Friday, January 29, 2010

iPad: You just don't know you want it, yet

What Will Your iPad Workstation Look Like?  Here's mine.

My friend Jason Gatewood wrote a post about his feelings on the new iPad.  Just as I was thinking what to write about it, I read his post and realized he pretty much summed it up.  So, here is his post.  Read it and love it!


Some people are very excited about the Fruity Computer Company's latest bit of kit that'll hit in 2 months, unveiled today...  Some are just so non-plussed...  Me?  Well I think like the iPod, and iPhone before it, it'll take about 1~2 generations to crush all takers...  Even quicker than that if ya think about it...  Here's my take.

  • 75,000 people already have an iDevice...  which means NO LEARNING CURVE!!  This is the hardest thing to overcome, the User Experience.  No learning curve for these folks; the iPad is really just a bigger, more powerful iPod Touch when ya boil it down....
  • 125,000 iTunes accounts with credit cards attached.  This doesn't count folks that use cash by getting iTunes cards in stores, or attached to PayPal (like mine).  This is what most people leave out...  The hardware is only 1/3 of the game...  This is supposed to be an entertainment device...  How would you get content on this thing if it was running Windows Mobile, Symbian, or even some flavor of Linux... TRUSTED content?  My 8 year-old niece knows what iTunes is...  "That's where mommy bought the Jay-Z CD!" (I used to say that about actual record stores...) I haven't bought a physical CD in TWO YEARS.  If not iTunes (or BOOTLEG , I just )With tie-ups with 5 major publishers, I guess my niece will be saying this about buying books too right? 
  • 12,000,000,000 downloads.  From the iPhone store...  Worldwide.  The biggest electronic economy of scale right now.  'Nuff said.

Also some are kinda miffed that this thing isn't a big-@$$ed iPhone.  Meaning limited 3G connectivity, no camera...  Uhh, yeah, I already have an iPhone yo.  Why would I need a BIGGER one?  What I want is the ability for my iPhone, iPad, iMac, and MacBook Pro to TALK to each other...  WIRELESSLY!  That's what Bonjour is for...  F getting the version of the iPad with the 3G connection inside; ALL iPads have WiFi.  So does my (very jailbroken) iPhone...that I can convert to use as a WiFi Router with this thing...  The following is what life with my new iPad will be like maybe this time next year....

I wake up like always in the morning...  Put a pot of coffee on, walk over to my iPad that's been charging in it's dock.  I check the Japan Times first. (if they don't make an app soon, they'll miss the boat! ) Then the Atlanta Journal (hometown newspaper)  There's a pretty interesting story back home about the mayor-- I save the interview in the "dropbox"--an area that will funnel the same content in the form of a bookmark over to my iPhone, or MacBook; I wanna listen to this interview on the subway during my commute.  I check my email...  Pencil in some appointments, cancel others, then I throw the ipad in my bag...  Grab the iPhone, and my MacBook, and I'm out the door.
During my 25 minute train ride into work, I listen to the interview on my iPhone via bluetooth headphones, and I read some other articles in the AJC and the JT on it.  No need to pull an iPad out of my bag--everyone is standing shoulder to shoulder here and I can't even see my bag at my feet, let alone touch it!
Once in the office, I plug my macbook into the cinema display and the external hard drive on my desk.  I break out the iPad and plug it in as well...  Creating the ultimate portable creator's workstation.   It seems Wacom created an app that turns the iPad into a digitizer for your computer! Just like it's most expensive product, it has the capability of video overlay, so you can create custom icon sheets and keys.  But remember, it's capacitive multitouch--finger friendly, so that capacitive stylus is only needed when precision is a must!  Certainly has made my job as multimedia designer that much easier!  I plug my iphone into another dock on the desk and it begins to auto-update my podcasts.  I remember I was watching an episode of "Better Off Ted" on it yesterday and got interrupted, so I go onto iTunes on the Mac and pick up where I left off, using the 13" display of the macbook to see it, while working on the 21" Cinema Display. 
Lunch hits, and I bounce out the door, iPhone and iPad in hand to grab a coke and a smile...  While eating, surf the web on the iPad.  Since there's no WiFi in this place (Why?!) I put my iPhone into tether mode and connect the iPad via bluetooth.  A buddy of mine recommended a new book, so I click the link he put in his email-- He's gonna loan it to me for a read, cool!  He has a Kindle, and Amazon will let you loan books out to other Kindles (and devices that run the Kindle reader) for up to 2 weeks.  I download the book and start reading a few pages when I get a Skype call from home.  It's my brother calling from the States!  The new version of Skype can tell when you have both iPad and iPhone connected-- so it gives the option to open main app on the iPad, and use the iPhone's camera as a webcam!  (to all the pundits that are knocking the iPad's lack of camera) So I set it up this way and give my brother a little look around the cafe, then talk to him... I share a few pix off my iPhone with him, and tell him I'll be home in a month for a visit.
Back on the job, and this time I'm out in the field shooting video and snapping pix for an upcoming RANmagazine article.  Yeah, I made sure our mag would be ready for digital publishing already, so when you read the magazine in your iPad or whatever reader you use, multimedia content like video and audio will also be at your disposal.  I'm using an Eye-Fi SD card in my DSLR, but instead of beaming the shots and video back to my laptop; I have an app that beams them to either my iPhone or iPad.  I take the iPad with me because the bigger screen is easier to use with the updated version of Photoshop mobile (Adobe are you listening? ) Photos and video are automagically GPS tagged, given a filename that's easy to correspond to this story and ready to be shown, sent, or edited.  After taking some shots of the restaurant, I locate the head chef, and interview him on camera, then catch a train back across town.  Since its early afternoon, there aren't many people on the train, so I break out the ipad, and start making a few rough cuts in Adobe Premiere Mobile on the iPad. 
At my second stop, I am able to catch a WiFi signal and with my iPad using the iPhone camera in tether mode, I live stream a little bit of a gallery opening onto our website.  Being a mobile journalist is much easier than it used to be...
My day ends and I'm back at home...  Time to finally watch something good...But I don't watch TV anymore--and I haven't really for about 2 years now!  I fire up the iMac to find that Boxee has some new documentarys I wanna watch.  I break out the iPad once again-- this time to use it as a remote control for the Boxee app, and drone out... Just another day with tech...

So my take on the iPad is simple.  Remember Palm's attempt at a mobile companion device called the Folio? This is the bigger, simpler, smarter, faster, stronger, Apple-goodness-foritified take on that concept...  You want it... ESPECIALLY if you already have an iPod, iPhone, Mac, etc.  You just don't know it yet.

- Jason Gatewood




Ok there you have it.  By the 2nd or 3rd gen of the iPad I think it will start to make sense but, for now I t's not a bad product but it's hard not to focus on the things it doesn't have - no USB port, no ability to use Flash, can't do multitasking and, most of all, no cup holder

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1 comment:

J7 said...

Thanx for the repost yo. to everyone else, the original post can be found right here:

Everything I mentioned BTW is possible in this 1st generation of iPad. I currently do some of this now with a JAILBROKEN iPhone 3GS running OS 3.1.2.

It's true most people seem to judge hardware by it's first iteration, forgetting that most hardware is only as good as it's software, and that software can be updated as new demands are placed... For example, both the iPhone 3G and 3GS have an FM transmitter built in that would allow it to talk to your car stereo negating the need for those separate cigarette lighter kits... But they never turned it on... Why is that? It's used on one app alone now; the Nike app that works with some of their shoes as a pedometer...

I'm willing to be the same type of thing will exist in the iPad...