So it’s been about a month since I got my iPad and I thought I’d share just a couple thoughts.
Something that instantly surprised me was the size difference. No, I wasn’t surprised that it was bigger, I was surprised what a difference “bigger” makes…to everything. With no more (in fact less now that my iPhone is on iOS4) computing capabilities, the iPad felt more like a full sized computer the moment I used it. I had to keep reminding myself that it was just a big iPod and not a laptop. This size difference extends to most applications. Mail, Safari, Slayer Pinball, they all felt more like what I expect from the laptop. This, I think, could have major implications for the development of mobile educational apps. The obvious advantage is the comfort level for reading content. I’ve tried reading eBooks on my phone and just can’t get into it, but was able to share the included winnie the pooh stories with my son with ease (although he mostly just wanted to play Slayer pinball). So I guess in a nut shell, size does matter.
The second thing I wanted to mention was the lack of development around content creation. This device is a great gatherer. You can surf the net (although a lack of flash, blah blah blah…, and why can’t I have tabs in the browser? I WANT TABS), you can watch videos, sort through emails and photos, read documents, etc etc. For most media, audio, video, documents, etc, this device works great at gathering and displaying. A slick interface and intuitive/fluid gesture controls. If it were 1998, this device would be perfect for passive internet viewing. But it’s 2010 and we really would like to be able to create content for the web now, please. For example trying to post a blog entry is virtually impossible. The filing system doesn’t allow me to access my photo library from a browser. Although I can email or upload most of the media files I have to facebook, twitter, or what-have-you, there’s no solid way to update webpages or create content for the web. We are media creators now, Steve. We’d like our devices to be designed with this in mind. I’m not saying I want to host a website from my phone or run Dreamweaver on my iPad. I simply want to share my content with all the same sites and networks that I am visiting and viewing. There are some third party apps that help with this process although most of the reviews are poor. I can only hope that either developers (independent or apple employed) come up with some good solutions to make this a more usable mobile device for content creators aka everyone-on-the-internet-today. Content creation is key to my daily internet activity as I’m sure it is to yours.