Is the iPad a Game Changer?
When Apple launched the App Store, they changed the face of computing forever. I wonder if Steve Jobs himself saw the full reach of his latest innovation back then.
When Apple launched the iPad, I was following the event live on the web along with countless others. My expectations were low and, as far as the hardware goes, it doesn't seem even those were met. We'll have to see when the device actually hits the stores, but no camera seems an incomprehensible omission, even for Apple.
However, when Steve Jobs started talking about iWorks (Apple's office suite) and connecting the iPad to an external screen or projector, my take on the device changed completely. This isn’t the mostly useless toy I expected, this is finally Apple’s old credo "Computing for the rest of us" realized.
I can picture myself using a (second or third generation, with camera and more versatile text input) iPad for serious writing, for giving presentations, and for everyday correspondence. I can even picture laptops from Apple with the iPhone/iTouch/iPad OS on them one day, sold alongside Apple’s regular MacBooks with Mac OS X.
If you’re not interested in maintaining a computer, but simply using it for getting fairly basic everyday tasks done, the iPad platform with the App Store is an unbeatable proposition. You use touch and your voice to control the computer, and if it can’t do what you need it to do right now, you simply spend a couple of dollars on an App that can.
Surfing the web, email, Facebook, listening to music, watching videos, instant messaging, Skype, organizing and sharing pictures, writing letters, and keeping track of finances are probably what most people use their computers for today. The iPad can already do all this upon launch, with none of the hassle and a very little of the steep learning curve of other systems.Continued on the next page