Column (blog is so passé)

The Apple iPad


I'm in a hurry, I got to fly out to Vegas so I'm just in a dictate this into MacSpeech Dictate - the latest dictation offering for the MacOS. It's still way behind Dragon NaturallySpeaking in features but, the recognition accuracy is damn near perfect. So, without further ado...

Today, with a record-setting amount of hype leading up to the event, Apple released the iPad (iPad? Really, do you have any idea how many "futuristic tampon" gags there's going to be?) Oh well, it was either that or iSlate or iTablet or something equally i-esque.

Sadly, the rumor mill got it right this time - right down to the last feature in that kind of deflated the experience of watching the event this time. I remember when I was in San Francisco for the launch of the iPhone, the hair literally stood up on the back of my neck. It was back electric. Today, I'm in my living room talking to a laptop. I realize that as a big part in deflating the experience but having so much information leaked to the media (I mean all of it) kind of talk a little bit of the wind out of Apple's sails.

But, to put things in perspective, I was a boy 30 years ago watching reruns when Spock was handling a device that looked very much like this on the set of Star Trek. (Okay it's a fact that it wasn't until Janeway was captain that the device began to look this advanced) but seriously, that vision has been realized in the Apple iPad.

Now, I'm not going to devote this column to doting on the device, you can go to for that, but, I did feel it was important to come out and say wow, Apple's done it again!

You won't treat this thing like a laptop, instead it's really more of an overgrown iPhone. You won't be downloading Adobe Dreamweaver to this thing for a while yet and when you do, it'll be an entirely redesigned application, just for this device and with "special" price just for you!

That's right, I'm bemoaning the fact that now we're going to have to re-buy all the software we already own in an iPad version. What's interesting to note is that I think Apple wants developers to take the cue from their newly priced iWork apps - just $9.99 each. I think a whole bunch of Adobe executives just fell off their chairs. That's right, Apple doesn't want you charging no $499 for an application, they want you to move the decimal point two places - and not in the direction you were hoping.

Will this device be the Netbook and Kindle killer? Well, let's see, I'm kind of an extreme example but let's review my daily work load. I answer and compose e-mails. (The iPad will do that) I work with spreadsheets. (The iPad will do that) I browse the web. (The iPad will do that) But while doing so, I compare information on multiple tabs in my browser. This may not be quite as straightforward as it is on a standard computer. Let's see, what else do I do? Well, I dictate blog (columns) I won't be able to do that, at least for a while. I use iChat to have audio, video and screen sharing chat sessions with colleagues and friends and clients. (That sounds like it's in the realm of possibilities for an iPad) I watch movies. (The iPad will do that, check!) I listen to music. (Check!) I view and edit still images. (Check!) I design Web and e-commerce sites. (Are you paying attention Adobe? Remember, $4.99 - that's all you get) I perform FTP transfers. (Nope! Won't do that) I create technical drawings. (Nope!) I service computers and I emulate Windows. (Nope! Nope!)

Now, just in case you thought the dictation software just failed and said "I emulate Windows" when what I really meant was "I hate Windows" both are true and interchangeable, but no, the dictation software did not make a mistake.

Will I have one of these iPads? Not entirely sure yet, it partially depends on whether or not Suki sees fit to give me one for my birthday but I promise to write more as soon as I make up my mind.