iPad Take 2: Revolution or Evolution?

Having used the iPad for several days now, I believe it is currently an evolution of something, not a revolutionary new thing. But it will become revolutionary if the right applications emerge. Today I think the sweet spot is replacing the iPod Touch for the 50+ generation. The iPad is the best media player I’ve seen yet combined with a great eBook function. Movies are crisp, clear and large. The sound is great. The iPod functionality benefits from the additional screen real estate both in terms of information layout and type size. (I’m one of those 50+ people.)

I downloaded the Kindle application from Amazon and grabbed my Kindle books. I also bought an iBook from Apple. Both are fantastic; I prefer either to my actual first generation Kindle.

The iPad is also a cool TV/movie companion; it’s fun to quickly look up actors or other movies and shows while you watch the actual, real television. (I’m one of those 50+, ADD people.)

The iPad keyboard is simply not good enough for me to write much more than a quick email. So it won’t replace my laptop.

So, as a media player and as a super convenient web browser, the iPad is evolutionary. The revolution comes when compelling apps emerge that use touch to reach new uses and new users. Home automation would be fun and useful, and easier to learn for many, if based on touch gestures instead of mouse gestures. I believe my non-computer relatives could pick up a touch-based application to program their thermostats or set their lawn sprinklers. Running the media center, or even just programming the DVR, would benefit from the touch model. A point in support is the Sonos iPhone application that so many Sonos customers prefer to the normal Sonos controller. (Granted, the non-computer types among us probably don’t have a Sonos either.)

Some of these applications already exist for the iPhone and iPod Touch. So you could argue that even there, the iPad is an evolution of that platform. You’d be effectively saying, I think, that touch is the revolution. I won’t argue; I think that is true. I also think the iPad is the form factor that will drive touch-based applications deeper into the home and maybe businesses. I think the current price is a bit high, but expect that to fall over time.

Regardless, I love mine. I can see owning an iPhone for, well, talking and apps on the go, and an iPad for media and applications around the home or office. (I’m one of those 50+ people, ADD, has-a-Verizon-contract people.)

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