The Apple iPad is here. It won’t change the world, but it’s gorgeous. And I want one

The Apple iPad. The hardware is gorgeous. It’s pretty much an oversized iPod Touch. It’s sleek, slim, and light.

The software is an enhanced iPhone OS. That’s great because people already know how to use it. But i was hoping for something more. There weren’t any revolutionary interface changes, as there were when the iPhone was first released.

The price is incredible. People thought it would cost $1000. It’s half that. This can replace a PC for some people; be a second, portable machine for others; or just a toy for some. The data plans are pretty reasonable as well.

What’s missing? It needs a camera and iChat so you can do video conferencing. Bring video communication to the living room.

Biggest surprise? The Apple A4 chip. Apple created it’s own chipset that has the CPU, GPU, and more all in a single, power efficient package. If you want something done right…

The best thing the iPad has going for it is the Apple ecosystem. This is what some hardcore nerds are going to complain about. “It’s too closed, Apple has to approve the apps!” But I think this is why Apple is winning. The Apple ecosystem *works* right out of the box. No fuss.

So the iPad starts with 150,000 apps ready to go. It already syncs all your data from your Mac computer. iTunes already has all your credit card information so it’s one step to purchase books, apps, movies. The iPad lets you get going quickly. My mom already knows how to use it, and she doesn’t even know what it is.

Everyone is surprised by the price. Yes, it’s low for a 9.7″ IPS display. But component costs go down fast. So even if Apple takes a hit for a few months, they will win in the long run. The original iPod was a loss leader when it was first released.

There is no flash. Thank god. Flash is terrible. For video, for websites. I can’t wait for flash to die. HTML 5, thank you.

Apple needs to come out strong here, and the low price point is the main way they’re doing that. They need to sell these things in high quantities, to then attract developers and accessory manufacturers. They need to start the cycle that makes iPad the only device you would ever consider.

When the Kindle came out, I was very unimpressed. Why would I spend $350 (now $250) on something that does nothing but read books? It has a big screen, CPU, and is 3G enabled, but I can’t surf the web? The iPad is a kindle killer.

Overall, this isn’t as revolutionary a product as the iPhone, but it does seem to fit perfectly between an iPhone and a Mac. I see myself using this on my sofa, and taking it when I travel.

My one hope is that they demo’d OS 3.0, same as the current iPhone. But the device will actually ship with a 4.0 OS that is yet to be announced. With multitasking?

Dustin summarized it best. “$499. Insanity.”

Sign me up.

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33 comments

  1. How can it be a Kindle killer when it costs twice as much? The iPad is a wonderful device. I’m having a hard time trying to see where I would use it. I have a Nexus One and MacBook Air. The iPad fits somewhere in between there but I don’t see how.

  2. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">1. This is the initial price point. I can see this going down by $100 within 18 months<div>2. This device does 10x more than a kindle. I think people will be able to justify the extra expense for all the functionality<br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  3. The launch was a little lackluster because nobody has built anything for it yet (besides iWork, which I was fairly impressed by despite the fact no one really uses it). I think the extra real estate and horsepower may allow it to become a compelling platform for all kinds of niches (medical, etc). Folks are understandably jaded after the iPhone but this is gonna be hella cool in a couple of years.

  4. "My one hope is that they demo’d OS 3.0, same as the current iPhone. But the device will actually ship with a 4.0 OS that is yet to be announced."I’m a bit confused by the phrasing. Is your hope that the demo was with version 3.0? Or do you know that the demo was 3.0 and the hope is that 4.0 will have features like multi-tasking?

  5. I love the idea. I love the package. But I want it to replace my laptop for travel and in it’s current state, it doesn’t do that. I may have to wait till iPad 2.0… and that makes me sad!

  6. fascinated but still love my kindle. haven’t proven to myself that reading long form books (not magazines and newspapers) will be as comfortable as e-ink. might replace my air though.

  7. I may not get one for myself, but my wife and I have been pondering getting a second computer for our kids to do school research on the Internet and basic word processing. At this price we could get two for about the same price as a laptop. We recently received a survey fro school asking what we thought about making the school curriculum available on the kindle. I responded that the price for an e-reader seemed too much. But add in the extensive features of the iPad and I can see making it work. Especially when the can use the Kindle app or the iBooks store. Not sol yet, but I like where it’s going.

  8. The iPhone is a very closed system. Apple has to approve the apps and there are a lot of things apps can’t do, such as running in the background. I think that is a big part of why the iPhone was a success. People have a very low tolerance for their phone hanging or using more batter than it needs to. By making apps run in a small sandbox, Apple made the iPhone safe to rely on as a phone. If applications were able to interrupt the core experience of making phone calls the device would have failed. I haven’t used Android, but this was always something I was worried about when they said how developer-friendly it was. If a developer can modify so many parts of the user experience, it isn’t long before your phone experience suffers and you don’t know why.The question is whether the same closed environment will be good for the iPad. For it to succeed, it needs to be a good substitute for the laptop relatively frequently. But if being a closed system means it by definition restricts applications from doing many things that are allowed on the laptop, that will be difficult.Again, for the iPhone that fortress around the phone experience was a good trade off. But for the iPad, it may be too restrictive to really "compete" with your laptop for your time.

  9. Seems to me that it’s going to make the screen in need of continuos cleaning by using at as a multi task screen. The keyboard aspect on the screen will leave finger print marks on it that will need to be constantly cleaned.

  10. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">when a screen is backlit you can’t see any finger marks. you can only see them when it’s dark. this has always been true of screens and i’ve never understood why people complain about it<div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  11. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">I think the closed system is great for the iPad too. One interesting use I see for it (and this won’t be the main audience) is random old people who don’t own computers. Now for $499 and $15 per month they can have an internet enabled computer so they can email, and get photos from their grandkids. And it’s easier to use than any computer ever made.<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  12. I watched the keynote speech by Steve Jobs and it does seem very appealing; made me want to buy one.Not that I need one, mind you, but I am an apple junkie.There’s is no question that mac freaks are a cult!

  13. I am no Windows fanboy. I will no longer buy Windows products after fighting with them for years but: Bill Gates just gave 10 billion to help save millions of children worldwide. Steve Jobs buys livers and makes toys.

  14. I own a MacBook Pro. Love it. iPad? Unimpressed. Certainly nothing revolutionary or magical about it. Closed system? Another upset. I absolutely don’t like the idea of Apple making choices for me after having paid for a device. Once paid for, it’s mine and I should have full control over it (even when that means screwing up the device).Your article seems more fan-boy-ish. Not everything Apple creates is the best in the world. Running one application at a time on a brand new tablet running on an "A4 chip" that’s supposed to supplement notebooks or supplant netbooks? What? Are we back into the dark ages of MS-DOS?Starting with only 150000 apps? You might seem to take that as a pretty large number, but what’s the point? I hate the fact that software is being re-invented all the time. How about using existing Mac OS X applications on the tablet? Why were those ignored?500 USD for this? No way. This is a toy. And I have no intention of getting an iPad at least for now.

  15. Apologies about this comment, but what’s the problem with Flash?Isn’t user experience more important? While as a Web developer, I fully appreciate and love the idea of HTML 5 video and newer browsers running it full steam, your comment about Flash support sounds rather obtuse toward users. Flash on YouTube for example has served tens of millions of /satisfied/ users doing things HTML couldn’t do earlier. No Flash on the iPad and being happy about it seems rather silly. I’m all for innovation, but IMHO, the iPad seems to me as nothing short of nonsense. What you’re essentially saying is all existing Websites that may use Flash will suddenly stop working on my $500 device. I don’t surf the Web to show off my iPad. I’ll pass this time. Waiting for iPad 2.0.

  16. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">I have seen *very very very* few sites that have used flash in a way that has enhanced the experience. Usually, it leads to longer load times and other usability issues<div><br></div><div>yes, it powered video for years, and that’s great. but that’s coming to an end. and i hope flash ends with it<br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

  17. IE 6.0 is still around. It’s 2010. I remember people saying that would come to an end. Trust me, I absolutely abhor IE. There’s too much Flash around already to ignore it just like that. How hard is it to support Flash anyway? Just get Adobe to write a plugin for the browser? That’s *way way way* easier than having to make a Website compatible with IE 6.0. There’s no reason to spoil the Web browsing experience for the user. Again, as an iPad user *I* should have the choice of installing Flash or removing it, not Apple. I hope this drives the point across.

  18. <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">i see your point for sure. but in general, ipod, ipad, iphone’s are great experiences *because* they are closed and because apple made certain choices. and for the most part, i’m happy with them<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  19. Youtube support is implemented like it is on any iPod Touch. I think one day HTML5 video will be supported.<br>But Apple will never implement full Flash on the iPhone/iPad OS. Get over it. If Apple would allow Flash on their devices, people will play browser and facebook games that are implemented in Flash and won't buy the games on the AppStore anymore. It could be a security risk too. And Apple wants to push his Quicktime format and not any rival proprietary format.<br> All these moves are threatening Adobe. No Flash on the iPhone, video on the web without flash, iBook-store selling EPub in favor of PDF. I wonder if Apple and Adobe hate each other?

  20. Right. And all Adobe needs to do now is stop supporting Photoshop, etc. on Mac OS X. Watch what Apple then starts feeling.

  21. I think Flash should be supported mainly because there are sites using it and why take away the chance to view all web pages properly? Also, maybe I’m the only hard core MobileMe users, but I was a more than a little worried when it was said that you can sync calendars, contacts, etc. through USB. What about syncing over the air through MobileMe?!?

  22. The iPad is a wonderful product, but for someone that has an extra money and don’t want to carry their Macbook Air to bed. Otherwise, the interface and disposition is definitely the future.

  23. The biggest complaint people have about their iPhone is that it’s too small! This is the perfect compliment to the MacBook line and the iPhone/iTouch lines. And exactly that it is a closed system is what will make this new launch from Apple as successful, if not more successful, than the iPhone. The greatest thing about Jobs and Apple is that their approach to any new piece of technology is object-agnostic. It’s simple, it’s elegant and it has great utility.

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