endless.
I relish for the day that I can type words that end up on this blog on an iPad…
First off, the iPad SDK allows developers to expand the capabilities of the iPad beyond the restraints placed on the iPhone and iPod touch. My hope is that the iPad gains great support from developers who will develop applications that make it unnecessary to travel with a laptop. Already, iWork shows that the iPad has enormous potential for productivity on the iPad. The keyboard dock accessory allows you to write papers without a computer, and you can conveniently write anywhere. If you feel that you’re more productive at a coffee shop, go to a coffee shop and work. The iPad is much more portable than a laptop and that is why it is such a useful device for work. I’m really hoping for native Google apps, specifically Google docs, because I rely on them often.
What about note-taking? With fast data entry, portability, and internet access, the iPad has the capability to become the device that college students and professionals rely on for everything. iBooks allows the iPad to serve as a textbook. Apple’s native notes application allows users to take notes. Evernote will undoubtedly have a native iPad application too. The possibilities are endless. Why carry around multiple textbooks, notebooks, planners, and writing tools when the iPad can serve as all those tools? There may be some restrictions regarding lack of multi-tasking, but lack of multi-tasking can be remedied by software. I am also hoping that in the future, Apple will allow users to take notes via a stylus. Typing usually does not allow the freedom of scribbling notes and doodles simultaneously in a an efficient manner.
The design of the iPad is also astounding. It just looks beautiful. The screen is large and bright. The back is smooth. The body is thin. It even has the standard microphone and headphone jack, discretely integrated into the device. I simply cannot find any flaws in the design.
Speaking of flaws, here are some things I wish the iPad had, and hopefully will have in the future.
A camera. A camera would complete the iPad. It could serve a variety of practical purposes such as taking snapshots of notes (this goes back to my advocacy for the iPad as the single-most essential device for a student or professional).
The iPad also lacks a stylus. A stylus would be infinitely useful for taking notes. I can also see it being utilized by applications such as Brushes, which was demoed during the iPad keynote.
Once again, the iPad lacks multi-tasking, a pitfall shared by its smaller brethren, the iPhone and iPod touch. Multi-tasking would allow the iPad experience to be near-identical to a computer experience. Except that the iPad experience would be more hip and fun. However, there is the possibility that multi-tasking would drag down iPad performance. Although this is a possibility, I believe that multi-tasking is still worth it. Several people who have tested the iPad argue that it is mind-blowingly fast. As Daring Fireball author says, “if I had to sum up the device with one word, that word would be ‘fast’.”
The iPad has its drawbacks, but the iPad will undoubtedly revolutionize mobile computing. Apple has opened up a new world of interaction, usability, and networking with a mobile device that will only prove itself over time. My belief is that the iPad with grow dramatically and dominate the mobile computing market, just like the iPhone grew and dominated the mobile phone market.