The iPad: A 24-Hour Review

Apple's iPad

After 24 hours with Apple’s new iPad, I’m convinced of two things.

First, the iPad is a game-changer. It will change our relationship to information and education technology. It will change game playing. And, it may possibly bring gaming and educational technologies closer together.

Second, it has some significant evolution ahead.

After a relatively short period of time experimenting and playing with the iPad, it’s clear that in positioning the iPad in the seemingly narrow niche between the laptop computer and the mobile phone device, Apple may have hit the sweet spot of where most folks use personal computer technology. That is, most folks use personal computer technology to: send/receive email, browse the web, engage in social networking (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube), acquire and listen to music, share photos/videos, and manage tasks and schedules. Most people mostly do these things, and most of them want a way to do it without hassling with file structures and device drivers and compatibility issues. The iPad mostly does this.

Whereas the more versatile and powerful laptop computer allows the user to be both a consumer and producer/publisher of web content, there’s no question that the iPad returns to the more TV-like approach of the user being primarily a consumer of multimedia web content. While the iPad certainly offers the ability to produce content, it is in a decidedly limited way. In as much as creating email, commenting to blog posts, and social networking interaction can be thought of as content-producing activities, the iPad has you covered. However, if you want to create, edit, and produce video or audio content, or even produce multimedia documents (e.g., PDFs or blog posts with graphics or audio or video content), you may find the iPad (in its present incarnation) quite limiting.

The iPad is a content delivery and presentation device more than a content producing device. And as such, I think Apple has identified a huge market.

Now for my gripes:

  • The iPad cannot be charged by many slightly older computer’s USB ports
  • Most of the iPhone/iTouch apps don’t translate well to the iPad
  • The industrial design of the iPad is alarmingly poor. It doesn’t feel comfortable in your hands. (Perhaps Apple was throwing a bone to third party skin designers?)
  • Seems that there needs to be some general interface guidelines agreed upon by all of the developers in order to make apps intuitive to users
  • Camera. Hello? Third party or built in, it needs to be there.
  • Apple, please reveal just exactly what kinds of input and output are possible with the USB/Power port and the Audio/Visual output port!

Overall, I am pleased with the iPad, and will continue to explore. I am pleased with battery life, impressive screen resolution, impressive sound quality from tiny speakers, and good processing speed. The screen rotation lock toggle is a good idea. I would like to see the Dragon speech-recognition technology integrated into all apps. And, Apple, please continue to explore and develop the eBook potential!

For more info about Apple’s iPad, go here: Apple’s iPad

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