OK. Information has been flooding in. Top blogs and techy peole have given their verdicts. The dust is beginning to settle and I've made up my mind on the Apple iPad.
I'd buy one.
First off, the name. iSlate and iTablet were expected to be the chosen name more than iPad, and at first I didn't like the name, but now I think it quite suits the product. Yeah, there's the Maxi Pad jokes, but that'll blow over. People made fun of the iPod name when it first came out.
I think it looks brilliant too. The only thing that looked odd from the start was the giant bezel around it, but if you're going to be holding it from different angles, you'd want to make sure you're not pressing the screen. Maybe they could have made it a bit thinner, and maybe they will, but it's not enough to stop this being a beautiful device.
There have been many negative comments made about the iPad, but I think people written this device off far too soon. This thing was hyped up so much it would have been a miracle if the majority of people weren't disappointed. If our minds are filled with all these wondrous things and then what's actually produced is a bit more down to Earth, of course there's going to be a lot of sad faces.
One of the criticisms is the lack of multi-tasking. Yeah, it'd be good to have it, but it is going to drain the battery faster. If I wanted to be doing loads of things at once, I'd use a laptop. This is the sort of device I would only do one thing at a time on. Plus it's not like it can't be added with a software update, good chance it will be in the 4.0 upgrade. Would Apple seriously never include something like that?? No. It'll come.
Flash has also been mentioned. Now I don't know much about this but I know Flash has caused a lot of crashes on Macs, and that Adobe aren't very open with the source, making it hard to create your own apps... so who's fault is this really?? I literally just saw this tweet roll in:
"The thing that bugs me about Flash is it only exists because of IE's shittiness. If Firefox/WebKit were at 100%, nobody would author Flash."
The lack of a camera has also been bought up. People have been saying it should have a front facing camera, or at least one that points away from you. I'm sorry?? Why on earth would you want a camera like that on something like this?? You're not going to take pictures using it in your home, you'll have an iPhone or another camera. You're not going to whip it out when you're out due to it's size. Can you imagine people holding up something this big to take a picture?? Holding it up for the classic picture-of-my-reflection-in-a-mirror-taken-with-my-phone photo?? No. You'd look like a tool. Now, a front facing camera, maybe. That could be useful for webcam/video calls. Perfectly reasonable. And, just like multi-tasking, may well be in v2. But anybody who really wants a forward facing camera on this though should be looking at other products; that is not what this product is about.
People have also said they don't like the fact it's on the iPhone OS and it's so locked down. I personally really like that. I'm used to the iphone OS. I love it. It makes sense to me to have it on the iPad too. I like that it's standardized and I know what's there. I prefer it this way. It is such an easy OS to use. Plus, I'm very brand loyal. That's not to say I'm an Apple fanboy, I'm not, but I'd much rather get a similar device to something I have now, rather than have to learn how to use an entirely new product. I already know I'd like using the iPad, because I already like using the iPod Touch. I love the fact everything I have for my iPod will work on an iPad.
The fact it has no USB/SD card slot is more of an issue though. You can get adapters but I don't see why you should need to for something like this. That should be sorted.
Saying that, let's remember one thing. How many people have actually used this thing?? A very select few people. People are going on the opinions of these few people?? Who has actually used it in a casual way for a few days?? Even less people. Yeah, we've really had a chance to get some proper opinions on it.
All that said and done, let's just take a quick look at previous Apple products.
The iPod. Released in 2001. I found this blog post and thought it was rather interesting. People hated it. But look!! It's probably the most successful MP3/4 player ever.
The iPhone. Released in 2007. People hated it. But now, like the iPod, it's one of the most successful phones ever.
Seeing the pattern emerging??
It completely redefined the industry. Most of the smart phones on sale now were a direct result of the iPhone. People didn't like it due to it's lack of 3G, cut and paste etc etc. It finally got those, and now it's adored. Plus the app store made it even more of a success.
Speaking of which, the iPad can run all apps from the app store. Seriously?? Awesome!! There are so many games I would love to play on a larger screen. Plus there's going to be tons of new specialised apps for it. It's going to be a sensation.
The other day I was sitting on a sofa, leaning against one of the arm rests, laying across it, feet against the other arm rest. My knees were bent and I was balancing my laptop on my legs. It's very hard to be at a comfortable angle, have it balance properly, be able to see the screen, and type. And the iPad would have solved all of these.
I think what we have here is just something that's different to what people were expecting. It's not a full blown computer, but I think it's much better as it is. Here's some other blog posts from influential people:
They're in the same boat as me. Giving it a chance, seeing it for what it is and liking it. Realising it's potential. So what if it's just a giant iPhone, I only have an iPod Touch and love it, I'd love an iPhone even more, so I'd love this even more than that. If I want to sit around browsing the web, sending emails, checking Twitter, Facebook, whatever, this would be a great way of doing it. I manage OK doing one thing at a time on my iPod, it wouldn't kill me to have to do it on an iPad too.
So, I would buy one. Assuming the price is OK.
I doubt the UK price would be a straight conversion from the US price. It may be, but I doubt it. Personally I'd get the 32GB WiFi + 3G model. Currently that's listed as $729. £450. But, then again there's the 3G plan that you need to buy. Even with that though, it's not a massive amount, and a top spec iPhone 3GS on contract is something like £400. Makes the iPad look like amazing value.
So, I'm keeping my eye on it. I will probably wait until v2.0 of it is released before I seriously consider it, however I'm already sold. Anything they add to it now will only make me want one even more.