Thursday, January 28, 2010

Arrival of the iPad


UnderConstruction, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Yesterday Apple announced the big new iPad. It's the tablet we've all been waiting for-it's the big news from Apple that everybody wanted to hear. Did you catch what all of the buzz was about? Were you part of the craze or just ignoring it, sort of hoping it would just go away?

The first thing about the iPad everybody is saying is that they do not like the name. Ok, so I'm not big on names and sure, I too will make fun of them for selecting such an odd name. Somebody in an on-line forum I frequent posted something along the lines of, "The Apple iPad. Does it come with adhesive wings?" (Must have been a girl, that's all I can say.) I think they should have gone with iSlate and let's leave it at that, ok?

Kidding aside, I think the iPad is an incredible device. I think it will change the landscape and the way we interact with computers. I suspect that, in ten years (or maybe even five) every laptop and portable computer will bear some resemblance to the iPad. But, I also think the the device is a bit ahead of its time. It is going to face a struggle to fit in with an otherwise crowded market, not to mention the fact that people don't know what to do with it yet. It's larger than an iPhone but smaller than a Macbook. It's not really a netbook. The closest we can really come is that it's sort of a giant notebook sized iPod touch and, when you put it that way, it doesn't sound like the kind of device anybody really wants. It's too small to be big and too big to be small. Doesn't fit in a pocket, doesn't have a camera, doesn't have a keyboard, has all the cumbersome-ness of a laptop without any of the portability.

When people think about computers and devices like this, they think about what they want to do with them. What problem does it solve? How will I use this thing? The iPhone works because people can Twitter, Facebook, check email and even blog from it. It's a device that freed us up, made us all mobile. What is this tablet going to really do for us? It's not really any more portable than a Macbook air. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, that's what it's going to do for Apple-sell a lot of Macbook Air's. People will look at the iPad and think, "gee, that's nice but I really need a keyboard" only to wind up with the Macbook Air instead. At least, that's how I see it (at first.)

Eventually though, I do think the keyboard laptop setups we have now will become extinct. Everything will be touch screen, even our home computers. It's just the way things are going. So, in terms of product announcements, not sure I'm going to run out and buy one just yet but I think it's great for the company and the whole Apple lineup, I really do. It's the future, slowly announcing its arrival, knocking on our collective doorsteps.

As far as it being a device for photographers, I don't know that it fits in a special niche here as well. I mean, photographers need several things-storage, yes, we're big on that, but the iPhones are also big with photographers, since they have a camera and we can actually use those. IPhone cameras have become so very popular so quickly, even among high end photographers, simply because they are quick and convenient. No need to lug out the big SLR, use the small portable device instead. It just works. I see the iPad as a different sort of device. Frankly, I could envision a sort of iGallery for the iPad, you know, turning the device into a virtual "picture frame" to showcase some high end artwork. I'm sure there's already an app for that though and we don't really need a high-end device just to do that.

From the photographer's toolkit, the iPad could fit in as a blogging device, a gaming device, a portable "gallery preview" type visual display, and a small portable "netbook" like device but, again, here I really don't see us rushing to beat down the door of the Apple store anytime soon. The next generation one? The one with the video and camera and integrated wireless upload and such? Oh my, we'll be all over that, just you wait and see.

They say the unofficial motto of Apple is "by the time you read this, three more have come." If that's the case, then, by all accounts, the iPad will be nothing but a complete success. It's destined to be. It's the future, it's here, and it's knocking on our doors. Unfortunately, I don't know how many people, especially not given the current economic climate want to turn themselves into the early adapter guinea pigs and come home with the first version, no matter how many flashy ads or wild announcements they turn out over at the Apple factory. Now, don't get me wrong, I want Apple to be a hit with this, I really do, I'm a huge Mac fan and, deep in my heart of hearts, know that they just make a much better product, but I kind of see this as the start of something new, not really the end result I need to run out and grab right this minute. Maybe I'm wrong about that, I usually am about these things but, in this case, I guess, only time will tell.

Until next time...

4 comments:

mythopolis said...

I'm sorta tuning the iPad out, I have my hands full just trying to maintain my CrashPad.

Kala said...

I don't even have an ipod or an iphone! I'm kind of behind the times :)

Victoria said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog... have enjoyed browsing yours for the past half hour or so... and must now DASH. (you might like to see the closer view I posted of my Amaryllis a few minutes ago)

Before I dash... the iPad furor has largely escaped my notice (am a retired IT geek and avid Apple user for at least 26 years now) because I've been consumed with travel and photography since retiring! But I think you might be right... early adoption of this device is not a great idea... wait for the 2nd or 3rd generation! (is the universe telling us something with the word verification choices... my word today is "lamism" which may be a comment about my comment??? ;-)

Carol said...

Mythopolis, I know what you mean. I see an uptick in Macbook Air sales now that this new pad is out, for that very same reason. People will want to stick with what they know.

Kala, the iPhones are nice but the service plans are quite expensive. I just can't see spending $50 or more just for telephone service. With the iPods, at least, it's pretty much a one time fee.

Victoria, Thanks for stopping by and welcome! I love amaryllis so I will go check out your new post. A lot of the so called "pundits" are saying the same thing we are: wait for the next generation of the iPad. And, yes, you're right, my comment verification is very crazy. At least, it's done that before-I've hit some crazy ones!