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  • Posted by billbak @ 12:32 pm on Apr 07, 2010

    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.)

    Categories: Apple, iPad, Technology | 1 Comment »
    Posted by billbak @ 3:18 pm on Apr 03, 2010

    The purchasing experience was top-notch.  I reserved mine a few weeks ago online.  The store opened at 9am and reserved units were held until 3pm.  When we arrived, an Apple Store employee took our name, signed us in using his iPhone and within seconds someone else came up, introduced himself and took us into the store.  We were done in less than ten minutes.

    The machine itself is very slick.  It does feel good in your hand – that hard to define sense of quality.  It’s nice to open a consumer device that is already charged.  Nothing kills the moment like that note in the manual that say, “Charge completely before using.”  We took ours to Starbucks and were online within a few moments.  Web browsing is pretty easy, the screen is excellent, great colors, pages load reasonably quickly, but slower than on my laptop.

    The keyboard is as so-so as I’ve read in most if not all of the reviews.  I accessed my email through OWA and responded to one mail quickly.  But I would never write a long document or email using the onscreen keyboard.

    I downloaded one video to check out movies.  I was impressed.  Great color, no flickering, lots of resolution.  Onboard sound seems good, will check out headphones later.  (No headphones in the box.)

    The charging and sync cable is specific to the iPad.  They told us that iPod cords won’t work.  That’s a bummer – and the cable is unmarked, so the potential for mix up is there.  I will have to label this one.

    Early conclusions:

    • This won’t replace my laptop.  I code too much and type too much to make due with an iPad only while traveling around town or out of town.
    • It won’t replace the laptop I keep open on the kitchen counter for checking email periodically.
    • It will sit by the TV, it’s perfect for looking stuff up while watching shows or a movie.  Instant-on is sweet.
    • It will replace my iPod touch when I want to watch downloaded TV shows while working out.
    • I will take it on an airplane at least once for the same reason.  We’ll see if carrying this and a laptop is at all practical. 

    Pundits are debating how revolutionary or evolutionary the iPad really is.  My going-in assumption was evolutionary for techies and revolutionary for non-techies.  I think there is still a lot of tech know-how needed to set up and use an iPad.  I’m going to enjoy mine, even if just for casual web browsing and watching TV shows while working out.  Thinking about my relatives who don’t use computers or use them lightly, I’m not sure the iPad, out-of-the-box anyway, will increase their usage.  I’m looking forward to showing them the iPad and seeing their reactions.