I’m about to express an unpopular opinion, so I’m just going to come out and say it: I really want an iPad.
Yes, yes, I know, early adopters always get screwed, it’s locked down, doesn’t multitask, there’s no camera, there’s no Flash, etc. etc.
Sorry, I just don’t care. It’s thin, it’s light, it’s a goddamned multi-touch tablet that’s going to have awesome third-party app support on launch (not only running legacy iPhone apps, but I bet there are going to be dedicated iPad versions of the best apps, e.g. Tweetie) and with a UX that’s pretty much second to none.
The web-browsing experience on it looks phenomenal. I already browse a lot on my iPhone, and being able to do the same on a screen that size? That’s the stuff tech dreams are made of. I’ve been wanting a device like this for over a decade, and now it’s here I’m not going to get sniffy because it doesn’t have a camera. Can you even imagine taking a photo with an iPad? It’d be horrible!
Honestly, I can see something like the iPad quickly becoming my go-to computing device. Need to look something up on Wikipedia? Want to book some train tickets? Quickly checking email? Want to show a friend a YouTube video? You bet you’ll be reaching for an iPad rather than trudging to a desktop or even a laptop computer. It’ll also be great for stuff like iPlayer, Facebook, Twitter… The experience on offer here is already worth the price of entry, no matter what features they’ll put in the second gen.
The one thing that seems like a missed opportunity with the iPad is that even if you get the 3G version, which presumably has all necessary radio-gubbins, it doesn’t support making phone calls or sending SMS messages.
Now, I can almost understand the justification for not supporting phone calls; there’s a real risk of looking somewhat like a 21st Century Trigger-Happy TV sketch, holding a giant iPhone up to your ear.
That problem could be entirely avoided though if it was mandatory to use some kind of hands-free kit to make calls.
The perfect scenario would be Bluetooth; your iPad could sit in your bag, month-long standby life only somewhat curtailed by being connected permanently to a phone network with the Bluetooth radio powered up. All the necessary interaction with the iPad required to make and receive calls could be made wirelessly via a Bluetooth headset. Heck, it would finally validate the existence of the bloody things.
Then I wouldn’t need an iPhone any more; the only time I’d miss it would be those times when I really need portability, like looking at a map while walking about on foot – mostly using iPhone apps while walking is a bad idea anyway (not that’s stopped me walking and tweeting, I might add). This is entirely counteracted by the much better battery life and superior usability afforded by the larger screen.
It seems like such a good idea I’m surprised they haven’t done it.