Friday, January 29, 2010

An Argument for the iPad

My response to the question:

"Don't you already have an iPhone, do you really need a larger one? What can you possibly do on that that isn't possible on any of your other devices?"

-Have you tried reading a book on the iPhone? I've been doing it for a week...usable, but not exactly a stellar experience.
-I have a desktop and my phone (my netbook gets used 99% for taking notes in class and an occasional movie on Netflix), therefore I don't think in the same ways a constant notebook user does.
-Judging by the fact that Flashblock is one of my favorite firefox extensions...I don't think lack of Flash is gonna kill me.
-I browse on my phone when I'm watching TV; this will make that experience way more enjoyable.
-Browsing/Reading is my primary form of content consumption + some minor games; I don't even use headphones on a regular basis - so for me the iPad (which I do admit has a HORRIBLE name, but whatever) makes more sense than the extra $400 it takes to get a MacBook - and considering that if I were to spend the $1K on a MacBook, I'd much rather spring the $1200+ for a 13" MacBook Pro...and now I've doubled what I've spent on the iPad which 95% of the time would be overkill for my usage scenario. (And I really have no desire to buy a PC laptop - I haven't seen a truly compelling portable for less than $800 or so).
-WiFi only? No problem, I'm not pulling this thing out in line at a store - I'm sitting down on the couch with it. I don't think the 3G version is that useful to me because I do have the iPhone in a pinch.
-And just consider that it's not out yet - there will be apps developed that make more sense for the device, just like they were developed for the iPhone. iPhone launched without an app store originally - this has that advantage from the get-go.
-Content support will also drive this - the iPhone wouldn't be where it was without the app store and this will be the same - a Windows or OS X tablet doesn't have the tried and true support of developers writing for a purely touch-based interface (the HP Slate is going to be pretty, powerful, and then everyone will realize that file management with their fingers isn't so much fun; I'd rather offload that to Apple who will do it for me).
-OS X wasn't designed for a touch interface - and as much as Windows 7 wants to claim that title - it wasn't either. There isn't an interface (other than Android) that makes sense on a large touchscreen tablet and at the end of the day - I've purchased content from Apple, not Google. The fact that I don't know what people will come up with as apps for the tablet intrigues me almost as much as what I already will use it for.
-The multitasking thing isn't a huge deal either - if I'm fine with it on my iPhone (I don't have backgrounder installed) then I don't expect to miss it on the tablet. And we haven't hit OS 4.0 yet - it's still 3.2. I, for one, have never had the desire to listen to Pandora & browse on my phone at the same time. And let's be honest - iPad will be jailbroken and be opened up for multitasking at the very least for those who want it. (Do I think this is elegant? No, but I'm fine with it)

For all the discussion I've seen about the iPad, I tend to agree that in spite of its "closed nature", the iPhone has been a huge success for Apple, and there is a true market for another device in the same vein; I fall into that market because if I need a full computer, I have one on my desk - I don't always need a fully-capable machine, but I want something bigger than a 3.5" LCD to browse the internet on. Will there be tablets that do everything that was speculated for the iPad? Probably - it comes to a question of need:
Do I need a Core 2 Duo notebook to go browsing engadget and lifehacker? Do I want to read a book on a notebook screen? I don't game, rarely use youtube, rarely (if ever) watch hulu - and Netflix is based around TV viewing. I really do want a larger screened iPod touch when it comes down to it.
I'll be buying mine the day they're released.

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