11 April 2010
the ipad is . . . okay, amazing
my first, actual, real, live, impression of the apple ipad.
first of all, i would like to admit my bias up front. i like the amazon kindle. i like what it does and it does what i expect, seamlessly, effortlessly and, the best part, immediately. if i owned a kindle, i would have definitely bought a book this weekend, anxious to see the next book in a new series. $9.99 would have been burning a hole in jeff bezos' pocket\, i tell you.
i also think that comparing ipads to kindles is like comparing strawberries to bananas foster. sure there's a fruit involved, but isn't that really where the similarity ends?
having said that - the apple ipad is amazing. what's amazing about it is not so much what it does but how it does it. my friends and colleagues and i have come to the conclusion that the apple ipad is a manifestation of steve jobs' vision of computing. small, sleek, portable, ready, personalized. using an apple ipad changes how you interact with your computing machine. steve jobs wants to change HOW . . . YOU . . . LIVE. that's right. because we already live with computers. yes you do!
the first thing you notice about the ipad is its sleekness. nothing sticking out, no buttons, switches, nothing. almost like holding a thick piece of glass, and not even THAT thick. there is one "button" on the front, but it's dimpled inward. press the button and the magic begins. the screen automatically shifts between portrait and landscape depending on how you're holding it. 360 degrees. there is no up/down. right side up, upside down. it just is. the second thing you notice is the crisp visuality (is that a word?). everything is so . . . pretty. and colorful. it's almost like having a TV in your hand. but the biggest thing is the swiping. only if you work for merry maids will you do this much swiping in your lifetime . . . unless. unless swiping is the "wave" of the future. because that's what steve jobs thinks it should be. even though there is a touch keyboard on the ipad, steve jobs doesn't want you to use keyboard commands to access information. the keyboard is the most basic i've seen, including cell phone keyboards.
the beauty is in the apps. not being an apple product user, i've only heard rumors of these APPS 'they' speak of. you've heard the saying, "there's an app for that." well, i'm here to tell you . . . there is! some are free, some are reasonable and some are pricey, but they're there. they're there. i crack myself up.
so if this ipad thingie has thousands of apps for just about anything i can think of, why haven't they sold more? why isn't there a run at the pawnshop, or ebay or craigslist for PC liquidation sales?
well, one thing is cost. they are not cheap, and with the introduction of netbooks, some people may eschew pretty for function and savings.
secondly, the least expensive of the ipads is wi-fi only, vs the more expensive models which have 3G wireless built in (like the kindle -smile). that means that you would have to be at a hotspot to have internet access if you wanna be cheap.
tertiarially (is that a word? if not, it should be. i shall write oxford momentarily). it's not THAT lightweight. and it's not THAT small. granted, it's not laptop weighty, but weightier than an e-reader if that's what you're looking for.
having said all this . . . if someone were to gift me with an apple ipad, i would gladly accept it. if i had an extra 800 bucks lying around, i'm not so sure . . . yet. why?
take a gander at this and this.
happy reading . . . no matter the format!