During the last three weeks since the iPad was released, the Technology Press has been flooded by articles about the iPad, Apples newest gadget. The media has been asking questions like, What is iPad going to change? Will it replace the need for a printing press? Which former technology does it compete against? Which applications will be developed? and What will we be able to do with the iPad? It is clear that there are a lot of speculations about the iPad and what it will achieve. So now I will try to explain some of my ideas about the iPad.
The physical pad
My first impression when Steve Jobs showed off the iPad to the public was that this gadget seemed an awful lot like a big iPhone. The screen covering most of the device and the characteristic home-button, together with the soft-edge profile similar to the newer iPhones, made it clear that the iPhone design trend was still standing strong within Apple. This could be a result of the enormous popularity of the iPhone and the saying, ‘Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke’. At least that’s what I believe. Apple have found their design that expresses their ideology of making technology that is easy to use and which gets the job done.
The pad comes in several varieties linked to hard drive space and wireless network support. The differences in hard drive space is quite simple, more space for more money, but when it comes to the wireless network support it is more to look into. There will be a version which just supports the standard of 801.x, meaning that it will support wireless networking in the same standard as home routers work. The other version will in addition to the wifi-support come with a buildt-in 3G support which makes it possible to be online also through the cellular-phone network. The iPad is an enlarged iPhone, but without the oportunity to make regular phone calls, but with different specifications follows different usage.
What can you do with the iPad?
“Its true, when something exedes your ability to understand how it works. Its sort of becomes magical. And thats ecactly how the ipad is” – John Ive, Vice President Industrial Design Apple corp.
I do, as Ive, see potensial in the iPad, but with that said: I do not see it as a magical invention. I persive it as an iPhone gone large. I do not think that it will challenge the book or renew the printing press in a major direction as many has suggested. Though it is true that the pad provide a posibility to show electronic articles, but there is nothing new about that. I read articles on my desktop and laptop everyday. So when Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the presentational video says that: “its going to change the way we do the things we do- every day”, I think that could be an overstatement. With that said: I’m looking forward to see how the new touch screen is working, because it is in this the biggest difference between the Phone and the Pad lies. Apple promotes a web-browser, games, news and user made applications on their iPad website. The games can be used through a touch user interface or with the motion sensor. The most discussed usage is the news applications. New York Times have already published an App where the user can read the newspaper, and together with Apples own bookstore this could mean that there will be a focus on text application on the iPad. The bigger screen gived the Pad an advantage in comparison with the cell phones or PDAs with simmilar functionality, but with a use time on aproximatly 10 hours between each time it has to be charged it loose this competition against more direct electronic book marked products as Amazon’s Kindle.
I think that iPad is going to gratify an already existing market for gadgets which are changing they usability with their installed application. It’s not going to be a PC, but some of the tasks we normaly do on a PC can now be done on an iPad. The screen wich is bigger than on an iPhone or simmilar phones will make it more comfortable to use this with social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
With the popularity of Apples other products they have a big advantage when it comes to user reputiton. I guess there will be sold many iPads, but I doubt it will replace any existing technology rather I think it will mix in between the mini-devices as PDAs and cell phones and portable computers.
Video source: http://www.apple.com/ipad/ipad-video/
Bilde: Glenn Fleishman