Giant iPod… err iPad, whatever.

Posted on 27 January 2010

iPad iTunesI don’t really have to go into too much detail on the hype and excitement that had been building around the rumors that preceded today’s announcement and debut of the Apple iPad.

I’ve been using Mac’s now for about 6 years, and although I love Apple technology I am not a slobbering, flag waving (hate to use the term) fanboy. To prove, I’ve only had an iPhone for about 6 months until it became useful enough for me to replace my Blackberry.

I do however allocate a sizable annual budget for new devices like the iPad, and was excited about today’s announcement for this reason.

This morning ahead of the keynote, I had a list of things I wanted and / or features that would be nice to have.

What I wanted

OS X based operating system
Front facing video camera for iChat / video chat
Run multiple applications
Full web browser with plugin / extension support and Flash
Use existing OS X based applications along with App store apps

What we got

iPhone based operating system
No camera
No multi-tasking
Plain mobile Safari with no Flash
Use only App store purchased Applications

Not so good

So far, the majority of expression regarding the new tablet is rather bad. Family, friends, forums and twitter all share the same sentiment so far… If this is it, meh.

I’ve said now for several weeks that if it turned out to be just a giant iPod Touch, then I’d pass on the purchase because I have an iPhone and ultimately I don’t need a regular sized iPod Touch, let alone a super-sized one.

The new eBook Application and book store will get college students excited even though they won’t be able to afford it, and casual eBook users would save money sticking with the Kindle or Nook.

It doesn’t make phone calls, so you’d need both an iPhone and iPad… another fiscal reason college students are out. And besides, it would be weird holding that thing to your ear. 🙂

It’s too bad — was really looking forward to this.

Not quite sure what Apple was thinking… essentially, they’ve taken an iPod Touch and just stretched it a few inches each way. The iPhone OS feature changes seem nice, but at this point they are proprietary to the new iPad.

Even current App store games / applications use a “pixel doubling” technology to stretch them to the new iPad’s higher resolution. Hands on users have already expressed that although these Apps are now full screen, they look like they’ve been stretched. Yuck.

Early on during the keynote, I was even thinking to myself that even if it didn’t deliver as far as the OS was concerned, it would be a nice device to kick back and surf the web with. Possibly even take advantage of Adobe Flex on the device with Safari using many of the applications / interfaces I’ve written over the years.

Flashless… again.

Oooops. No Flash. But not surprised, it’s missing from the iPhone too. Apple claims it is because of CPU utilization and battery consumption. But we’re not so naive, we understand Apple does not want competition with the App store and Flash would certainly accomplish this.

Steve Jobs commented on how browsing the web on the iPad was possibly the best experience one could have. Really? Without browser plugins, without Flash? Really!? Not sure what web he’s browsing, but my web is not limited to HTML/CSS. The Internet has no bounds, and simplifying its use hurts Apple.

Peter Elst recent posted his thoughts on Apple’s idea of the best web browsing experience, which happen to be very similar to mine.

http://www.peterelst.com/blog/2010/01/28/apples-idea-of-the-best-web-browsing-experience/

Conclusion

Fun little device to swipe on every now and then, but definitely not something that will end up on my desk any time soon. However, they do have 60 days to make OS updates and possibly change my mind.

But ultimately, disappointed that Apples first mainstream touch “computer” is restrained to App store applications and confined to that limited iPhone OS.

~moses


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