iPad Thoughts – Do I Still Want The iPad?

I’m sure at this point we’ve heard more than our fair share of Apple iPad news, but I thought it may be worthwhile to give my brief thoughts after actually having a VERY LIMITED time with one.

Okay, let’s be clear, the iPad is nothing more than a big iPod Touch/iPhone. We know this. This is the argument that most people supply when giving counter points as to why the iPad is such a horrible device. To that I say, SO WHAT if it’s just a big iPhone? Is that such a bad thing? What Apple has basically done is made a huge extension to what they have been building with the iPhone OS platform and given us something we are all familiar with, hence instantly creating a wide user base that know how to use their product. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, or if the formula is working, don’t change it, just tweak it!

Upon picking up the device, you can feel the superior ascetics that Apple is known for in their devices, sleek feel and design. I only had time to briefly run two apps, Pianist Pro and Real Racing HD.

Again, proving the case that bigger is better is Pianist Pro. The iPad has instantly taken the touch screen apps on their platform from useless to useful. On the iPhone you can do nothing more than peck away at piano keys on these types of apps, but on the iPad, I was actually able to make full cords pretty easily. The keys are not quite full size, but close enough to where it’s enjoyable. On to gaming, with Real Racing HD.

Like I just said, more of the same here, but, bigger is better. I’ve played countless racing games on the iPhone. Some enjoyable, and most just downright unplayable. Using the accelerometer in racing games has not always translated to fun. There is a tedious balance that has to take place between control sensitivity and precision. Since the iPhone is such a small device, almost all movement on these type of games are jerky and abrupt, and most of the time this balance isn’t achieved. To that point, seems that a lot of these issues may be fixed by the iPad. I’m not sure if it’s just superior hardware or the actual size and weight of the device, but Real Racing HD seemed much easier to control on the iPad versus its iPhone racing counterparts. I’d like to test this more when I have the chance, but so far, I love the gaming aspect of the device.

*I had a slight issue with the volume of the device, but I’m going to chalk that one up to the noise Apple Store I was in. I haven’t heard many complaints here, so I’m sure that’s the case.

Here’s a repost from my website of my initial thoughts of what I wanted from the iPad. And though I’ve not actually been able to test it, it seems that my plea for a superior comic book app on the iPad has come in the form of the Marvel application. I have seen a few video demos, and it definitely seems promising. Also I’ve been reading many tweets about this being the ideal in-home media device, which makes they case for another one of my points. I guess the jury is still out as to how this device could be used in-car, but I’m sure in time we’ll see some interesting use cases for this also. The best is yet to come!

Okay, it’s been a while since the Apple iPad announcement and most of the noise has died down awaiting the retail release next month. I have had some time to take-in the hoopla and come to a resounding conclusion. I want the iPad!

Let me be clear, I wasn’t too hyped about this product when first announced because I’m not a huge book or non-tech news reader (shame). Most of the reading I do is either technical jargon or my daily consumption of technology media, which for all intents and purposes, is better suited for viewing on a computer. So yes, I was ready to write off the iPod until I heard a few interesting takes on possible uses for this device.

Best Comic Book Reader Ever. Okay, I pondered this idea when I originally got my iPhone 3G. And to some extent, it works. But as you would guess, the main problem here is screen real estate. Yes, on a iPhone the touch operations are more than great for standard comic book viewing, but the ultimate problem is there is simply not enough screen space for this concept to truly be great.

The iPad would quickly solve this problem and also provide all the great features that we get from the iPhone. And unlike other electronic readers out there, the experience would be in full color and with excellent potential of expansion.

For example, imaging reading a comic that eludes to some reference that only the die-hard fans would get or even understand. You could easily provide a popup link that explains the reference in detail. Sort of like the enhanced version of Lost! Honestly, the possibilities are endless and ultimately this lends to making comic books more assessable as a whole.

In-Car Device You’ve Been Craving For. One of the most disappointing things that I’ve seen amidst the whole iPhone, smart-phone craze lately is that in-car stereo systems haven’t taken similar leaps and bounds forward. Okay, of course I know that Ford and other companies have made profound updates with their built in stereo/GPS units, but we haven’t seen anything similar in the after-market space. And let me be clear, there have been a slew of manufactures out there that have tried to hit it out the park on this, but most just seem half-hazard, and way off from what you’d expect compared to what we are seeing in the smart-phone space.

That being said, the Apple iPad would be an in-car stereo wet dream. The iPhone or iPod Touch almost hit’s the mark here, but the number one problem is, once again, screen real estate, and using iPhone for GPS is often nerve racking. The huge screen of the iPad easily solves this problem. And with a thirty dollar monthly price tag for 3G coverage, it should give you all the connectivity you need on the go. Also, there is arguably no better mobile music player than Apple’s iPod. These two points alone could easily make this an excellent in-car device when you take into account Apple’s superior user interface. Of course there are devices out there that have these functions, but user experience makes all the difference.

Home Media Device. As many people do with their iPhones or iPod Touch, this device will easily become the device that people use around the house. Why? It removes you from being tethered to the desk for quick tasks that should feel more like relaxation than work. Do a quick check of your email, read a few passages of a book, check out the latest news, update your social networking sites, check the weather for the day, must i go on? And like I said, most people can do these things with their phone now, but once again, user experience is everything. The huge screen of the iPad will make these experiences more enjoyable, and truly make them feel like leisure. More relaxing than having to be at your desk or haul a huge laptop around, and more enjoyable than viewing the tiny screen on your phone.

Conclusion. In conclusion, I’ve pointed out just a few great uses of the iPad and why I’m sold on it. Though I’m not sure I’ll be getting one anytime soon based solely on price, I do feel this device is going to quickly find its niche in many markets. The Wi-Fi models, which start at $499 will be shipping in late March, with the 3G models (the one you want) starting at $649 being released sometime in April. Save your pennies!

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