A question I've been asked several times in the last few days. I'm very impressed with the tech, and the design is breathtaking (no doubt why Jonathan Ive did most of the talking). Many people seem confused, decrying missing features they expect on a phone (i.e. Camera) or on a laptop (i.e. DVD Drive.) As Apple has explained, this is a NEW category of device that doesn't fit in with either existing paradigm. I think the iPhone OS is the right choice, assuming it's beefed up some (which it appears to be.) The addition of iWork is genius. I have no use for Numbers, but Pages and Keynote are part of my everyday work. The idea of being able to run presentations from the iPad instead of lugging around a laptop is VERY appealing. (See Nick Knisely's post) The keyboard dock looks amazing. Several questions remain for me:
- Flash Flash Flash. Apple is touting this as the ultimate web-browsing device, but without Flash, A LOT of the internet is unavailable. While I love Safari on my iPhone, the lack of flash has me running to my laptop all the time. What's the point of a web browser if I can't watch Hulu or Homestar Runner? And many sites, including the NYT which Apple demoed the other day, rely on Flash animation to deliver part of their content. An "ultimate web device" that can't deliver one of the primary formats of the web is not ultimate, and could be a deal breaker for me.
- I have a lot of Kindle books. I assume the iPhone Kindle reader will work on the iPad, but will Amazon add the code to make it a native iPad app at full resolution? It would seem to make sense since Amazon's revenue stream is mainly from books. Also, the Kindle is really not in the same category, being half the price and using Digital Ink technology rather than LCD.
- World of Warcraft. OK That WOULD be cool, but a more general question - how much more powerful will native iPad apps be? How much capability does the new A4 processor have and how big an application can an iPad run? Where will the breaking point be between what can be done on the iPad and what still needs to be done on a computer?
- iPad? Really? As a blog post from Bust magazine notes, did they have any women involved in this process? If they had, I'm guessing iPad would have been off the table as a name immediately.