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More on iPad

Some quotes followed by brief commentary.

My Box of Cruft:

Remember way back to January 2007, when the iPhone was announced? Oh Internets, you wailed and gnashed your teeth endlessly. No 3G network? No MMS? No apps on the iPhone? No replaceable battery? Oh, your complaints were endless. You were sure that the iPhone was doomed because it didn’t meet all your requirements.

And what happened? Well, Apple has sold 40 million iPhones. FORTY MILLION. They have become the largest mobile device company in the world.

So today, you moan on and on about all the features you expected and demand in the iPad. What no Verizon? No two-way camera? It’s not weightless? A full half inch thick? Only 10 hours of battery life? You make tons of predictions on the success and failure with scant details and without ever actually trying one.

Well, I am lucky enough to have been at the Apple Event today. Deep within the Reality Distortion Field. I saw the demo live, not snap shots on a web site. I got to use the iPad and see how it worked in person. I talked with other people that had tried it.

And you know what, just like Steve Jobs said, you need to hold it for yourself. It’s a different computing experience. It’s intuitive and simple. The device is blazingly fast and obvious how to use. It is a third kind of computing between a smartphone and a laptop.

3G, MMS, and apps came. That doesn't render the gnashing of teeth irrelevant. In fact, it does more to prove the opposite - that they were necessary features. And now that we have them, it seems silly to roll out an iPad that lacks some key features.

From Stephen Fry:

You know how everyone who has ever done Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? always says, "It's not the same when you're actually here. So different from when you're sitting at home watching."? You know how often you've heard that? Well, you'll hear the same from anyone who's handled an iPad. The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it's not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop - it is a whole new kind of device.

This is in response to those - like me - saying that it's just a larger iPod Touch. I've jokingly called it the "iPod Touch Pro" or "Plus" a few times.

It still is. I get the user interface. I get how fun and awesome it is. That's beside the (my) point.

From Gruber:

I would say that redefining mobile computing is exactly what happened. It is surprisingly, delightfully, iPhone-esque in many ways. But if you use it for just a few minutes, it becomes obvious that the iPad is not a big stretched-out iPhone, but rather that the iPhone is a shrunken stripped-down version of the iPad. The iPad is what they’ve been building toward all along.

The iWork apps are amazing. Totally usable. Totally new UI for office apps — there’s no menu bar. Maybe the best comparison is the Calendar app. It doesn’t look anything like the iPhone Calendar app. In terms of, say, style and UI grammar, yes, it’s the same vibe as the iPhone. But in terms of scope and ambition, it’s a far bigger thing.

John drank the Kool-Aid. I cannot fathom how using Pages or even Numbers on a smaller screen with a software keyboard to write a document of any size or length can compare to using Apple's smallest laptop with a real keyboard. Even when docked and using the physical keyboard the process isn't as smooth.

And who cares whether the iPhone is a smaller iPad or vice versa? The simple fact remains that the iPhone is small enough to carry with you, and makes phone calls (and has a camera), while the iPad occupies a very small niche.

Everyone (these days) needs a phone. Virtually everyone needs a computer (even the iPad needs a computer to sync to). Who needs an iPad?

That remains my single biggest issue with the iPad: it's not a needed product. It creates a niche that nobody thought even really existed two days ago.

John's right: it's not an iPhone. Given the choice between carrying my iPhone and carrying an iPad around, the iPhone will win every time. If I want to check the weather and I'm too lazy to open my laptop, my phone does just fine. If I'm at home and want to work on something, the laptop works fine. I get the best of both worlds: multitouch on the trackpad AND an actual keyboard, more power, the ability to print, to save and send files of different types, and so on.

I said before I might consider a tablet if it let me get rid of my magazines. No such announcements were made, and thus I have no need for an iPad.

A more beautiful calendar doesn't change that. (I prefer BusyCal anyway.)

7 Responses to "More on iPad"

  1. If I'm sitting on the couch and want to check IMDB, All Music, or any other website, the iPhone/Touch doesn't really cut it. A netbook or laptop is cumbersome. Therein lies the usefulness of the iPad. Nobody needs a phone and nobody needed an iPhone. I'd like to club people who believe that they need to be in constant state of reach and answer their phones wherever and whenever. And don't even get me started on the people who wear Ear Mullets.

  2. Adam said on January 30, 2010:

    If I'm sitting on the couch and want to check IMDB, All Music, or any other website, the iPhone/Touch doesn't really cut it.

    I disagree, particularly at $500. But I'd disagree at another $199 too.

    Adam said on January 30, 2010:

    Nobody needs a phone and nobody needed an iPhone.

    People need a phone much more than they need an iPad.

  3. If I leave my house without my phone, I will turn back and get it. If I leave my house without my reading material, I don't really care. To me, that is the big difference between the "need" for an iPhone vs. an iPad.

    Yes, reading on a small screen can be a challenge. But it's a trade-off I'm willing to accept for a device that is always with me. I don't think the iPad will ever become that kind of essential device for me. To me what the iPhone doesn't do well is "good enough" given the other value it gives me as a phone and its small fit-in-my-pocket size. For the iPad to have the same shortcomings is a deal breaker for me and it isn't made up for with its pretty interface.

    I may get an iPad some day. But I definitely won't be purchasing the device announced last week.

  4. "that they were necessary features. And now that we have them, it seems silly to roll out an iPad that lacks some key features."

    they were not necessary to understand the quality of the iphone, the true experience of the web, how nice and easy it was to browse the contacts, the photos and so on.

    of course, more and more feature will come to the ipad, and what ? it will not change the fact from day ONE, the ipad is interesting, it offers a better way to use application, to see content, to browse internet than a traditional computer.

    I don"t need camera and crazy geek stuff to understand that.

    I will not accept the trade-off of the little screen to read and work a long time.

    the iphone is great as a tiny mobile device when I'm in a run, the better I can imagine to read tweets, compose a fast text or read maps. but for more use, I long something as ipad.

    My eye are not bionic, you can't do a serious application as omnigraffle or number on a so much tiny screen.

    I don't accept "laptop" are so great. I like my macbook air, but you can do better to edit and consume content. We can simplify the system and the machine.

    I will get the ipad. without crazy ports and stuff. I want computer to loose stuff and be a lot of simpler

    and yes, I'm an engineer, I love to program and my first passion was linux and free software (and still going in my work and even on my personal mac)

    but you see, all of that was for only one goal : to provide people with better tools.

    I think here is a new opportunity, an opportunity I saw in the iphone. now is the next step.

    in job, a lot of work with keynote or numbers is editing. It's all plausible.

    I saw also nay-sayers of the iphone : the screen is to little for useful application, you still need a computer so it's toy.

    of course the screen is tiny, I tell that before, but there are still need and application perfect on that screen

    and of course the computer is not disappearing, you already have one ! big deal. The house has the big computer, to store your books, musics, photo and years of works

    and the mobile device complement it in a better way, to bring with you your computing stuff.

    But I can see one day, the "mobile device" will be the "new computer". or the new way to use the computer. and ipad can be a terminal to a displayless mac.

    In time, the mac could be an "big ipad", a merge, bigger screen, made to be docked on a desk, with an optional keyboard, with big storage, and improvement in the interface to scale to 20" or 30" or whatever needed for complex applications as Maya or Xcode.

  5. oomu said on January 30, 2010:

    In time, the mac could be an "big ipad", a merge, bigger screen, made to be docked on a desk, with an optional keyboard, with big storage, and improvement in the interface to scale to 20" or 30" or whatever needed for complex applications as Maya or Xcode.

    We have that now, with multitasking and menus and keyboard shortcuts. It's called a laptop.

    Good for you - the iPad seems to fill a need you've got. I don't think it fills a need quite like a true laptop or an iPhone.

  6. I think you're generally right, for you. But you're totally wrong *for me* (which is, of course, not at all what you're writing to say.)

    you may not now, nor ever, own an iPad. But i certainly will. And so will my fiancee (more likely wife, once we actually buy her one). I'll probably buy a new one every few years and hand my old ones down to my little brother, my dad, etc.

    I'd say you're smack in the middle of stevenf's so-called Old Worlders, and so it's no wonder you feel this way. (Hopefully that doesn't sound rude...) I'm one too. but i'm still excited for New World Computing. :)

    ( I don't agree with all he says, but there are a few points i think are interesting. )

  7. Jeff Foster said on January 31, 2010:

    I'd say you're smack in the middle of stevenf's so-called Old Worlders, and so it's no wonder you feel this way.

    I don't think so. And I don't think that's a very effective put-down, either. :-)


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