iPad Second Impressions

The iPad has been released with all the fanfare of a king arriving home from a great battle.  iTunes has been updated to support the new applications. New applications specifically designed to support the iPad are well underway.  Now all of us skeptics can be silenced, or not.

I realized the cleaver plan of Apple a few hours after the release.  I have thought hard why anyone would want a larger iPhone other than it’s a gadget of bigger proportions.  The reason became clear when a read a blog post of an eBook reader that was very pleased with the iPad and it’s screen, form factor and overall size and weight.  Weeks ago I read that school books were to be available for the iPad.  Then I put it together, the iPad is the perfect medium for a student to carry a single lightweight device rather than a bunch of heavy books.   The school system doesn’t have to carry as many books (maybe none in the future) and the students only have to carry a gadget to their classes, brilliant.

I am sure there are people out there that are saying “Why does it have to a tablet, why not a netbook or Macbook or the like.”  The problem with a PC, Mac or Linux machine is the potential for data loss.  The iPad only has the data that has been synced with a computer so if it gets fried, dropped, drowned or just fails, the data is still on the computer.

I officially rescind my previous skeptical post and say the iPad is a gadget worth getting.

Apple iPad First Impressions

The announcement of the Apple iPad has left me a little unimpressed.  I have watched Apple release all kinds of technology over the years.  While many of the Apple products over the years have not been technological marvels, they have released products that were well thought out from a hardware perspective as well as a software perspective.  For example, the iPod would never have become as popular if iTunes was not the song management software included with it.

The iPad seems to be a year or two too late for the market.

Does it make a good e-book reader?  It seems as if the market for the portable e-book reader came of age when the Kindle hit the market and has been followed by many other readers geared toward the reader of e-books.  I doubt Apple has truly targeted the iPad as an e-book reader exclusively.

Does it make a good connected device?  The netbook market is full of computers capable of surfing and some include 3G.  Some are running Windows others Linux and sometime soon Chrome OS.  One of the odd things about the iPad is the requirement for it to be connected to a computer (Mac or PC) in order to synchronize it’s data.  While not a bad idea considering a drop could be fatal, it does lead to the next question.

Does it make a good computer?  In a world where just about everything is a computer, I would say the iPad does not make a good computer.  One cannot install Mac programs like Garage Band or any of the other software that would be perfect to take on the road.   No dice.  The iTunes store is the location to get software for the device just like an iPod or iPhone and while this has proven to be a good medium for applications it begs the question of cost.  I would have to buy another program like Garage Band for the iPad.

Like the rest of the world, I have not played with the iPad and I have not worked with it to any extent.  I very much hope it is a good device but I am very skeptical.