Astheria.com is now an archive and is no longer updated, you can find new writings at kylemeyer.com →


01 27 2010

You’ve heard the grumbles:

Sitting on the sofa, MBP on my lap, iPhone in my hand. Do I really need an ‘in between’ device? No.

What’s a bit dissapointing about the iPad is that it’s *exactly* what we expected… and we’re used to Apple exceeding our expecations

if you have an iPhone and a MacBook Pro, why would you need an iPad?

The problem here, is the people doing the grumbling. We (geeks) aren’t Apple’s target audience with the iPad.

We may consider it yet another piece of gadgetry that makes it a little easier to read RSS feed items in bed, or check your email while you’re taking a poo—but the truth of the matter is, that’s all it is to us.

But Here’s the Magic

Think of your parents. They probably aren’t terribly tech savvy, but you buy them a laptop anyway. A laptop is a very powerful device even with average hardware specs, you can do a lot with it. But the ability to do a lot comes at the price of reduced usability. Introducing more choices means more mental hurdles to jump. To us (the geeks), these hurdles are skipped, we’re used to computers and we don’t even think when using most basic functionality. The iPad removes all of these choices, and as a result, increases the inherent usability of the device for those who normally have to jump those hurdles.

Think of those whose lives don’t revolve around using a computer for anything more than entertainment. The iPad is, and let’s be honest here, perfect for this group. Extremely lightweight, easy to throw in your book bag. Plays music, video, let’s you browse the web, read books, and so on. These people don’t need the power of a laptop the way those of us who use a computer for work do. The iPad does exactly what they want to do, and it does it well.

Think of those who travel. Many of these people have a laptop and a 3G connection card. Why? So they can check their email and file documents on the road. The iPad with a 3G connection does this, and does it well.

Think of those with desktops who want to do some mobile computing. Most people’s definition of computing is just working on stuff in Microsoft Word, or browsing the internet.

I think you can see the running theme here by now.

So Why the Lofty Title?

If the iPhone revolutionized the usability of smartphones, the iPad just did the same for laptops and netbooks. It’s a completely different take on the de facto standard. It targets the average computer user, not those of us who use a computer all day at work. It creates a UI and capability set that adopts the 80/20 principle of usability. It does nearly everything this crowd wants it to do, with 20% of the bullshit interface getting in their way.

It brings mobile 3G based computing to the mainstream, if we thought the iPhone took the internet to the mobile realm, this takes it even further. This makes a move where some people may not purchase an at home internet connection. If the iPad does everything you need, flip the bird to Comcast and only pay $30 a month for unlimited 3G access—anywhere.

So while we the geeks may feel under-impressed, there’s a whole new market Apple just tapped—and it’s going to take the internet to another level of ubiquitousness in much the same way as the iPhone. And, well, we all know the impact the iPhone has had.

Sixty-eight

Responses

  1. Great points… except for the “3G access—anywhere”… We’ve all seen the Version map commercials.

    Otherwise, you’re exactly right: My parents would love iPad.

  2. I agree. The first thing I thought about was how much my parents and my wife would dig this. They do the majority of their computing on a couch while watching television.

  3. @Tony Yes, I’m disappointed Apple went with AT&T again, probably a part of their exclusivity agreement. But, I suppose time will tell.

    Not a fault of Apple’s device, but AT&T’s failure of delivering on promises.

  4. You bring up an excellent point, Kyle.

    Apple isn’t aiming at the 20% of über geeks out there; they’re aiming at the 80% of the netbook/laptop market out there who basically need to email, IM, check Facebook and play some games.

    Working on the computer all day sometimes dilutes my perception into thinking everyone works on the computer all day. They don’t and it’s exactly those people who Apple is aiming at.

  5. Well said and well done for thinking outside the box, I think you discovered the true audience, the 80% vs the 20% of us geeks. I still have my reservations but you can’t really flaw it, it does everything is says on the tin.

  6. Crossed my mind as well. This would be perfect for my parents who just use the apps that Steve presented tonight.

    I still don’t think it changes everything although I like the fact that we’re starting to see devices made to fit certain people’s needs and not everyone’s.

  7. This year should be interesting with the introduction of the iPad. Hopefully, the old age of printed newspapers and magazines will begin to migrate over to iPads and Kindles. As long as Apple can satisfy both the e-reader market and the cpu-hungry tablet users, this product will be a hit.
     ipad-source.com

  8. Also, you must remember that for all practical purposes this is the first gadget of its kind from Apple (not counting the Newton). Think back to the very first generation iPods. They were bulky, monochromatic, and had low storage space. But it was a starting point to which Apple could work off of, brainstorm and develop new features and functions. My bet is Apple will use reviews and feedback and introduce a 2nd generation within a year or two, much like they did with the iPods. I think in the future you could see these things with the cameras, phone capabilities, multi app capabilites, etc. that everyone was wanting.

  9. I think @reas (should follow this guy) had a good point about it being more of a “consuming” media device than that of creation, but honestly despite the same base OS that the iPhone/iPod is, this is going to shift the paradigm of how content is designed, interacted with and ultimately created.

    An iPhone is a great device for bits of information and many people have designed elegantly for such restraints. Though as we saw with some of the mildly or wildly redesigned apps for the iPad, this device can be used for leisure along with business…and not so long from now.

    Not much a futurist myself, but I will be hoping(god help me develop) for some powerful yet, wholly new ways to create and work revolving around web frameworks. Perhaps some app makes it easy to create site layouts simply by dragging content frames and easily setting rules based around gestures and simple UX. That is kind of my wish/hope. Not that I can’t hard code, but honestly I shouldn’t have to work on the basic structure of a site so hard these days.

    I think we’ve seen Jobs and Apple’s consumer vision at a minimum. They’re leaving it up to us to decide it’s future, just like they did with iPhone and look how that is turning out.

  10. I just bought my mom a netbook for Xmas and she loves it for the portability. I regret that she’ll have to grapple with Windows, but it’s the platform she’s used to.

    My dad, on the other hand, has never really used a computer before since he was under the impression that one needs to know how to type. I’m thinking this could finally be the way to get him connected (and thus make me feel less guilty about my inability to pick up a telephone).

    Kudos to Apple for making the iPad so affordable.

  11. Kyle,

    One of the biggest activities of my parents and all of my non tech savvy friends is video conferencing. That’s why I was so surprised when I saw that it didn’t have a camera. No Camera, no skype.

    Secondly, I’d argue that one of the biggest points, multi tasking is something that only makes using a computer easier. Regardless of experience level.

    Lastly I am very very skeptical about the screen being used for reading. Sure this thing is GREAT on a plane compared to a laptop when it comes to dimensions, but it’s a LED backlit IPS screen. I don’t even know what the heck that means?!?! I only know that reading from LED screens is quite difficult for a lot of people, that’s why e-ink is so popular.

    But really, it needs a camera in my opinion, that’s one of the primary activities for family.

    Apologies for linguistic mishaps, I am quite tired.

  12. Great article and take on the iPad psychographic market strategy.

    I think you might have left out users like me; 24, long-time Mac user, tech consultant (extremely skilled in countless tech arenas etc) but tied to a desktop Mac (Mini with 2 x HD LCDs), without a modern Macbook, with an iPod Touch, and needing a step-up in data mobility. iPhone plans here in Canada are exhaustively overpriced, and I only need mobile data, not mobile voice. (I have a VOIP PBX for my home office and on-call.)

    The iPad fills the niche of sub-laptop, big-screen-iPhone for a handful of us who want a 3G-enabled computing platform, and will happily laptop flexibility, to cut the price of entry in half (hardware + plans.) Think of the countless not-so-techy college and university kids who would opt-in at this entry point.

    I’m betting that Apple is going to make another killing; but in several new horizontal markets, including the oldies you mentioned, but with the youngins too! :)

  13. You have got some great points but it is still lacking 1 major feature that will attract this customer base and it is a front-facing camera for video chat which could have taken the device to another level… All we can do is hope the next revision of the iPad does…

  14. Kyle - I think you’re right on about the target audience, and it’s a good point.

    Some have also made a valid point about this device being designed to consume media vs. create it. As a geek, I would love to have one in my house for that very reason. I can envision wall mounts and stands for it all over the place! Pull up a recipe app in the kitchen, put it on the countertop stand and look at it while I cook. Pull up Hulu or iTunes, and snap it onto a wall mount to watch. Also brilliant for traveling when I may not want to drag my laptop but don’t want to squint at movies on my iPhone during the flight. ;)

    I do think a future version will likely have a camera, just as video has been integrated into the iPhone over time.

  15. I do think that the iPad with be a student’s best tool.

  16. @HomeGrown I think the video-conference comments are valid. However, I don’t think the 3G networks can handle the amount of data this would take to accomplish right now. AT&T especially is dealing with the backlash of simple data transfer on the iPhone, video calling over the same network would push it far past it’s brink of capability.

    That said, as cellular networks improve, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Apple would continue to leave it out. It’s just a matter of the huge amount of bad PR they’d have to deal with for the craptastic performance it would have currently.

  17. While I don’t necessarily disagree with the intended market, I’m not sure I’m on board for the sweeping statement that the iPad is on the forefront of some major change in the way that less tech savvy people use the internet/technology. Maybe I’m the only one, but most of the people I know who might be into the premise you put forward as the benefit of the iPad have some innate distrust of Apple. And then at the same time the price point is probably a littttle bit more than they’re capable of justifying, when you can get a netbook for half the price. On the other hand I am rather bitter, and that certainly plays its part.

    To delve deep into my personal issues with the iPad, the root of most of my complaints stem from seeing the leaked videos of the Microsoft Courier. Don’t get me wrong, generally I despise Microsoft’s products, but the premise of the Courier was gripping. The idea of the digital moleskin just blew me away. Being able to work out sketches, take notes, organize things through photos, etc resonated very powerfully with me (being a designer/developer). It was so creative it was hard to believe it could come, even conceptually, from M$. So when Apple, a company I look towards for innovation and creative solutions, whose products have always felt like they were made with me in mind, presented me with what amounted to an overgrown iPhone, it made me sad :[

  18. @wilsonography Thanks for taking the time to come back over and comment! Appreciate it.

    To address your second paragraph first (because it’s a bit simpler), the iPad can do all of the same things as the Courier. When you consider the optimized version of iWork available, combined with the nice quick sketching tool demo’d today, it’s hard to knock it for being a great ‘on the go creative tool’ like a sketchbook, but also one that let’s you do quite a bit more.

    As for your opening points, I think the price point of the iPad, while slightly higher than that of your typical netbook, is a very good deal for what you’re getting. And I think Apple’s target market for this product is going to be intrigued not only by the Apple brand, but by the iPad’s innovative take on how you interact with a “lesser laptop”. If people are willing to pay for a quality user experience (and it’s been proven time and time again they are), people will see where that extra Benjamin or two is going.

    It doesn’t mean they’ll use the internet in a different way, but they will access it in a different way. Your average bloke probably didn’t know 3G access cards existed, but they will know that the iPad has internet everywhere they get cell reception for a monthly fee, and that will stick.

  19. Great article! my class has been arguing about it all day,and its really nice to see someone put this into perspective.

    thanks a bunch!

  20. So if this device is supposed to be more usable for my parents, how are they going to react when someone posts a flash video to Facebook and they cannot watch it?

    The lack of flash, coupled with the state of the web right now (lots of flash) means that this device will probably be more frustrating than usable for non-technical users (who as people are saying want to do email, Facebook, both of which entail lots of links to flash heavy sites).

  21. James is totally correct.

    What about emails with embedded links? If the link points to a flash based video, iPad won’t play it. Mom will think it is a POS and blame me for wasting my money on it.

    It won’t replace a computer for Mom, sometimes she has to work with documents for her various community service projects. Can iPad save files and print to a networked printer? What about a usb printer?

  22. Sure, parents love it. Grandparents love it. They don’t need things like USB ports or SD card readers. But today’s average electronics user DOES. They have digital cameras, and they need a place to dump their stuff. For that, they have a computer. They don’t NEED an iPad, as it serves no useful purpose for them. It serves no useful purpose for the majority of end-users. It doesn’t today, and it won’t tomorrow.
    It’s a big iPod Touch with less portability.

  23. @Joseph I think you miss the point. It’s easy to assume you are part of the majority of users, and that everyone has those needs. But in the grand scope of things, I believe you are wrong in that assertion. Remember that the baby-boomer generation and some of it’s younger fringe members, are the biggest generation in the USA, meaning, well, us young, more technological savvy folks are the minority.

    @Koolau Apple didn’t mention anything in the keynote, but I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to imagine it would be a possibility. They did demo saving documents as PDF’s for email, possibly an alternative to printing as we move towards a more digital society. As far as Flash goes, for video it is on its way out. Youtube and other major video sharing services are beginning to implement HTML5’s video codecs. So while it may not be ideal for this day this second, it is the (relatively near) future.

  24. @Kyle

    Do you have evidence that the amount of flash video is dwindling?

    In my opinion flash (in some form, perhaps dwindling, but in a significant enough amount to make the ipad not supporting it annoying) will be around for at least the lifetime (I mean how long it takes for apple to come out with the next version) of the ipad.

  25. Yeah great article, i agree and with most of the comments its a great device for the masses. Its been said a 1000 times already but a camera would have been handy, a digital camera never goes astray but not at the risk of a high cost because the price is one of the key features.

    @ James, i guess you could see YouTube and Vimeo adding HTML5 video support recently as evidence that the amount of flash video should begin to dwindle. IMO is a good thing that apple are not supporting flash on their devices if only to avoid having to visit horrible, horrible flash driven websites.

  26. Hulu, fancast, abc, NBC, fox all still use flash and (I work for one of the above) will for the forseeable future. No flash is a gamebreaker for the parents argument, maybe in a year it won’t be but right now it is.

  27. Some really great points and something to think about.

  28. Well thats too bad about hulu, nbc etc (considering most of their video content is unavailble in Australia it doesn’t bother me), it will be good to see them come to the party…if the iPad is where the party turns out to be.

    The app store is a pretty good example, flash developers are out in the cold but plenty of other developers (140,000+ apps?..useless nor not) have stepped up to take their place. So hopeully new content providers will emerge to take the place of hulu, nbc, fancast etc if the platform takes off.

  29. @Kyle Meyer
    Yes, but see:
    A. Many of them don’t use computers, or don’t like using them.
    B. The iPad won’t do well in the long run
    C. Is Apple honestly targeting baby-boomers, now? They’re new slogan in a couple months will be, “Apple: Computers for Old People.”

  30. Unless I wanna read ePapers or books with a “portrait” view, especially because of the lack of a built-in webcam, I’ll still hang on with my MacBook Pro. THe cam is one important missing feature which I’d think Apple intentionally postponed to a second generation…

  31. @Sean, Joseph, Maclord I guess I should be pretty up front about this. I didn’t write this post to discuss which features Apple did or didn’t include in the iPad. I wanted to look at the product in a different light. Whether or not it does everything and anything everyone wants it to is a bit irrelevant.

  32. @kyle

    I totally agree. I really enjoyed that you brought a different perspective

    @sean, joseph, maclord: if you dont like the ipad. dont buy it. its pretty simple.

  33. No worries mate, please delete my comments from your discussion if you want

  34. My problem with the iPad is that it’s supposed to address the “in between” between normal sized laptop computers (which- if you look at Apple’s catalogue- are pretty small already) and mobile platforms like the iPhone.

    The ipad doesn’t do this though. It’s simply the iPhone OS with a much larger screen and better specs. There is no windowed environment (something Palm was able to accomplish quite well in the mobile realm 8-9 months ago) All of the applications are filtered by Apple’s notoriously strict (in a bad way) app store, there’s no open development.

    A true compromise between mobile and laptop (a niche some argue doesn’t need to exist at all) would at least have a window system of some kind. Can you imagine using a twitter application on this thing? Even one that has been remade to use the full resolution so it doesn’t look stretched. You would have to stop listening to music, watching Youtube, talking to people just to view some tweets. While I hate that this is so, flash remains the defacto way to view online media. We shouldn’t have to use a seperate application just to view Youtube videos. Right now I have 2 tabs with Youtube open, this blog post, an online store and my email. Outside of Firefox I have my IM client, and itunes for music. I am in what I like to call “Entertainment mode” which means I’m not using my computer for anything work related/serious right now, which is apparently what the iPad is for. How would what I’m doing hold up right now on an iPad? Not well.

    To address the substance of your post, I don’t believe that is what Apple made this for. If a normal computer is scary a .5 inch thick touchscreen slab is absolutely terrifying for the technologically inept. The fact that iWork got put on this thing and Jobs included the netbook comparison in his demo points to you just making excuses for Apple. Of course the iPad will probably be wildly successful, I however have learned never to adapt a first gen Apple product, I’ll wait for mulitasking thanks.

  35. Thank God someone else has an ounce of sense - I was getting completely fed up with all the mindless ‘haters’ who can’t see the big picture. Awesome post.

  36. @Meghan
    That’s exactly where I would see it in the kitchen, no wall mount on the Apple accessory list though

  37. @Laura “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it” - let me rephrase your sentiment for you: “If you don’t like it, don’t criticize it”. Great debate stopper. Not.

    @Daniel:

    I disagree. This is less frightening than a computer, not because of the form factor but because of the UI. You only need to explain to people that they basically can’t mess up.

    Point in case: My grandparents, who have never seen a computer up close until I brought my macbook over. They really really want to use skype (we live in different countries) but I know for a fact that they will be unable to start up a PC, navigate towards the software and if necessary fill out a username and password. Let alone troubleshoot if anything happens.

    The iPad solves that. You start it up, you touch the icon, it logs in without asking you anything, touch the contact you want to call and call. That’s easier than using a phone.

    Only problem is…there’s no camera…which means no skype.

  38. @Arik
    If they put a camera in this then they wouldn’t have as much to improve on when they release the iPad 3Gs next January :)

  39. They left a camera out because they wanted to make Apple-level profit margins. That much is obvious at this point. Your response doesn’t address the rest of my post at all, nor does it explain how 60-70yr olds living on social security or otherwise limited income are going to be able to afford this. My parents are both in their early-approaching-mid fifties, and they operate computers every single day. Pretty much everybody in a white collar job has a computer in their cubicle/office. It’s a little funny that you guys are actually arguing that there’s a HUGE market out there, untapped. Hardly.

    I don’t think Apple wanted to release a GRANDPARENTS niche tablet guys. Be serious. You’re making excuses for it’s shortcomings and then when Apple fixes said shortcomings you’ll praise them.

    And once more, what’s so hard about using the telephone? Video calling is worth $500 PLUS monthly internet bills PLUS setting up a wifi network and troubleshooting? ok.

  40. Firstly, “case in point”*. D’oh.

    @Dave & @ Daniel

    Camera argument is perfectly valid, exactly what I thought.

    @Daniel

    I didn’t respond to the rest of the post, because I agree with the rest of your post.

    The problem with a phone is the same problem they are having right now, they press the wrong buttons. No seriously. A phone is a device with input on buttons and then feedback on a screen, that’s the big difference with touch, Touch provides you with direct iconographic input.

    Note that I am MERELY talking about the UI here.

    In terms of cost. This isn’t just about 70 year old grandparents, I used mine as an example. If it weren’t for me, my 51 year old dad wouldn’t be able to use Skype as well…let alone a computer. I help him out with little stuff almost everyday. After 10 years of e-mailing he sometimes still forgets how to create an e-mail attachment.

    The reason for this is because the older generation thinks differently. I posses a wide range of skills with computers, you probably do too. The difference is that we understand what we are doing on a computer, unlike the older generation, they attempt to remember action sequences to get to a certain goal. The longer the sequence, the harder it gets.

    I am pretty sure that the non professional user could benefit from this device…if only it had a camera and multi tasking.

    For someone who is scared of computers, this won’t be any scarier. They are scared for the unknown, both types of machines are unknowns.

    “Oh look it’s some kind of space age device that lets you touch the screen and then does stuff… unlike the other device that is a huge hulking machine with a full keyboard and some thing dangling from it that allows me to move this pointer thing across the screen and…well I don’t really know what the hell I am supposed to do.” < they won't care.

  41. Regardless of how beneficial you feel it might be for older folks, my point (that you said you agreed with) is that they want this to be a reimagining of a netbook. My problem is, with a netbook you can run the latest full OS like Windows 7 and basically any program made for it (taking processing power etc into account, of course.)

    With the iPad you’re locked into Apple’s ecosystem. Do you think a media player like VLC would be able to make it onto this device to compete directly with itunes? I highly doubt that Apple would allow that. On top of that there’s no filesystem from what I can tell so even if you had VLC you wouldn’t be able to find .avi files to play on it. $250 for 40gigs of SSD (insaaanity)- that you can only fill up by purchasing movies, books, apps from their closed ecosystem.

    Contrast this with a netbook, which you can actually set on a table and view the screen, use any PROGRAM (not “app”, you don’t have to enter your credit card into some store to download applications for it then get nickeled and dimed into oblivion) under the sun. And multitask. As I said before, this is not a compromise between a mobile platform and a modern desktop platform, it’s simply a mobile platform on a not so mobile (in terms of power, cost and size) machine. It’s simply unacceptable and kind of insulting on any level for Apple to be selling this device in it’s current format. They need to make huge improvements.

    I found this article and he pretty much sums up how I feel: http://i.gizmodo.com/5458382/8-things-that-suck-about-the-ipad

  42. The re-imagining of a netbook is a marketing ploy. They identified their competition in this sector, which will come from netbooks. There’s no possible way to claim that this thing is competing with either laptops or phones.

    What I think is that this will attract a user who simply won’t mind the limitations, who doesn’t have to use this as an actual computer, but purely as a browsing device and maybe for reading ebooks I don’t see how you can read ebooks on this thing for a very long time.

    Again, needs multi tasking and camera imo, but as we already agreed, that’s profit for the ipad 2.0

  43. A lot of valid points here. Older users, casual users, etc.

    I think mobile salesforce (presentations, data management) could really use this. I also know many people in large urban areas (Free WIFI) that use smartphones as a primary web tool, this would no doubt boost their effectiveness. Remember the App store is BOOMING!!

    Love good from those perspectives…. maybe the base storage could be higher!

  44. @Arik, no.. that isnt it at all. I was just summing up all of YOUR arguing. dont buy it :)
    You guys are missing the point of Kyle’s article. he’s even said it himself.

  45. @Laura

    Kyle’s article discusses the user the device is for, so do we.

  46. @arik,
    It seems that you are discussing simply what it lacks.. and in the meantime bypassing what kyle said earlier:

    ” guess I should be pretty up front about this. I didn’t write this post to discuss which features Apple did or didn’t include in the iPad. I wanted to look at the product in a different light. Whether or not it does everything and anything everyone wants it to is a bit irrelevant.”

    and the article in general. Not that I don’t agree with many of your assessments. I am a developer.. so function and features are important to me as well. either way, i respect your opinion..so i’ll leave it at that. cheers.

  47. @Laura

    I respect your opinion as well. My comments were targeted towards assessing if the features suit the non tech savvy user. It’s a matter of looking at the features vs which users the features might be targeting.

  48. You make some excellent points. As a tech savvy user, the iPad falls short of addressing any needs I may have for such a device. However, targeting the iPad at a user group such as parents or generations who are not power users may be a bad idea. Why?

    Because it requires synchronization with a PC or Mac using iTunes. Have you ever tried to explain how to synchronize an iPod or iPhone to a novice computer user? Explain all the iTunes tabs to them?

    Even worse, have you ever had a novice computer user with an iPod who encounters some absurd iTunes error and cannot figure out what to do? I see it often. The sync aspect is what complicates the whole matter. Granted, it’s most likely not necessary as a matter of regular course, but the longer you wait between syncs, the longer they take and the more potential for issues.

    I don’t know that an “ultra-portable” stand-alone device could have been made by Apple at this point, but they are certainly headed in that direction with the iPad. It fits a niche that is its own at the moment, and as they add features, it will expand and overlap with the laptops and mobile devices of the world to fully realize its potential. It’s definitely a wait and see device. Nice article.

  49. problem is with the other 80%, they will not have a second device … they will eventually land on a very trivial website that runs flash or similar …. and would ditch the device and get a netbook. believe it or not, I have seen people will do this if apple does not allow competition on the core apps …. and you want video on this device? you need to get the 64 gigs at the least … agree? it translates to 900 bucks after tax

  50. Definitely agree with you. Even when this new gadget was a mere rumour, I envisioned it appealing to the tech-shy and/or older generation. But also, as is now evident re the iPhone when it first came out, we will doubtless be surprised yet again with the amount of new Apps/Games/Widgets etc developers will dream up specifically for this new shiny toy. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the wealth of Apps being dreamt up even as we read this article. The iPad version of our favourite family board games (now no need for the portable versions either) - games like iScene-it & Trivial Pursuit - just to name a few that come to my slow mind. Early learning for toddlers Apps or. Or plop it in the car and you have no need for the DVD player for trips. And all this is without even contemplating the iBook facility. This is truly going to be another game changer (pardon the pun) in the tech world, and I for one am definitely excited. Having said that, I guess we can also look forward (or not) to a veritable hailstorm of the less creative/intellectually stimulating variety of apps - specifically the “spin the college dare bottle”/ “see a new pair of boobs a day” variety of “entertainment” apps/games. Oh well, the rough with the smooth I guess. And speaking of the rough, if only there was an app that would fast-forward through the incessant & adolescent name ridiculing guff! Was there any such nuttiness about the Wii for goodness sake?!

  51. Great points, Kyle. Definitely a different view on the iPad that I haven’t heard yet (of course, I’ve had little if any interest in it, but what I’ve read has mostly been negative, as you pointed out.)

  52. Nice take on the iPad Kyle.
    The biggest problem with the iPad is that it does not fit into a device category that WE are used to seeing around us. As Steve showed during his Keynote address, there is a divide between the iPhone and the MBP series. The iPad bridges that and in a damn great way too.
    The hustle and the cacophony around the iPad is mostly from the geeks, but Surprise Surprise Surprise! The iPad is not for geeks. Apple has already given then the iPhone and the MBP. That is more than enough of heavenly gifts for one lifetime of a geek. :)

  53. Superb article. You have summed up everything about the iPad beautifully. You are right, it may not be the best choice for geeks but for ‘muggles’ it is the best thing that has happened.

  54. I think you’ve got it. Everything will be different.

    Imagine everyone you dealt with today, the barrista, the service writer at the car shop, the waiter. Now imagine them with an iPad in their hands. Visualize the systems that will work differently than ever before. Imagine every school kids backpack reduced to 1.5 lbs plus his lunch.

    Where do publishing houses add value in a work flow that goes from the writer to a data file to the final customer? Can’t the writer hire an editor and layout consultant and just bypass the publishing house, since Apple provides the international storefront from which to sell their creation?

    Everything is different now. We just don’t know how.

  55. well if it has the apps I need I would love it for travelling: it’s such a pain to have to take a heavy laptop bag on a train.

  56. The main argument for it, as far as I can tell, is that the geeks are disappointed, but the iPad will be great for the average user.

    The average user wants to upload photos to their computer, before they upload them to their iPad?
    The average user doesn’t need their iPad to play Flash? (It could, you know. 1GHz can run Flash fine.)
    The average user wants a device that doesn’t do anything spectacular?

    As for specialty purposes, like auto shops, schools, etc., that’s a fairly small niche, in the workplace, and I doubt parents are going to run out and buy an iPad for their kids’ textbooks, even if the school will accommodate iPad students.

  57. Forget the niches the previous posts talk about.

    Let’s say I work in a shop, the iPad is capable of running iWork or a special web app to keep in touch back of house with what i’m selling. So my team could sell 50 boxes of chocolate and my back of house could replenish it on the shop floor (or know about it) in seconds.

    Let’s say I’m on the train to work. I had a tiny desk, I have an hour journey left, i want to listen/look at all my media, keep up to date with my family, keep up to date with my work emails, organise a weekend off… all this can be done on the iPad.

    Let’s say I’m a music editor, I could create an app that would allow Logic to link up to the iPad and take advantage of all the small shortcuts I use all the time. Instead of clicking or using shortcuts, I tap a simple icon on the screen.

    The problem with the iPad *is* the people. People don’t understand the concept. People don’t understand that this essentially is something that won’t need multi-tasking to the full extent or a camera.

    This is a 9.7” HD device that allows you to do ANYTHING you want except take pictures and play two games at once.

    One day, just like with all the other Apple products, you’ll realise why this is going to speed your life up, or why this will play such a big part in cutting the bull.

    What have Apple announced? 140,000 applications. That’s suddenly 40,000 applications than the day before they had an iPad. hmm.

    D’ya reckon they’re hiding something a little?

    I do.

    Keep your head open and your opinions neutral, because until you’ve had a hands-on or a definitive wow, you can’t accurately judge.

  58. I’ve read a lot of the arguments here, and while I respect the fact that the designers and super geeks of the world are feeling a little more than duly cheated in an attempt at innovation, I must also disagree with the assumption of all us geeks that the generation before us is helpless, and that the two demographics are Amish vs. Tron dwellers. Think about the average business man nowadays stuck in corporate America; they have a Blackberry or an Iphone or some other smart phone equivalent because it satisfies their needs (i.e on the road email checking, report filing, status updates for supervisors, etc. etc.) on a user friendly level.

    Now lets think about our everyday baby boomer demographic. Even now my 55 year old mother and 80 year old grandmother are sending pictures back and forth to each other, my mother just learning how to send e-mail as of last year. Times are changing, and I think the baby boomers are jumping on the bandwagon too.I have to agree with the points that while this product is attempting to hit a casual user, it just might be a bit too casual and not provide even some features they would find useful. Time will tell, and we can all agree that the next iterations of the Ipad will be much more impressive, and satisfying to the casual palette.

  59. I am a web designer and I work from home. I am thinking about getting the ipad to casually surf the web after work, from the comfort of my couch rather then my work station! I don’t really need a laptop…

  60. Great reasoning. Desktop / laptop is overkill for most regular people outside the information industry.

  61. I don’t think the iPad is only for the non-tech-savy. It’s all about the form and the UI.

    I hate, hate, hate using a laptop IN MY LAP for extended periods of time. One way or the other it’s gonna hurt my neck, back or wrists to use it in a “lounging on the couch” position for too long. Laptops are great for easily moving from one desk to another, but to use while lounging around, the tablet is a much more effective form. The problem with tablets to date is that they have pretty much tried to mimic the UI of a traditional computer OS, but that OS just isn’t designed to be interacted with through the screen (but through a mouse and keyboard). Where the iPad “changes everything” is it takes a device more like a tablet computer (a bit more power, and much larger screen than a smart phone) and gives it an UI that’s actually designed to be used the way people are going to use it. If there’s a better option out there for casually using the web while lounging around the house, I’ve not seen it.

  62. Dude, I think your wrong.

    I think the Ipad is for the 80 and the 20. Both for the novice and the uber-geek.

    I fall somewhere towards the uber-greek side of the equation and I love it. I use it with a free VNC app that allows me access to all of my computers and clients machines.

    It’s a great just to grab it and jump on the couch, and watch TV while checking email with and then make dinner and use a recipe that I can find instantly and keep the screen up while throwing together the ingredients.

    and dude, don’t get me started on the games. Show me some games that are anywhere as addictive and as beautifully displayed as in the Ipad.

    Before you mock it, you need to get your hands on one and play with it for a month. I guarantee you that it will change your mind like it did mine.

  63. 80/20… After many month of people using iPads, I think it shows that the geeks are happy to use it. Finally someone found a way to drag us away from our computer, even if just to stare at another screen.

    As well as my parents generation starts to adopt to a system not using windows. By the way, this mental hurdle might be the toughest for the iPad.

    With the iPad being able to print very soon, and hopefully to make video conferences, there isn’t much left for my mother, etc. to need a laptop anymore… Except making photo-books. We’ll see.

    As long as there is one thing you usually do, that you can’t do at the iPad, a lot of non-Geeks will not use it. It will take us some more years to have better usability as a broadly accepted sales argument. (What a pity you can’t measure it in GHz)