iPad, maybe there is a use case
The iPad hubaloo has somewhat died down and it has finally sank in to what it is and isn't or even could possibly be. Twitter trending topics on the subject matter have also slowed to a mere crawl. Finally, the feminine product jokes can finally be flushed out of our fourteen year old minds and we can focus on what iPad truly is.
I have to admit, when Apple first announced the product, I was quite disappointed. In the back of my mind leading up to the keynote, I was half expecting, yet knowing it wouldn't happen, a touch screen computer that runs my Mac OS X. The name aside, I was wanting a revolutionary product that I could take with me and do my CSS/HTML work, create a Rails project, or even do some light design work. Granted this did not happen, I am actually falling into the category now where I could see how the true iPad will be very beneficial.
Reading on it? Probably not so much...
Just recently, I purchased a Kindle because of all the rave reviews I had heard from friends and reading online about it. Growing up, I used to read all the time, but since graduating from college five years ago, joining the work force, and starting a family, reading fell by the wayside. The Kindle has allowed me to jump back into reading and makes it very enjoyable to wind down a day. The e-ink screen is amazing and is very easy on the eyes, especially since there isn't a backlit screen. This is where I think the iPad may fall short.
I work on and look at a computer at least ten to twelve hours a day. The glaring LED screens of my MacBook Pro and my 24in iMac don't bother me too much — although I do have to say, I have gotten a few migraines over the years from staring at them. Working so long on a computer and then wanting to wind down the day with a good read, I don't think I would want to stare at another backlit screen. My eyes are bad as it is and more eye strain just doesn't seem fun.
I do have to say the aesthetics of the built in reader Apple provides is very intuitive and fluid. It makes it seem like you are actually reading a book, minus the tactile ability. Animated turning of pages is neat, but could be overkill as a simple one touch of a button on the Kindle is all I need.
So who could use it?
I am not completely on the boat just yet into jumping in line and purchasing one the day it goes on sale. My parents on the other hand, possibly.
My father is a recent convert to Mac from the ill worlds of the PC. Almost every time I talk to him now, he has to tell me how much he loves his Mac I gave him. He still can't believe how much more intuitive it is over the PC and it just works.
A few days ago, he called me up excited because he just watched the iPad demo reel on the Apple website. He had a few questions about the wifi vs. 3G capability which I gladly helped him understand, including the obscurity of a file system it provides. I had to interject and ask why he was so inquisitive about it. Apparently, he thinks it would be very ideal for my mother. After he explained how she could use it, I definitely could see it working to her favor with how she likes to play her games, check email, browse the web, etc. while sitting on the couch.
Basically, the iPad is less for the geeks and more for the average user who doesn't care how it works, but instead just wants it to work.
Is it for me?
Like I mentioned, I am not too sure I will get one right away. There is also the factor of my wife who thinks I have way too many Mac gadgets to begin with. At last count, I think we have a total of five Mac computers in this house — granted two of them are probably paper weights since the batteries are dead.
I definitely can see it as a shareable device that sits on the coffee table that either my wife or I could pick up to check email, browse the web, or update our Facebooks — I still have yet to get her onto Twitter. I think I will stick to my Kindle for actual reading though.
One dream app I would love to see is if a developer in someway could create a way to control the lights, TV, and temperature of the house straight from the iPad.
I can dream, right?