The mythical Apple tablet is finally out and it has a name too. The iPad. But placing it in our lifestyle is still as polarized as it was before Apple revealed it to the world. It’s just a big iPhone, it’s an underpowered laptop without a keyboard, it’s not tablet-y enough (no stylus), it doesn’t have multi-tasking etc etc. Oh yeah, and no pizza-delivering unicorns as well. Bummer.
To me it looks like a success in the making. Sure, it’s not all the things all the geeks in the world imagined, and so far it might look like an oversized iPod touch with a few apps that are special, but give the developers some time and we will see some clear differentiation between what an iPad app can do as opposed to their iPhone brethren.
Price-wise it’s quite well positioned. If you are not comparing it with a $300 netbook, which you really shouldn’t, because they just have different scopes. These days everyone compares everything with netbooks, just because they are dirt cheap (even though for their feature sets they are really not.) “Oooh, the [insert specialized gadget with price > $300] is so stupid, I can do everything and more with my $300 netbook.”
Now. About that name of it. When everyone was throwing possible names around, I thought “well, that ‘iPad’ one sounds really stupid, (I hope) it will never happen.” And yet here I am, faced with the iPad (metaphorically, of course.) I still don’t like it, sounds funky to me, but I can understand why Apple went with it: to position it clearly in the iPhone/iPod ecosystem, an extension to your Mac or PC.
Speaking of names starting with i, the music application is called iPod, not iTunes, or simply Music (like on the iPod touch). Even though it looks a lot more like the desktop iTunes, rather than the iPod Music app. The iPod is being shifted from a music playing device, to a music playing concept. However, since the iPod app on the iPad can’t manage the music on its own and needs to be synced with iTunes on a computer, it doesn’t make sense to call it iTunes.
What I really like about it:
– IPS display (not even Macbook Pros have that, yet)
– blazing speed (as reported by people who experienced it hands-on)
– the built-in apps look like a lot of fun and some even better than the computer versions (Mail for example)
Since it’s based on the iPhone OS it has the same limitations:
– no multi-tasking (and strangely no word on push notifications, but these should be in there)
– dependent on a computer for syncing
Now the big question: Will I buy one? I don’t feel like I have a gap between the iPod touch and the Macbook Pro that I need filled. Or at least the iPad doesn’t fill it. I must admit that for me a tablet with an adapted Mac OS X (rather than an adapted iPhone OS) fits the bill better, but that is another device altogether, which would certainly not retail starting at $499.
The way I use my iPod touch what actually matters for me is the pocketable size. When I don’t need pocketable, the laptop is fine. I can imagine bringing an iPad in my ‘digital lifestyle’ and enjoying it quite a lot, but I don’t have a need for it.
No. I won’t buy one. Yet.
On a somewhat related note, I wish Microsoft has the balls to unleash this baby already: Courier. The concept looks simply amazing, and deep down I really hoped that Apple was doing something like this. But this is another discussion altogether.
PS: maxiPad. There. I said it. And this.