OK, I’ll admit it. I tend to get a little overexcited about things. Especially when Steve & co tell me to get excited, over a year ago. Fortunately for me, I’m not alone. 2 million iPads have been sold to date, aided by a media orgy to which I have willingly contributed. Now I’ve had one in my sweaty palms for a week, my overriding question is this: is it really that useful?
Yes, the WIRED App is amazing, and hope-inspiring for a certain type of meeja (i.e. the ‘for geeks’ type). Same goes for the Marvel App, with its box-to-box comic box shifting and addictive shopping system.
Yes, for looking at photos it’s incredible, especially the way you zoom on an album to open it.
Yes, certain games, like Plants vs Zombies HD or Mirror’s Edge, are impressive, albeit expensive by iPhone standards.
But apart from that:
No, i can’t see how it’s more useful than an iPhone. For consulting media it’s great. But for inputting content, forget it. Typing (this post, for instance) is a pain in the arse. I can’t even add a photo to this post via iPad as the photo upload button is unclickable.
No, I can’t see how it’s more useful than a computer. Shopping for a new computer for the mother-in-law recently, we thought an iPad might do the trick, as she just does emails and photos. But it’s just as dependent on a computer for uploading and synchronising as an iPhone is. The best you can do is buy an SD card adapter to upload pics directly: but these are out of stock for 3 weeks. In short, the iPad can’t function without another computer. It’s not autonomous.
No, it’s not affordable, as Apple’s initial rumour-wrangling led us to believe (who do you think was source of those ‘it’ll cost a grand’ rumours eh?!). For similar prices you can get a netbook with ten times more storage space. As the yanks would say, do the math.
So no, this isn’t basic backlash Apple-bashing. It’s just that the iPad has yet to show us what it’s really for, beyond flashy interactive mags and “tweeting whilst pooping” as the very same WIRED put it a while back. As such, yours truly’s advice remains the same: wait & see.
Now, when can I get my hands on that iPhone 4…? ;)