Fallout: Apple iPad

No handwriting/gesture recognition or pen computing. No cameras. No haptic feedback. No voice control demonstrated, though I can’t see why they’d remove that. 3G only on more expensive models, and no announcement of carriers other than AT&T though the devices aren’t locked so one presumes other carriers will support it.

Saying that the iPad is “between” smartphone and laptop is disingenuous. It’s actually below both, because it’s a step backwards in user interaction and device communication. You can’t use the iPad for augmented reality the way you can an iPhone or iPod touch. And why isn’t there any interaction between the iPhone and the iPad? Why not forget 3G with the thing entirely and let me tether my iPhone to it? Where is the much vaunted ecosystem – why isn’t there a role for iPhone/iPod to play with the iPad? You still really need to own a computer of some sort with a USB port and iTunes on it so you can sync the iPad to it, so it’s not like the iPad eliminates the need to own a computer.

The iPad is basically a competitor to the Kindle and the Nintendo DSi, and it’s a way to lock down content further using specialized hardware. A simpler mobile device, for a market that wants as little to do with computers as possible. Really the only “innovation” here was using the larger screen size to reintroduce features into core apps and put a prettier face on them. Having more screen real estate means being able to do more with iPhone OS widgets and such, but that’s about all that changed. I really, really hope that they port these core application interface changes back to Mac OS – it will be very disappointing if they don’t.

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4 Responses to Fallout: Apple iPad

  1. chibimermaid says:

    I think the iPad is pretty dumb. If you have disposable income it could be a fun toy but like you said, why not just get a laptop instead? Even an iPod touch would make more sense.

    I kinda hate the name too, so now I have to counter your well-written critique of the iPad with some of the numerous jokes that spewed out after its release:

    “Will iffy wi-fi coverage become know as iSpotting?”

    “Can I get a scented iPad for when my data feels not-so-fresh?”

    “The 64G iPad will forever be know as the ‘heavy-flow model.'”

    “If my girlfriends and I all buy one, will they sync up?”

    “If I order this, should my boyfriend and I worry if it arrives late?”

  2. mik3cap says:

    I have a feeling that the iPad is only for people who really hate computers and don’t want to be bothered with anything more complicated than one button. The thing that worries me though is that I can see younger generations bypassing computers entirely in favor of smartphones and iPad type consumer devices. If people submit to the will of corporations via these locked down devices, they won’t be in control of their futures any more. People need to learn how to program, not how to be a slave.

  3. mik3cap says:

    I’m kind of passionate about this kind of thing. 🙂