Trying to decide if the iPad is a deal killer. It doesn’t run Silverlight, Flash, or Java. (Guess who is completing their latest app in Java?)
As might be expected from an Apple blog, the in-depth review of the iPad on Apple Insider is mostly positive, but it also catalogues the problems, omissions and quirks.
iPad seems exciting to the progressive fringe of technical enthusiasts, and confusing and limited to those who hoped to just pack their PC and all if its 1990’s legacy into a screen and just continue dealing with the problems that are at least familiar to them: malicious viruses and spyware; file system spelunking with its potential for unsaved data loss; phone-home authorization of their operating system, and so on.
If Apple had faced any real competition to the iPod, it might be easier to imagine that the iPhone and even the iPad might also meet a credible match within a year or two of their release. Instead, it appears that Apple has defined itself a high end market that will force competitors to work a lot harder in their efforts to deliver similar technology products.
If you have problems with a limited feature set, you’re going to hate iPad. It scrapes the difficult edges off everything derived from the desktop. Pages’ footnotes and end notes are lost, tracked changes are all accepted and lost, 3D charts are reduced to 2D, Keynote’s presenter notes and embedded audio files are stripped, and so on.
What comes out in the review is the relativeness uniqueness of the iPad packaging… the combination of size, the touchscreen, and the long battery life, and the relatively low price; not much more than the first iPods cost. Consider that the iPod and iPhone are still way ahead in features, design, and buzz over any other competitors, I would predict that the iPad might enjoy a similar niche-defining spot.
What I’m trying to figure out is if the iPad serve as a general-purpose platform for touch-screen applications. We bought a 3″x5″ touch screen for $375 a few years back, that still requires a connection to an actual computer, and is connects with odd cables and software drivers to a Windows computer. An iPad at $499, that includes all of the processing necessary for displaying and interpreting gestures and “pushes”, would seem to be a bargain by comparison, as long as it can be programmed by mere mortals.