Yesterday’s announcement of the iPad left me feeling disappointed.  There’s no built-in camera at all — let alone a forward-facing one for doing live iChats — and the thing doesn’t do voice and it doesn’t multitask and it doesn’t have a lot of storage.  “An iPlop in the toilet bowl,” was my first thought in the flushing.

Then when Janna returned home and everything changed when she asked for all the dish on the iPad — she was absolutely ecstatic to get one.

She loved the huge screen for doing email and watching videos and drawing with your finger.

She loved the idea of 3G data — even if it costs an additional $30.00USD a month for unlimited slurping.

She loved the idea of leaving behind her clunky MacBook Pro and taking an iPad with her as her personal computer.

She loved the idea of a virtual bookshelf replacing all our bookcases.

She loved the idea of having MLB’s “At Bat” app on her iPad and being able to actually see the stats, live pitch animations and player information.

The more she rattled off her loves, the more convincing she became that I was missing the memeing in the inherent greatness of the iPad.

Here are my thoughts this morning…

Janna is right the big screen is a tremendous improvement over the iPhone.  I use my iPhone for email and for browsing the web and the screen is tiny.  The iPad makes an iPhone just a phone and the iPad becomes your most-used interface of the day in the field and in the bedroom and on the couch and at the post office and in the corner bodega.

I hate the idea of having to pay an additional $30.00USD a month for iPad 3G service — but you really will have no choice if you really want your iPad to be your “go anywhere” buddy all the time.  With 3G and WiFi, you should be able to have a working internet computer wherever you travel in the USA.

The way Janna works with her MacBook Pro does, indeed, mad the iPad a total replacement.  She writes in Google Docs.  She writes in Gmail.  She surfs the web.  That’s her digital life.  The iPad meets all of those needs and more with the addition of music and books and Apps — so when the iPad is available, she’s going to lose five pounds of MacBook Pro to hold a 1.5-pad iPad in her hands.  I didn’t understand the want for an external keyboard for an iPad but, I thought, if you do a lot of typing, you’d want one.  Not Janna.  She types a lot, but having an “extra keyboard” to lug around defeats the entire conceptual reason of having a virtual keyboard on your iPad screen.

We have Kindles.  After Amazon betrayed us with the release of the DX less than two months after we purchased the Kindle 2.0, we haven’t purchased any new books and we canceled all our monthly subscriptions.  We’ve been seething-in-waiting for a Kindle killer and that will be the iPad.  Some think the Kindle’s screen is better for reading text — I spend 18 hours a day looking at an Apple Cinema display — the iPad will be just fine for reading books.  How soon can someone invent an eBook Kindle-to-iPad conversion tool?

Playing games on the iPad will certainly be more fun than using them on an iPhone.  The MLB.com App will immediately shine on the iPad — as will as music videos and YouTube content.  I am especially intrigued to see how my guitar Apps will work on an iPad.  Following a scrolling guitar TAB on an iPhone is impossible at any distance beyond six inches — but on an iPad, a scrolling TAB would actually be workable at distance with guitar-in-hand and that is tantalizingly delicious.

Our doctor’s office uses a wonky Windows touchscreen for registering and processing new patients.  Sometimes the rubbery touchscreen works — usually it doesn’t.  An iPad would make that sign in and sign up process so much faster and cleaner.  I bet the iPad could even be trained to record and store a thumbprint for confirming identity and fighting insurance fraud.

The greatest thing about the iPhone vs. the iPad is how the realm of your workspace and entertainment area suddenly just got bigger.  Instead of a one-foot workspace, you can easily triple that area just because the iPad screen is so big.  Now you can read and see content sitting on your counter or your desk while you work around it.  Trying that with an iPhone is impossible.

An iPhone requires your hand for distance focusing; an iPad can stand alone and truly allow you to go “hands-free” — while still being visually connected to your data — and that is the greatest gift in the iPad design:  We will be, for the first time, be freed to roam and play and read and watch while never losing sight of the information before us.

The iPad is a winner.  We’ll take two.

5 Comments

  1. I’m definitely interested but I think I will wait awhile before I put any money into it… see how the issues come up and are resolved, etc. Hopefully there won’t be too many unintentional ‘features’ 🙂 (Sometimes software / hardware developers will assure an upset audience that they haven’t discovered bugs but they are ‘features’ that are being developed)

  2. Your caution makes sense, Gordon. As with anything, the longer you wait, the better things get — and the moment you decide to buy, the product continues to improve beyond what you bought. It’s a tricksy waiting game between price/features/want. When to jump can be a neverending wondering.

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