Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad: Not interested

So, it turns out it was just a giant iPhone after all.

Well, not quite. It's more like a giant tarted up iPod touch (since you can't call anyone on it) that can have 3G data support (from AT&T, for a bunch of $ every month), if you cough up extra up front for 3G support that is. The maxed out iPad is US$830, although a geek might get by with a 32 GB $730 version. It has no real functional USB port (and the camera adapter doesn't count), it doesn't support Flash (which isn't completely surprising given its Apple-owned PA Semi SoC heritage, plus the fact that Apple despises Flash), and it doesn't even have a front-facing camera (or any other camera for that matter).

On the plus side, it can run iWork. I like Keynote and use it all the time, because I create Keynote presentations myself for own use on my own Macs when I need to present them, so the iPad would work there. However, as any enterprise employee will tell you, iWork's Pages just doesn't cut it for a world based on Word. At least the iPad's external keyboard support is nice.

Up until the launch, I just couldn't figure out what amazing features and/or content Apple could have added to the iPad to make it stand out in the established iPhone & laptop (or even netbook) world. It looks like Apple hasn't quite figured it out yet either. Maybe more will come with time, but so far I'm just not that interested.

If anything, I'm more interested in what the iPad experiment will mean for my current and future iPhones. I'd like to see iPhone computing and media capabilities expand sooner rather than later, and external keyboard support would be very nice too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Impending Mac tablet: What is it?

Impending Mac tablet: What is it? Hell if I know.

Is it just a big iPhone? If so, then it would be too big to be a truly functional iPhone. It has to be more than that.

Is it just a touchscreen keyboard-less laptop? If so, then it would be a pretty limited laptop. It has to be more than that.

Is it just an in-between machine? If so, it could do neither well, requiring an iTablet owner to own all three. It has to be more than that.

I think one thing we should do, however, is to stop focusing on the hardware. What an iSlate really needs to get off the ground is proper media connectivity and content, all accessed through an intuitive OS. The hard part is getting all the publishing and media companies on board, along with a sleek content delivery system, but Jobs probably has a lot of that wrapped up into a nice easy to use iTunes package already. How encompassing will that "a lot" be, and will it be enough? We shall see tomorrow... and in the months and years following. The iPad could end up being as important as the iPhone, or it could end up being as irrelevant as AppleTV.

The other part of all of this I personally wonder about is whether or not all that media goodness will be available to us multitouch MacBook and MacBook Pro owners. I'm not really holding out a lot of hope there, but maybe Apple will surprise us there too.