My Take on the iPad

Posted in Technology at 9:52 pm by Jason G.

From Daring Fireball 4 weeks ago

Like all Apple products, The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well. It will offer a fraction of the functionality of a MacBook — but that fraction will be way more fun. The same myopic feature-checklist-obsessed critics who dismissed the iPhone will focus on all that The Tablet doesn’t do and declare that this time, Apple really has fucked up but good. The rest of us will get in line to buy one.

Sounds like he had a frickin crystal ball.

As for the name… yes, it sucks. But all new names suck when they’re first announced. The name iPod was derided when it was first launched. Those of us who were at Accenture when it was renamed thought the name was horrible… But those feelings change, and the awkward, nonsensical names — we get used to them, and then over time they are unique trademarks that it is hard to remember our original derision.

If you really want need multitasking, or a camera… go get a netbook instead. This iPad thing isn’t for everyone, and we should all just get comfortable with that. Innovation is rarely without critics. Oddly, I’ve never heard someone complain about how a Kindle doesn’t allow multi-tasking…

I have to admit the actual iPad feature set underwhelms compared to many of the wacky rumors that were swirling before launch (where’s the unicorn menu item?)… but it’s still the product I’ve been waiting years for. The only real technology that is really new in the iPad is the Apple A4 processor. So, if there’s nothing new, why haven’t we seen this stuff packaged together in a product before? Why aren’t there other tablets already available to choose from?

My biggest gripe about the iPhone is the requirement of an AT&T 2 year contract (even if you pay an unsubsidized price). With the iPad you have more options — no contract, or skip on the cell connectivity completely. Sure AT&T still sucks, but now I am not forced into a 2 year contract, even if I want to use the AT&T data plan. The addition of no-contract cell data plans may end up being the biggest innovation of the iPad.

Another plus — this is the first “computer” I would recommend to my grandmother. It’s the right device for someone who “doesn’t get computers” or for someone who doesn’t need anything beyond email, facebook, and a browser. You might want multi-tasking to run Pandora and AIM in the background, but a lot of people wouldn’t even notice that was “missing”. (Sidebar: the iPhone does support multi-tasking, just not for the apps you want. The phone and iPod apps can run in the background while you run other apps.)

Could the iPad be better as a product? Of course. But I, for one, am excited.