My Thoughts On the iPad

Potentially the release of Apple’s iPad (as we now know it’s called) could have a huge impact on the way books are sold and read. That was the word on the street. So at 6pm last night I tuned in to a live stream and a live blog (- click for pics) of the launch event.

Mostly I was disappointed.

What I was hoping for was a super swanky take, by the super swanky Apple, on the eReader. Maybe that was wishful thinking. That is not what the iPad is. In fact I’m not sure I know exactly what it is. I’m not totally convinced the people at Apple do either. But what it seems to be is, err, a really big and (admittedly) very cool version of the iPod touch. A cool gadget. Excellent screen resolution (for photos and movies) all multi-touch screen and, well, everything else the touch does but bigger, faster and better.

In order to avoid a very long post, here are my problems.

Its size. The iPhone (which I own and love) is a wonderful device. It gives me really handy things from a device which fits in my pocket. I can browse the web from a device that fits in my pocket. I can email, easily and efficiently, from a device that fits in my pocket. The device that fits in my pocket I can use as a phone, play games on, text from, etc etc. And IT FITS IN MY POCKET.

The iPad will not fit in anyone’s pocket. So it’s no more portable than a laptop or netbook.

The Touch Screen. Yes, this is clever. Yes it looks cool and like something someone might have in Star Trek. But as a device you’d use to type up a story, for example, I can’t see how it would work. The keyboard’s a touch screen jobby that pops up on the tablet itself (like the iPhone). But that means that you’d be typing where the screen is rather than typing flat and looking at a screen that’s perpendicular to a keyboard. I’m thinking back problems, neck strain and, well, just not being comfortable. Apple are offering a keyboard (which is almost the same size as a laptop’s) dock but once that’s attached I can’t see how different it would be to working on a laptop or desktop or netbook. And you’d have to carry it around with you. Hmm.

That it’s not an eReader. The ace that the Kindle, Sony Reader et al have in their hand is that they use electronic ink. That means that the screen doesn’t look like a computer screen. It isn’t backlit. There’s no eye strain. You can read it in sunlight. It looks almost exactly like paper and , I must say, having seen it, it’s bloody impressive. All the other readers on the market are around about the same size as a paperback, and mostly thinner. This is good. This means I can put it in my pocket. With the iPad the screen (albeit an impressive high resolution one) IS backlit. And the device IS too big to fit in a pocket.

And the last bit’s what’s disappointed me the most. In conjunction with the iPad’s launch, Apple have also announced their new iBooks store (like iTunes but for books). Personally I think they could have made more of this and provided something more (e) reader friendly.

So there are my impressions. I’m sure it’ll sell well. I’m sure it’ll be competition for the Kindle (btw what I’d like to see is the option to buy eBooks from wherever I like and to read them on whichever device I choose) and I’m sure the fact that its 16G memory is the same as my iPod nano won’t hinder it.

I think I was just expecting more. Or something different.

6 Comments on “My Thoughts On the iPad

  1.  by  Marisa Birns

    Yes, it was disappointing. I don't put things in pockets since I carry a bag/purse. So this thing won't fit in a pocket OR a small bag. Which means carrying it around just as I do with laptop.Thought it would be so revolutionary and user friendly. Something I might stand in line for hours to buy.But it's not. Though it IS bigger.

  2.  by  Debi

    Thanks for posting this so I don't have to check it out for myself. No big shakes then. Or rather slightly too large shakes …

  3.  by  Nik Perring

    Yeah, I think we were thinking the same things, Marisa. Not for us, eh?You're welcome Debi. No, no big shakes at all in my opinion. There's a vid of it here if you do want to have a look yourself (I could be wrong, you see!)

  4.  by  Jacqueline Christodoulou

    I love gadgets and was coming round to the idea of ebook readers, yet waiting for ones which had the electronic ink AND pictures. Grrr. The IPad isn't it.Like you Nik, not happy with the size. But more unhappy with the fact that as well as paying a substantial amount for it there is bound to be a monthly wifi fee as well as the expense of the ebooks? It really gets on my nerves that all ebooks won't be made available in all formats.Am sticking to paper books for now.Thanks for posting this Nik, I understand what it is better now.

  5.  by  Nik Perring

    Ha! Very shiny, Jen! Jacqueline, maybe this is more up your street: think they said that the wifi susb started at around $20 a month – which is a lot when you could just go wireless (or do whatever Amazon do with the Kindle for free).I'm sure some people will love the iPad – just not for me. And as has just been pointed out – maybe the iPad mark 2'll be more of an attractive, and useful, proposition. We shall see.Nik

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