Saturday, April 03, 2010

the Day of the iPad

No matter what fate awaits Apple's new product line, you've got to admit that it dominated the moment this morning.

Yes, I was in line too and bought one. Actually, I needn't have waited in line, as I had one reserved and could have picked it up anytime before 3:00 PM, but I wanted to be there, to participate in the launch.

Is it nice? Yes, very nice.

Am I already an expert user? Not hardly. That will take some time, even though I've been using an iPhone almost since the day they first went on sale.

Will it replace either my iPhone or my Mac? No. I can imagine that some future version might replace both, but not this model.

Will I use it in preference to those other devices for some purposes? Most likely, even when I have all three with me, although exactly which purposes remains to be seen. Watching video on a bus strikes me as a slam dunk; the iPad wins that one.

Is there something essentially right about the iPad, which no other device has previously manifested? Potentially. The idea of putting a color touchscreen on a device roughly half the size of a 13" MacBook's screen, split vertically, is brilliant, and the physical design of the iPad is superb, but so far the OS is still a version of iPhone OS, well evolved for the iPhone, but not yet ready to take full advantage of the iPad. That's sure to change; iPhone OS 4.0 will undoubtedly advance that process, and, what Apple hasn't foreseen will quickly be supplied by developers. It won't be long before we begin to really understand what's so special about such a device.

What I expect we'll discover is that the iPad is better suited than any device before it to bridge the gap between the user and the personal constellation, within the universe of information and connection, which they are drawn to explore.

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