So much has been written and told about the iPad in the blogosphere that there is hardly anything new to add. But sometimes, the perspective of an average lay user on the street who has actually used the product is helpful. It is with this spirit that I venture to write this blog and I hope I have something useful to offer.
iPad has so many cool features that I will get to in a moment. However the best thing I like about iPad is the personal and intimate feeling to it. It is so sleekly designed that I take it anywhere and everywhere I go to. To my couch, to my bed, to the park , it has literally become an extension of myself (much to the envy of my wife ) .
So, what do I use that iPad for that I could much rather do on my good old laptop. Well, almost anything that I do outside of my work. Like surfing the web, playing video games, watching movies, personal email and facebook, browsing newspapers, uploading and watching photos. The experience of doing all these is much better than doing it on Laptop or PC. Because, I would much rather be doing all this sitting on my couch while watching TV rather than sitting on a desk and a chair. It is so much fun doing all this on iPad.
Besides being fun, it is much more faster and productive doing it on iPad. We are living in an age when being online is so ubiquitous (other than biological function like eating, sleeping, we can now do everything else online , well almost). This â€œalways online” paradigm is brilliantly supported by iPad due to it’s great portability. This combined with the touch screen interface, blazing spee, decent sized screen and make it an extremely productive tool. For example, while I was having my breakfast at dining table this morning, I finished browsing my morning newspapers, reading my personal e-mail and FB posts. I could effortlessly navigate my way around with my left finger. Takes multiple-tasking to another level. Its blazing speed makes all this even better. It almost feels like a PC on steroids. Not sure how Apple managed to pack so much punch in this little devil; I suspect it may have something to do with iPad’s custom built processor A4 and the fact that iPad does not use any mechanical hard disk .
I love iPad’s endless battery life. It easily goes well beyond 10 hours. Which means, on a long flight I can easily watch 3 full length video movies, do all my email and still be left with some to spare. Try doing it with a laptop. Another cool use of the iPad is as an eBook reader. iPad as an eBook reader has some advantages over other readers due to its color display and touch screen interface. For the book lovers, the eBooks are a huge boon – saves shelf space at home, saves money (eBooks are much cheaper), easier to carry around and very environment friendly.
Now to the moles and warts. When I was a small kid, I remember my mom saying that God in his infinite wisdom gave moles to every creature moles. iPad has it’s share too. iPad does not support Flash videos. Steve job claims that allowing flash videos would reduce battery life by half (inefficiency of flash due to encoding at a software level rather than hardware; whatever that is supposed to mean) but I suspect it has also to do competitive reasons and not purely technical. If applications were built on Flash platform, it could be easily ported to non-Apple devices. Apple obviously does not want to give away it’s enormous advantage of it’s rich application store. Other notable misses are an absence of USB drive & camera. Often, Apple’s products are defined not just by the features it has, but those it doesn’t. This is in keeping with Apple’s design philosophy. Each of Appleâ€™s product has a core set if objectives. It does not try to be all things to all people. So, if it needs to sacrifice some features to fulfill the core objectives, Apple does not shy away. Some see Apple as being arrogant, others see it is pure and smart Design. Take it your way.
It may be too early to declare victory yet. But I think it is fair to say that with two million units already sold in the first 60 days, iPad truly has the potential to become a game changer. (iPhone took 74 days to sell the first 2 million units). It is a totally new product category that nicely sits between a Smartphone and a laptop. It offers the best of both worlds – nearly the portability of a Smartphone and power of a laptop. Other companies are already in a mad rush to get their me-tooâ€™s out of the door. Good for us consumers. Better prices and more choices.
P.S. This blog was written on an iPad.
The author works for a tech company by day and during his pastime, he is a photography enthusiast, a dilettante blogger, a gadget buff especially Apple toys. He is happy to receive feedback and questions on photography.