A little while ago, I wrote a rather scathing (also slightly incorrect) article on the iPad just after it had been announced. A few months later (and still no sign of it coming to Australia as of yet), I’ve had a bit of time to think about it.
And I’m thinking… I definitely want to buy one.
When the iPad was announced, there were two things I was upset about. The first was its silly name. Tampon cracks aside, it’s still too close to iPod. And the second was the fact that instead of us getting a minified MacBook, we’re instead getting a magnified iPhone (Well… iPod Touch). This stang the most since when I originally envisioned a tablet by Apple, I was expecting something I could easily whip out anywhere, and do complex things like web development or programming easily (Although, that may not be impossible ). One last thing was the lack of USB ports… making any kind of peripheral integration (excluding Bluetooth) totally impossible.
Either way, the more I think about it, an expanded iPhone seems to make sense. At a current technology level, I don’t think it’s actually possible for Apple to make a tablet PC of these dimensions, that can successfully run Mac OSX (Or at least, not without being extremely pricey), as well as integrate touch technology at the same time. For a device like this, the multi-touch features of iPhone OS just make total sense. It also makes sense in the fact that for a mobile device of this kind, a full OS like MacOS would take way too long to load, ultimately degrading the experience. So on reflection, hoping for MacOS on a tablet like this is a bit far-fetched to say the least.
And from a business point of view, I can definitely see why Apple would choose iPhone OS. With their closed model of controlling what apps go on the device, not to mention, receiving a nice slice whenever someone sells an app through it (including the fact iPad apps cost more than iPhone ones), there really isn’t a lot of motivation to try and push anything else on here.
Either way, I still dream that Apple will one day release a device called the ‘iSlate’ that is for all intents and purposes a MacBook Pro in iPad form.
Now, I said earlier that I want to buy an iPad. There are a few things that caused me to change my mind over my last post.
Originally, I said I wanted something that can read e-books. After talking to some friends who own Kindles, I’ve learned that apparently Kindles suck. They apparently can only render a VERY specific kind of PDF file, and from what I hear, are also quite limited because of DRM and their own attempt at an app store. Since I own a pile of full-colour PDF eBooks from places like SitePoint, (which almost certainly won’t run on a Kindle) it’s looking like the iPad is simply the best device for this kind of mobile e-book experience.
The next point was the lack of USB ports. With Apple’s release of the camera kit, and with its apparently already present ability to handle other peripherals, this also seems to be a bit of a moot point. Granted you can only plug in 1 device at a time, and it also means losing the ability to charge your iPad at the same time, it still opens up a TONNE of potential.
Last of all, and this is probably the biggest issue… is Apple’s control over (supposedly) your device. I really hate the closed model of iPhone OS. It frustrates me that I can’t do specific things with my own device simply because Apple decided to disallow it, and it makes me fear that I could lose data/content I may have paid money for at any point. The fact that you can’t simply tether your iPhone to the iPad to avoid having to buy a 3G version of the iPad is pure selfishness on Apple’s behalf.
Thankfully, due to the efforts of many diligent programmers, it is apparently possible (or at least around the corner) to jailbreak your iPad. After that point, quite literally anything becomes possible.
While I have been researching other potential tablet devicess (I also REALLY like the look of the WePad ), I’m definitely a sucker for Apple’s simplistic design aesthetics. And with the ability to jailbreak, as well as since the video showing it’s possible to boot Android on an iPhone, proving it’d be possible to have iPhone OS and Android on one platform, it seems that the iPad would be a logical choice to get access to the widest range of software.
Either way, the iPad isn’t going to come out here for a while longer, so I’m definitely going to sit back and watch. A few things I said up there are still potentially only just simple suppositions, so I’d definitely like to confirm all this before I commit to a buy.
One way or another, I’d love to have an e-book reader by the end of the year.
- Published May 4, 2010
- Categories Tech