Apple iPad

by scotslawstudent

Here’s one that’s been sitting my drafts for a fair while so here is some light of day for it.

Apple has released a new internet device yesterday (relative to when this was written) which has pretty much filled Twitter ever since. You have probably heard of this if you used the internet in the last year or so.

I particularly like the built in iBooks program. I actually own an iBook so I find this slightly confusing, the iBook was a laptop and iBooks is an online ebook store. I really think that having such a big player in the market will really change what we see in the ebook market. I hope it means that we will have the sort of really amazing media features that you can do with computer technology. The New York Times has already shown off an application where you can read their newspaper and have inline video content. I think that’s really very impressive. Apple is not a publishing company, it wants to sell books so that people have a reason to buy their iPad device. Therefore things which are good for selling the iPad will be pushed for. I think that bodes well for user experience and possibly price if not necessarily choice. Also they’re selling them in ePub format and more stores should do that.

There’s been a real internet backlash against it. I think this is probably because it’s been the single biggest tech story of the decade. The “Apple Tablet” was the big non-surprise of the year. People expected it to just about make your tea for you. The main complaint is that it’s just a big iPhone. I think this seems to forget that people really like their iPhones. Saying something is just a bigger pile of happy drugs won’t mean it isn’t awesome.

I think the comments that the name is stupid because it sounds like a feminine hygiene product are just facile. That gives the anti Mac brigade a bad name. When it says pad think “of paper” and “oh, that’s a play on iPod” not “that’s a lady thing” and snigger to yourself. It’s not a good look.

I haven’t used one (of course I haven’t) but I think it goes without saying that it will sell like hot cakes and some market will be affected by it. But I went to the Glasgow Apple store on launch day and I have used one by now – it’s smooth and very impressive. I didn’t get one, I didn’t see the need it would satisfy and I’m not earning enough just now to spend £400 on fun things.

The big news is that they’ve ported iWork to the new device which means that you can actually do pretty honest work on what is primarily a music, book, movie and photo browsing device. I don’t know how much work will be done on it but the potential is there and that’s a good reason to consider buying it. I think that you shouldn’t buy it just to make documents in iWork (especially if you have a laptop already) but that it is a nice to have feature, a little bit like how my phone works as a torch in a pinch.

The Guardian has come out yesterday (relative to when this post was posted) with a scathing review about how it’s so expensive to buy the big model. I’m a big fan of having quite small storage in my mobile devices (2GB seems to work well for my phone and mp3 player) because it’s massively cheaper and there is a genuine limit for how material much you can physically consume in the periods between plugging it back into your computer to charge it up anyway. I think at around £700 for the ultra high end 64GB model with 3G and GPS it’s nice if you have the money but it’s not going to be any better that the small model. I personally don’t see the benefit in getting the 3G upgrade but I can see how it would be useful to a certain group of people (lorry drivers are experimenting using it as a huge satnav for example).

It just seems like a very expensive way to be connected on the move but, then again, it’s a £400-£700 internet appliance so frugality isn’t the overarching principle to begin with.