To iPad or not to iPad...
I'm glad I didn't rush in and buy a Kindle - dodged a bullet there. Nope. The iPad is for me.
Early last year I wrote an entry on this blog about what I'd like as an E Book reader/ tablet device and Apple have delivered. The iPad is close to perfect. A lot of snarky folk have been down on it because it doesn't support Flash or it doesn't have multi-tasking, a camera. Yeah. And?
I think they're missing the point of the device. No doubt Lenovo or Acer will come out with a tablet or slate device that will address these issues and good on them. But that's not what the iPad is for. The iPad has been positioned as a user friendly, multi-media device for the masses. It's for people who aren't interested in where to save their photo's. They just want to open up a photo program and their photos are there for them in one handy spot, to show off, browse through etc. Not everyone is into computers. Not everyone can be bothered with them because they're needlessly complicated.
Now before the ever so intelligent of you sneer that they must be hillbillies or something. Let me provide as an example,a dear friend of mine who is one of the most intelligent people I've ever met and is a very highly regarded Doctor of psychology and academic. She hates computers. She uses them because she has to, to write papers and model statistics etc, but beyond that - she has no time for them. Lately I've bought her around to some of the joys of using a computer because she's seen some of the things I've been creating on my Mac. Apple's software is very mature - it's intuitive. If you build a website for instance , why bother with Html? The user should be able to intuitively drag n drop, move things around and push a button to publish. Let the software deal with the code under the hood. And that's what's great about the iPad.
It can act as a companion device for your desktop computer. Something to have around the house that isn't as bulky and cumbersome as a laptop or net-book. I wrote a bit of a wish list in my posting last year on what I'd like to see the Kindle become, the iPad at that time was a mythological beast. I wanted to be able to read books with full colour covers. Not just novels etc, Fiction and non fiction with illustrations and potentially, animation and video. Wouldn't it be great to read a book about David Lynch with video clips to highlight details the author might like to make about a scene? Magazines! Newspapers, blogs and sites on the net. Salon.com is as valuable to me to read as Wired is as a real world magazine. And now I will be able to access them together on the one device anywhere I take my Tablet. High on my list was the ability to read comics - Check. I'll be able to do that too. Full colour Superman comics each month on a handy portable device? For me that's heaven.
One thing I did want though, which I'm not sure yet, how well the iPad can deliver. Is to be able to sketch and paint on it. It seems I might be able to with my fingers. But I'm quite used to using a stylus and I'm not sure I can do it with my index finger. I've tried a bit, just a bit, with a couple of apps on my iPhone but with no success whatsoever. That's a bit annoying. But I'll see how that goes. It may just be a matter of screen size that held me back.
What I will love is sitting in a cafe and reading the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times or whatever Newspaper takes my fancy. Up to date and with not a tree killed and pummelled for my short term product use. And yes Mr Murdoch. I would be happy to pay for that news. However that news has to be of a quality worth paying for, not the halfwit excuses for journalism you peddle.
Since I began writing this posting, a couple of new tablets that are soon to go to market have popped into my view. Nvidia, a very big chip maker that specialises in the graphics cards that power most PC's (and some Macs) have announced a mobile chip, ideal for tablets, called the Tegra. They demonstrated some great tablets that will be coming out through the year and I've gotta say, they're good. One of them that will be out in June is from India and called the `Adam'. I won't bore you with the specs here but it looks like a good machine. Maybe a bit bulky and ugly looking for my tastes. But it certainly address's a lot of the issues that the iPad downers have (Flash, multi-tasking, camera etc)
It's all early days though. Apple don't have a monopoly on the tablet computer market but they've led the field and I reckon that one of those mob out there will build a tablet computer that will be awesome and just what the doctor ordered.