Unless you live under an internet-free rock, in which case you’re not reading this, you know Apple revealed the iPad yesterday. I’m not going to bother grabbing links and photos of the thing because they’re all over the damn place. But, while listening to live audio in the background while watching pictures being posted from the event, I had several thoughts.
It’s a giant iPod Touch, but with the ability to run big programs (iWork, iPhoto), not just apps. It’s pretty and shiny and new and I’m going to hate being the only kid on the playground who doesn’t have one. But there a couple of reasons why I’m not currently pitching my tent outside an Apple store. (Besides the fact the nearest Apple store is two hours from here.)
Prior to the announcement, I did a little waffling between buying the Macbook and waiting to see if the mythical iPad was really coming soon. (I, like many others, assumed the iPad would go for about $1k.) In the end, it came down to the keyboard. An on-screen touch keyboard is cool and I use the one on the iPod (iPad Mini—heh) a lot, but do I want to write a book that way? Yesterday they demonstrated the keyboard dock which enables you to use an external keyboard, but then it’s a desktop unit. I think it’s a cool toy and will also be a great professional tool for some, but for writers? I have no regrets about going for the Macbook.
There are two things that, as an iPod Touch user, I was looking for in the iPad and didn’t find:
First, support for Flash. Sometimes while browsing the ‘net on the iPod, I get a little blue Lego block that means there’s Flash there my device doesn’t support. In one of the pictures from yesterday’s event, you can see the little blue Lego block on the iPad.
Second—and to me, most importantly—no multitasking. Since not being able to run multiple apps simultaneously on the iPod drives me batshit crazy, I can’t imagine how I’d react to not being able to do it on what’s supposed to be a fully functional device. And, if I remember correctly, that Droid thing or whatever it’s called can run multiple apps, so the technology’s there.
I understand that the apps pick up where you left off. If I’m writing in Docs to Go and I need to look something up in Wikipanion, I have to hit the home button and leave Docs to Go. Pull up Wikipanion and search for the information. Hit the home button and open Docs to Go. Even though it puts the cursor where I left off, if I have to go back and forth a few times, checking things, that’s a pain in the ass. I want to swipe two fingers horizontally across the screen to flip through apps.
I have a feeling I’ll end up with an iPad. How could I not? They’re so shiny. But I’ll probably try to wait until the second generation. Maybe it’ll have multitasking.
Oh, and on a random note, I have no problem with the name. Many people wondered if they had any women in on the naming sessions and the “now with wings” jokes are flying like mad, but that didn’t cross my mind until other people brought it up.