iPad Thoughts

So Apple release an iPad, to some happiness and much bitching. I can’t believe so many people have missed the point and are whining about specs and missing features. A few pointers:

1. Never believe the pre-release hype. It’s all rumours. If you expect it to have tentacles, you’re absolutely going to be disappointed.

2. Apple designs for 80% of the needs of 80% of the people. Those 80% don’t care about multitasking. At all. If a feature could confuse, there’s a good chance it won’t make the cut. That said, Apple have relented on many small items and if they can make some form of multitasking work, they probably will. Eventually.

3. The iPad is not the device for forum trolls, tinkerers or demanding tech geeks. However, it’s great as a second browsing device for around the house, as an eReader or while travelling. It’s perfect for a vast number of younger people who don’t need or want a full computer. Perfect for kids. Perfect for older people or anyone scared of computers. Perfect for professional applications where it could be used while walking around. Fantastic for education with Pages and Keynote built in.

4. Think harder about the cool stuff you’ll be able to do with a bigger screen. For starters, think of existing apps. How about a larger Pianist or Guitarist? Sketchbook Mobile, actually the size of a sketchbook. Comics the size of real comics. Never having to buy a physical book again, and having your whole library searchable, in your hands. Interactive storybooks that actually look and feel like storybooks.

5. The software and interface looks great. Nobody else has nailed it to date and I don’t see anyone else coming close soon. Apple makes sexy gear that everyone can use and few other companies seem to be able to do either.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. I’d love to see videoconferencing on this and I think Apple could have made it a killer app. Maybe v2. In the meantime, this is still the perfect machine for my mother-in-law.

Two people who do get it: Stephen Fry and Fahim Ahad on Mactalk.

Oh finally, the name. Yeah, recalls feminine hygiene products. Well, Nintendo named their last console after urine. Worked out pretty well for them.