Thoughts on the iPad

So last week, Apple introduced the long-awaited iPad. Prior to the announcement, the world seemed to be losing its collective mind with anticipation.

“It will revolutionize computers as we know them.”

“It will allow you to create things in exciting new ways.”

“It will make a mean stack of Belgium waffles!”

I heard and read every rumor possible about the iPad. At some point, on some website it was rumored to do everything you could ever want, up to and including serve as the soul mate you’ve always been looking for.

Then that black turtle-neck with Steve Jobs in it strode on stage and announced the iPad.

And the world once again lost its collective mind with disappointment.

“It doesn’t multi-task!”

“It doesn’t do Flash!”

“It’s just a big iPhone!”

“Steve Jobs is a witch! Burrrrrn him!”

I’ll admit, I was facing a bit of disappointment after the announcement myself. But, just as I found my pitchfork and lit a torch to join the crowd calling for Jobs’ head, I was struck by one line the world was screaming. It’s just a big iPhone.

At that moment I realized, it’s just a big iPhone. iPhone owners, take a second and think about life before your iPhone. Now think about life after. With the addition of apps to the iPhone, I am now doing things with a phone that I’ve rarely been able to do well on a full-blown computer. The iPhone has become an indispensable part of how we do life. Apple, with the help of third-party developers, managed to reinvent what we expect from a phone in a matter of just two years. The fact that the iPad appears to be nothing but a large iPhone has me incredibly excited. Look at the innovative things developers have done with the iPhone. Now imagine what they can do with a device that is just as capable, faster and has a larger screen. The restrictions of working on a small device like the iPhone has forced developers to think of new ways to do things and this has simplified the design of apps. I hope this new way of thinking will usher in the new era of computing Jobs seems to think it will.

The other reason I can tell Apple is on to something special is evidenced by my Google Reader feed. In Reader, I have several hundred websites I subscribe to. They are divided into the categories Apple, Entertainment, Creative, Photography, Faith. Almost a week after the announcement, I still see stories in every category every day that pertain to the iPad. It think the atmosphere has shifted from rabid anticipation of what it could be, to vehement disappointment and now back to cautious anticipation of what it could be again. All this and relatively few people have even held one in their hands.

And as to the name, I frankly think it’s inspired. In another year, the feminine-product jokes people make every time you hear the name iPad will fade away and we’ll be left with a name that perfectly describes the device. When the iPod was first released, people decried the name from the mountain tops. Now, it’s become a part of our language. Five years from now, the iPad will be as ubiquitous as the iPhone and the name will naturally roll off the tongue with nary an iTampon joke to be heard.

Comments

  1. says

    Well said! I totally agree. I’ve been waiting and wanting and even if it doesn’t do everything we want, it does enough of what I need that I’ll have one. I’m an early adopter, so there you go. After owning an iPhone developer kit for a year, I’ve never even done anything with it. I can already think of 2 projects I want to develop for the iPad. Apple has spoiled us and we’ve taken them for granted. Being the innovator, pioneer and groundbreaker isn’t always easy. For a company with their best quarter ever last quarter (in a “recession”) I think they must know what they’re doing. The things Steve has reportedly said about Google and Adobe actually make sense to me. Maybe with all the social media, real-time lives we’ve been living the last 2 years (thanks in great part to iPhone) people might be a bit blinded to what’s out a little further than our next Tweet. Vision and leadership are just a few of the qualities I admire in Steve Jobs and Apple. I restrained myself from ever buying a MacBook Air, but I’m ready to order the iPad the minute it’s available in the Apple Store. All the haters can just miss out… or jump on board with iPad 2.0. I’ll try not to say “I told you so”.

    • says

      I agree. It actually doesn’t bother me that it is missing things like multi-tasking and Flash. And I agree with Jobs’ comments on Flash. I’m glad it’s not on the iPhone or iPad. Every time I fire up a Flash video or website, my computer turns into a jet engine.

  2. says

    Agree with ya about the name. I think people will be blown away when we see the accessories start to come to light. Like memory card readers (for photographers) and so on.

    Definitely a huge impact on the publishing industry. Readers will probably be the largest new audience of first-time Apple owners.

    I’m just thankful it will run Safari and all of us web designers can know our stuff will look fine, LOL.

    Sure makes for one gorgeous digital photo frame too!

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