After using the Ipad for a full month, here’s my more informed take on the thing;
1. It’s gorgeous! I’ve always been a fan of simplicity. Plain round neck shirts, bagel with cream cheese, brewed coffee with some brown sugar, vanilla ice cream…you get the idea. Apple’s design principles is no different. I think the reason why the Ipod touch, the Iphone and the Ipad looks so similar is that even if you start designing one of these things without knowing the existence of the other devices, they’d probably arrive at the same hardware and software specifications. In Apple’s philosophy, less is more and the success of these award winning devices further strengthens that belief.
2. It’s fast! If you want something done right, do it yourself. The exact reason why Apple insists on its own software. Windows (and I refer to any of its iterations) is just really ancient technology that needs to be thrown out the window. Get it? “Windows” out the window? Microsoft’s OS is just not designed for today’s technologies. It is cryptic, unstable and sluggish. I can just imagine needing to run a command line to troubleshoot the Ipad if it actually ran on the thing. With Apple using its own IOS, it guaranteed that the device ran “silky smooth” given its hardware. One of their more controversial decision points is to not allow any Flash content to run on the device as it would affect the user experience (i.e. the device would probably choke) and though I would have been happier if they let me decide if I want to run those contents or not, in the end, it indeed ensure that people don’t see the device struggling to deliver content.
3. It’s heavy!!! I guess this one is the natural outcome of ensuring that a slim device is sturdy enough for people to roll on it should they fall asleep while using it. This, they later realized, is not enough reason to make the device as if it was also intended to be your night time form of exercise hence the slimmer, lighter Ipad 2. I wonder how many people now have stronger forearms because of the Ipad.
4. It’s not cheap! “The magical device that comes at an amazing price!” I’m not sure if Steve Jobs was trying to be sarcastic when they arrived at this slogan but really, the device does have an amazing price, amazingly high that is. I’ve seen complete teardowns of this on Youtube and the internal parts don’t seem to warrant the price that’s on the box. If the Chinese can make a functional tablet for a tenth of the Ipad’s price, I’m pretty sure, we can see a more decent device priced somewhere in the middle. Right now, Apple has set the benchmark for pricing these devices and all the competition needs to do is price their products a notch lower. Despite the barrage of Ipad wannabes out there, the selling price doesn’t seem to vary much. These things are still damn expensive and we can blame Apple for making us all believe that these gadgets need to be priced that way.
5. It’s addictive! This device just brings out a ton of new possibilities that you can’t help but spend endless hours exploring. Don’t know what I mean? Try installing iMovie or Garageband or a painting application and you’ll soon understand. The multi touch capability coupled with very precise gyros brings out a new breed of applications and use cases for the computer. Interacting with a computer has never felt more natural that you begin to question why it took so long for computers to be designed this way.
There’s lots more that I can say about this device but human focus and attention (mine and yours) can only take so much so I’ll stop right here and let your mind wander some other place. Till my next entry! Cheers!