Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So Apple announced the iPad. I think I did pretty good on my guesses.

It's got the 10" screen, wifi, 3G is an add-on, almost full size virtual keyboard and more multi-touch stuff. It syncs with iTunes but doesn't stream. There is an updated iWork made for it and you can buy the apps separately. You can read documents on it, in portrait mode, on the device.

The iBooks app and iBookstore is new and about what I expected. No mention of a popup dictionary. And I'm not sure I like the page metaphor of books extended to this. I'd rather have continuous scrolling, there's no reason to continue to live with that limitation of paper.

There's no facing camera for iChat, I predict version 2.0. They didn't mention any remote apps but I suspect they'll come later like they did for the iPhone. No updated iLife but the iPhone photo app did get rewritten.

It's basically a big iPhone. The home screen looks a little barren. There's lots of spacing between icons and it has fewer apps than an iPhone, missing the Phone, Messages, Calculator, Stocks and Weather apps.

The price is pretty amazing, being half of the expectations for the low end version. The high end version is $170 lower than the $999 predictions. The 3G is optional and the data rates are cheap and no contract is amazing. I would have loved to have witnessed those negotiations. Though six different models does seem to be a lot for an Apple product.

They're trying to roll out an additional device to own. This doesn't replace a computer (you sync to one) and it's not pocket size like an iPod or iPhone. But it is a nice living room device and for some travel. With the new version of iWork maybe they're going for business travelers but I don't see that sticking much. The closest thing to it is a Kindle and it's not at all in the same league. It will be interesting to see how many books are in the iBookstore. It also I think goes for those people that have a netbook as an additional machine, but not those that use one as their primary machine because of price.

I wasn't expecting the accessories. The dock made sense if I had thought about it. I didn't expect their keyboard dock. I always thought the bluetooth keyboard would be paired with it. The case that converts to a stand looks great.

I'm curious to play with one (in 60 days). I might be fine with the wifi only model and would probably get the 32GB model. It would be great if you could tether it to an iPhone to use it's 3G while traveling. That might be my rationalization to not wait for the 2nd generation. :)

Update: The newspaper app sounds interesting. It didn't seem to support flash. A hulu app sounds like a need. It's SD though it can do 720p in H.264. With a connector it can support 1024x768 on a monitor.


AM said...

I would have gotten one if it had a video camera for chatting, now I will wait for 2.0

Richard said...

This is what I would have bought, if it had existed, when I decided to just get an Ipod Touch. I have always wanted an internet appliance. Something to surf the web on while I watch TV, or just not in front of a computer, and not a laptop.

Still my Ipod is more portable, and I have grown to be used to having it for music in the car.

I think the book part is a red herring. I can read books on my iPod with Stanza, and presumably Stanza would work on the iPad. But I only get free books with Stanza, though you can pay for others. The bigger issue with books is the same as for all of the readers, DRM and content. How to get the latest book onto something to read, but not have to pay the same as for a hardcopy.

I would buy one of these, or perhaps wait until the next version. I do like all the tech boys saying that it needs all kinds of other stuff, whihc would just make it a laptop when they were done. I think that Apple is aiming at a particular target, and the tech crowd isn't it. I think it is someone like me who wants a non-computer to surf the web, look at some pictures, read a book, play a game, watch some videos with. Not, video chat, web publishing, intensive computing, stuff that you should do on a computer. I think those applications will creep on to the iPad, but they are not the target.

Video chat is the other killer app that I don't know anyone who actually uses. I suppose the tech boys use it.

Howard said...

I've tried reading books on the Palm and iPhone. It's doable but not great. A bigger screen would really improve the experience for me.

Apple is using the new ePub standard for the format. I don't know much about it but it's probably a good choice. Given their experience getting music publishers to use AAC/MP4 they should be ok with the book publishers. Also since the iPhone can display text and pdf documents, I'm sure they will work on the iPad too.

I looked at the screenshot of the iBookstore and saw NYT bestsellers at about $13 and various free books too (Dracula, etc.) Also, they weren't completely clear on it but they did talk about loading it with all your apps from your iPhone. I think you can buy it once and use it on multiple devices, though there is currently no iBooks app in the App store (it asked if I meant iBoobs).

I agree with most of the rest of what you said, but not about video chat. 15 mins after my sister got her macbook we were video chatting and do so weekly. I may be technical but she's not and it's easy to do (it's just AIM video chat). Once people see it, they want to do it. Great for grandparents. Would be great on the iPad but it would need multitasking to let iChat run in the background (so at this point third parties can't do it but Apple could).