Music and Words

January 27, 2010

Thoughts on the iPad

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 9:59 pm
Tags: ,
Image from gizmodo.com

Image from gizmodo.com

Like many others in the tech world, I spent the morning obsessively waiting for the Gizmodo live blog to update, getting annoyed when the error on the page prevented it from updating automatically, and muttering to myself. As a completely unqualified not-professional, I am now going to post my response to the product for the rest of the unqualified internet to read.

First, the most obvious:

The Name

“iPad?” Really? That’s the best you could do?

There are already maxi pad jokes flying around the internet, and “iTampon” is what’s currently trending on Twitter, above iPad. Go figure. All I’ve got to say is, some marketing executive should be very concerned about his employment status.

Twitter Trending

The Look

It’s pretty. It’s an Apple product, so of course it is. They make that a priority in their development of both hardware and software. Some are complaining that the bezel on the edges is just too wide, but personally, I’d be glad that I’m not pressing things accidentally while I’m holding the thing. I do that all the time on the iPhone. I look down at it and go, “Why is that doing that? I didn’t…oh wait. I picked it up. Right.”

On that note, the case they showed for it is pretty nice too. It looks attractive, and the stand gives a functional solution to the “how do I hold it” question.

The Software

It’s using the iPhone software, which means it’s something that many, many people in the world are already familiar with. (75 million, according to Steve himself.) It’s also very intuitive right out of the box even if you haven’t used an iPhone before.

The Apps

It’s using the iPhone apps. And the SDK is allowing developers to create new apps that will also sell in the App Store. No new storefront to navigate, no new place to put in a credit card number, no new password to remember.

iWork 2010

I really like the iWork suite already, and the whole concept of creating presentations using multitouch sounds awesome to me. Not that I create presentations…ever…but now I want to try it.

Brushes

Again, I’m not a painter or even remotely close to being an artist, but I want to try it.

eBooks

The iPhone is great for reading eBooks, but the screen is too small. I feel like I’m constantly turning pages, because I’m a fast reader and there’s only about 20 short lines of text on a page. I want a bigger screen if I’m reading on the thing. And the idea that I can view newspapers with the formatting the way it was meant to be – that is cool.

Kindle is now the only eBook reader that adheres to a special proprietary format, and that may get Amazon in trouble. We’ll see. Lots of people love the Kindle, obviously, so you never know.

The Battery Life

10 hours of battery life? While watching video? That’s awesome, right there. My iPhone won’t even get through a whole day if I’ve spent a lot of time using it (like obsessively refreshing webpages, or watching video).

The Price

I was fully expecting this product to be pushing $1000, so the fact that it’s half that means I’m a lot more likely to buy it. Also, the fact that it’s not available for 2 months means that I can save up the $500 and not feel guilty about buying it.

Games

This is going to be so cool. This is going to be awesome. The screen is big enough that you can really get a lot of detail packed into the game, but it’s multitouch, so you can still find new ways to interact with the games. I don’t even play games all that much, and I’m still excited.

The Keyboard

I’m not sure about this. I’ve gotten used to the iPhone keyboard but I can’t touch-type on it, nor do I expect I’ll ever be able to – because there’s nothing to feel. Isn’t that the whole point of touch-typing? I could spend more money and get a keyboard (because I don’t already own a Bluetooth keyboard, just a MacBook) but I’m not sure I want to. Of course, I could just use the thing for a while and see if it makes me crazy.

Actually, what I’m not sure of is whether it still does the iPhone auto-correct thing. I like that and I think it would help the adjustment to the virtual keyboard.

Video

Watching video on this thing is going to drive some people up the wall. There will be huge flame-wars on the internet after it finally comes out about why the aspect ratio is awful and the device is therefore awful, and why the people who hate it should just shut up. My dad, for example, will complain bitterly. (He still complains about our 2-month-old HDTV, which forced him to switch from 4:3 to 16:9.) I can hear it now: “That looks all wrong! Look at all the black around the video! What were they thinking?”

Personally, I really don’t think I’ll care. I don’t have time to watch TV much, so when I do, I don’t spend that time griping about how it looks funny. I zone in and just watch the pretty moving picture on the screen, rather than paying attention to that black space around it.

iTunes Cover Flow

I never got used to Cover Flow. I don’t even use it on the iPhone. I prefer the list view, for some reason. But I’m excited to see the implementation for the iPad. I think the iPhone screen is too small for me to see what album I’m looking at, for one thing, and the 10-inch screen will solve that problem. In fact, it might inspire me to find album art for the songs I downloaded illegally happen to have that don’t already have the covers associated with them. Maybe.

The Overall

This device is designed to do email, web browsing, and cool multitouch stuff, and do it well. I think it hits that mark. It’s also going to do work – the iWork suite isn’t called that for nothing. It looks like it does that well. It doesn’t seem like it’s designed for college students who need to have Pages open to view their notes at the same time they need a browser window open to take a quiz on those notes, although the lack of multitasking abilities isn’t surprising to me. It’s running iPhone software, basically. It even looks like an overgrown iPhone. Sort of like an iPhone in the super-absorbent, overnight variety.

I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.

The Problem

I want one. I really do. I’ve been thinking that all day.

I don’t need it. I have a laptop, and I don’t even use that nearly so often since I finished college. I have an iPhone (that I use constantly) and I have absolutely no need for another gadget. None whatsoever.

But I want it.

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3 Comments

  1. I immediately thought of you when this was announced. I have a feeling that you would use it much more than you use your laptop now. It’s just so much more accessible than a laptop for the way you do things. I see you leaving it sitting around the house and picking it up here and there to do stuff, and I can see you using it for reading.

    FYI, the Kindle doesn’t use a proprietary format. It uses a thinly veiled .mobi. Well, that might be proprietary, but it’s far from limited to the Kindle. Yeah, you can’t just take books purchased for Kindle and use them elsewhere, but you can put stuff other than Amazon content on the Kindle.

    Comment by fitzage — January 27, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

    • You know, you’re exactly right. I would use it a lot more than I use my laptop. And I am Apple’s target market. As a non-intensive computer user (although I used to be) it could be a great everyday device for when I need a bigger screen than my phone.

      Comment by Stephanie Bowyer — January 28, 2010 @ 10:23 am

  2. So it was released this week. Got one yet? I want a report…

    Comment by Derek Ryder — April 5, 2010 @ 7:26 pm


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