I was sleepless last night, expecting a magical user interface for the iPad that will blow our minds off at the Apple event. Today, I was pretty much disappointed, with the show. Everything presented were expected. Looks like even Apple cannot exceed expectations for ever.
Apple went with iPhone’s OS. In short, it is intended to be a smart device for a dumb user. Not a computer for the nerds. All the geeky hacks that we do on our laptops cannot be done. Only Apple approved software can be loaded onto the device. User doesn’t control or have access filesystem. And, no camera? Come on. If a camera can fit into an iPhone, why not into an iPad? It is a clear strategic move by Apple. But I don’t know what the hell that strategy is.
All these issues noted above tell us one thing. It gives us an idea on the future of computing. Any successful technology will be ubiquitous. Computing will be ubiquitous. The power of computing will be relished in our day to day activities. Think of the part that computers currently play in our lives. There is a device at our home, sitting in the other room, to which we go to when we need to play, learn or connect to our friends. We have put all our thought into that one device and improved its capability greatly. Imagine if there is only one power outlet in your house and you need to plugin all your appliances there whenever you need them.
Also, how do you prefer to watch a music video? How do you prefer to read a novel? You’re right. On your couch… in your bed, etc. Computers/Laptops have a form: Sturdy. Even the ultra portable laptop is not comfortable enough to be used in any position. Wont it be nice if it just works where we are? That is exactly what an iPhone or an equivalent smartphone does. It follows us. Its right there when we need it the most. couch, bus, kitchen, in a car[passenger], etc. That is what is causing an explosion of smartphones.
But smartphones do come with an inherent disadvantage. Its form factor. Irrespective of how advanced a phone is, it is not good enough to read,watch movies, play etc. A smartphone can be of a quick help, but is not really comfortable for longer usage periods. That is where a device like iPad comes into play. It is the size of a small magazine, and can just be used in any position, even when you are resting on your head. For a non-tech person, the iPad can do everything that is required: surfing the Web, watching video, reading books .. everything. And the most important case, is the usage or user comfort. An iPad user doesnt need a table, by its definition. It just fits in the users hand, irrespective of the surroundings, Couch, Kitchen countertop, garden, train travel etc. An iPad will never remind you that you have an computer in your hand. That is what will cause its success and change lifestyles.
And so, I will buy an iPad, especially for my mom.
Having said all that, I will wait for the next gen of iPads. A camera is all it requires for a casual user to forgo the laptop all together.
Let me know what you think.