The iPad Experience

There has been so many posts on discussing the various aspects of the iPad interjection in our lives. Many such observations have been made in the comfort of information available on the net or hearsay.

There is no doubt that the slate based computing is here to stay and redefine how we do things. But a lot rides on what our expectations are from a personal computing device and how we intend to use it. If all we need to surf the net, play solitaire, read books, probably any device could do it. But why do we need to have a slate based device.

Last night, I had the opportunity to see and play on this device at a friend’s place. Must say, I was very impressed and can agree with the awe factor associated with it.. Ok here goes my two cents on the Ipad

The Plus factors

  • Form factor is superb and amazing. So thin and sleek.
  • Display and font readability. The bright display really stands out and the readability of the Lucida font is the hallmark of all Apple products.
  • Navigation is very easy although some basic learning is required.
  • Connectivity to 3G and wifi was seamless
  • Sound and speaker were delectable just like the iPods.
  • Some interesting Apps; The talkback cat was great, the newpaper app was equally good. BubbleBreaker has an interesting change. Gmaps interface was radically different though the pan motion was amazingly fluid. The Bloomberg Stock App was delicious.
  • The screen tilting orientation was very sweet as well

The Minus factors

  • The sleek factor is also its nemesis as well. One fall and you can kiss your 500 dollars goodbye.
  • Single button. I never understand why Jobs insists everything in the world should be done with just one finger! The single button, is the center of the ipad universe. Figuring out how to use it for many purposes, will require some learning. However, it would be worrisome, to many, who are used to seeing familiar interfaces.
  • Videos were good but lacks the HD capability. Simple thing like playback of recorded/downloaded HD content is a no-no without any conversion.
  • Flash is also on the prohibited list.
  • Downloads only from the app store and nothing else. Downloading files or even from email attachments is not permitted. you can only view them but not save them.
  • Extensibility is in short supply.The standard apple connector is the only way in. Moreover, even with that you can only do limited things  dictated by the iTunes. This means, no uploading files and apps that you may need, but iTunes does not like.
  • 3G but no webcam! Strange but true..

In a nutshell, hats off to Steve Jobs for creating a wonderful slate device which succeeds in stimulating the conventional computing paradigm. But its usefulness will well be defined by how average you are and how easy you find Apple’s marketing pitches.There are thousands of apps but what do you really want it to do? You could have a fancy dice roller, or you could also have a language translator. What I do find seriously short is that, why isn’t there a Transcriber app that lets you write in freehand for taking notes. Also, something like a Dragon app, by which you can dictate to the device and it will create the text.It could be useful for graphic processing type uses like image processing or videos.

But the thing that really irks me, is at a very conceptual level. The whole Apple’s Secret Garden thinktank, that they know better than what you want and what you should be doing with a device that you bought with your money, is in a sense like the Truman Show movie. It may be a perfect world as per Jobs, but real life and freedom have different meanings. You may have factored in a million considerations, but why do you not let the customer decide on his freedoms. This debate will live on endlesslessly.

For me, I will continue to wait for a tablet like device, feature richness and dollops of usability. Besides, being a firm believer in cloud computing and a very active user of Google products, I would be more inclined to open systems like Android. Perhaps the Adam can bring that change. Only time will tell.

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Posted on December 5, 2010, in Fun, Uncategorized, Useful and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Using Apple’s Multi Touch devices with one finger is what’s going to be next instead of tons of buttons on a tablet.. so I wouldn’t really put that under.. “THE MINUS FACTORS”. Well, there is rumors about the iPad 2 containing Front Facing Camera (FaceTime), Back HD Camera, Retina Display and a USB Port. This is definitely going to be the no.1 tablet to have.

  2. Saif, Multi-touch has been around for quite some time. In fact, Synaptics had it enabled on laptop touchpads much before Apple glamorized it.

    Multi touch is great and its applications in intuitive music creation, is an amazing aspect.

    My issue is not with multi-touch but more why just one button. There could be a lot more conveniences with maybe 2-3 more buttons considering we have 10 fingers to play with. In a certain sense its like living in a castle and having to come back to the main door to go to and fro to the other rooms.

    There is no doubt, Apple will continue to be the Numero Uno in this segment for a very longtime like Nokia was in phones. But the differentiating factors are fast diminishing and there will be stupendous pressures to come up with a unique to-die for feature like the accelerometer introduction. Interestingly, the twist the display from portrait to landscape feature existed even in the Pocket PCs of early 2000s also at the click of a button.

    In my view, There will always be improvements in display from e-ink, lcd, led, amoled, super-amoled, pixelqi to Retina and so on, which is a necessity by the screen manufacturers. The truth is the eye can only recognize and differentiate far fewer colour shades than the average LCD monitors 6 million shades.

    The NotionInk Adam is looking quite complete right now but the proof is in the pudding, when folks get to hold it and experience it. Cheers.

    • Wanderburg, one button is all you need. If you want more buttons.. why not have buttons built in the software being able to control the iPad on the Multi-touch glass? You have a 10″ Multi touch glass and why not take advantage of it?

      Just think like this.. Apple are eliminating “Old” technology like removing CD drives and download instead, Hard drives to solid state (long lasting) and now removing slits, cuts and tons of buttons on any device to all Multi-touch based. I don’t personally think that Apple will add more buttons.

      Read my blog about Apple, I post frequently:
      http://www.bloggingjustaboutapple.wordpress.com

      Thanks. Love the post.

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