iPad=iSad

Well, the day has come and gone. Apple showed us the new and miraculous thing that BGR claimed “changes the course of history.”

Bull, I say.

Now I know I’m probably going to get ripped to shreds by the iFans, but stick with me here. I have some honest concerns about the iPad, and if anyone can, with certainty, correct my claims or alleviate my concerns, then go ahead. But I highly doubt you’ll be able to.

There’s a reason it’s not called the iSlate

Slates and tablets are meant for one super special thing: writing. A handwriting-to-text software is something that could take the iPad from “meh” to “wow.” Students could handwrite papers and notes and have them clearly typed out. Also, why doesn’t the iPad have artistic functionality like a Wacom pad?  Give me stylus options, and I’ll feel a million times better about this device–ESPECIALLY for annotating ebooks. Sony’s e-reader allows you to annotate with a stylus, and that’s with the e-ink technology. Come on, this is–while not always simple things to implement–something simple to think of.

E-Reading

Steve Jobs, you’re a fairly strong orator. I’ll give you that you’re persuasive. But there’s no way that an English Master’s student, like me, will be reading novels (as in more than one) each week on a device like that. For flying, riding a train, business commuting–fine. Intense reading? Not so much. Pair a back lit ultra-bright screen with a glossy cover and you have horrible glare and a nasty headache.

Typing

It’s never a good thing when Steve Jobs makes typos and then says–by the way, we have a keyboard add-on! The fact that they very clearly and readily brought up the physical keyboard plug-in option makes me think that they knew there were issues with the touchscreen keyboard for long term use. Your not writing essays on this without a keyboard probably 😛

Voice Chat?

Do we know yet if it will be able to do things like Skype on this phone? Does it have a headset (headphone/mic) jack? I didn’t see one, but it’s possible I missed it. It does have a mic and speakers though (supposedly), so maybe we will get Skype.

The App Store

No customization. No WoW or emulators or other fun stuff you want on it. This isn’t a full OS, but rather another version of the iPhone OS. Everything you want has to come through the app store/iTunes and, frankly, that’s a pain in the butt.

Audience

I think this is what pisses me off the most–who is the audience for this product? People with iPhones already have these functions and MORE since it’s also a phone. It’s not handy as a music player because it’s too big for your pocket while you’re walking etc. The business traveler maybe? To bring on planes, trains, and automobiles? That I could see–but it’s a kind of niche market. Instead of it being some uber-portable thing, I think it would be better embedded into something. Couldn’t you see these things on treadmills? The back of airplane seats? I actually think it would have a better market in things like that than in being able to travel.

Final Thoughts

I don’t hate Steve Jobs or Apple. I love my iPhone and prefer it much more than a Blackberry. Many people know I’m not big into Macbooks–simply because I think they cost much more than they should given their size and functionality. But this isn’t about price or anything like that. This is more about me being confused about the purpose and direction of this product. It seems like an essay I was working on awhile ago–lot of great ideas, but it didn’t really have a point. iPad has a lot of good ideas, but it’s missing out on some key ideas and key functionality, making it a general disappointment to many who were excited about it.

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3 Comments

  1. Business users have laptops, we don’t need this thing.

    Just remember that if you buy this thing, what you can put on it is completely controlled by Apple. Everything must come through the app store, which requires an approval by Apple. Even google voice app didn’t get approved.

    And you forgot one important thing: Multitasking.
    So, when I am writing a paper, and need to check something online to verify what I am writing… I need to close my word doc, open the web browser, go to the website, look it up, remember what it says (because I cannot open up both at the same time), close the web browser, re-open the word doc, and fix my sentence. You get the point.

    Then again, if they allowed multitasking, the battery life would be about 1 hr.

    • Yes; although, admittedly, I’m not too happy with BGR lately with the apple-lovin’. I have no qualms with apple, but my primary concern is what is the purpose of this product–and frankly I’ve seen too many news sources allowing their biases of the company (either love or hate) cloud their judgement about the product.

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