Photo Blog

Apple iPad all Hype or Revolutionary

I want to put my thoughts down as to the new Apple iPad and if it is all hype or a major revolution into how we interact with content.

This is not a review of the Apple iPad as you can view many reviews online (see links below). Rather though, this is a evaluation as to if the Apple iPad changes or redefines the game. First impressions was wow, what a great media hub. Very large, clean, and powerful. Then as the features were being introduced I was a bit underwhelmed. Much like the Apple iPhone redefining what a smart phone was and could do, yet still falling short of some basic features other smart, and not so smart, phones already had; the iPad seems to fall a bit short as well. Features such as cut and paste, text forwarding, GPS, and multitasking, were missing in the original iPhone. Likewise Apple iPad is victim of shortcomings such as no video iChat, multitasking, support for corporate level email or VPN. I also do not understand why the emphases on Google maps was made when there is no GPS, therefore only being able to use WiFi and cell towers (if you have a 3G version) to determine location like the original iPhone. Beautiful map on a large 9.7" screen, and no GPS? The fact the iPhone now has GPS and a Compass in a much, much smaller form factor and at a cheaper price is astonishing.

I know size can not be an issue as the iPhone has still and video capabilities, so why does the iPad have no capabilities of video chatting through iChat? This ability to video chat on such a device is not only natural, but a must have. Why was this not included?

Worse than not having video chat or a GPS for maps is the lack of multitasking ability. This is the ability to run more than one application at a time. Such as transferring files and browsing the web, or researching on the web and designing a Keynote. You have to close one to open the other. The only exceptions to this are some Apple applications, as they can run in the background. Sure, we all understood the safety reasoning in the beginning with the original iPhone, but those concerns are not present in the Palm Pre which multitasks beautifully and with a much better interface than the iPhone or iPad. So why can we not do this yet with 3rd party applications?

The wow factor comes from the large 9.7" screen, the new Apple A4 processor, and the ability to run newly designed iWork applications in an all touch interface on the iPad. The new applications for photos, movies, and books are well designed for the iPad. The ability to naturally sit on your couch and surf the web, view content, and even be productive without the bulkiness of a notebook is huge!

So is the iPad all hype or a revolution in technology? I believe the iPad to be both a Revolution in technology and an evolution in technology. I do pause as to what my next purchase is going to be. An iPad or the upgraded iPhone in June. If I can get a video iPhone for $199 without a data plan and an iPad 3G, then I might consider upgrading my first gen iPhone and buying an iPad. However, I do not feel the must have as I did when I bought my first iPhone, and I do not want to buy a product only to have it upgraded a year later to what I should have been a the launch like the original iPhone. It would be a must have with multitasking, GPS, and video iChat! However I must say, I feel as when I bought the iPhone. What a great product to fall so short of what it could be.

Yes, the iPad is very cool for those of us not needing notebook level power, yet need functionality. I have visualized many situations where I would use an iPad, and see many advantages over a notebook and the iPhone. Not that the iPad would replace either, but fits very comfortably in the between.

Is the $300 difference between the iPhone 3GS and the iPad worth it for the extra screen size but with less hardware features? Or do you wait until the next iPad release?

Richard

External Review Links:

iPad Analysis at AnandTech

Apple Launches Its Own CPU

Excitement about the iPad

Will the iPad Revolutionize Education?