The iPad has so much buzz that my friend likes to call it the ‘iPhad’. Fair enough, given the mass e-gasm it’s caused… Some people think it’s a rather useless gadget. I’d like to propose a few reasons why it’s not:
- As a music control surface. If you’ve ever lusted over a Jazzmutant Lemur then you’ve thought about what you could do with a nice multitouch surface. While the iPhone had apps that do music control, the size is limiting. Where the iPad goes, music apps are sure to follow.
- As a travel tool. Carrying a bulky laptop will accrue physiotherapy bills pretty fast, which is why a lot of people are switching to small form factor devices. If you only have modest travel computing needs, then an iPad is the perfect inflight companion slash business meeting tool.
- As a better netbook. Let’s face it, netbooks are really crowding out cheap laptops in the shops. With netbook sales on the rise, the time is ripe for variety. Most netbooks are rickety mini-laptops that are a bit weak in the multimedia department… The iPad offers a welcome alternative for those who want a tiny portable with a more media-centric experience.
- As a library. Ever tried reading a laptop while lying on your side in bed? Do you really think you’d finish a whole book on your iPhone? Enough said. An eBook reader should be the size of a book and accommodate all manner of awkward reading postures. While I’d never buy a unitasker for the job (read: Kindle) I’d give the versatile iPad a go.
- As a dayplanner/notebook. That friend you have with a bulky paper dayplanner in her purse? She might like an iPad for that. Taking notes in class? Won’t last long on your iPhone. Sure to be a staple of handbags of the future.
- As a gaming platform. Curiously, I mostly clock my gaming hours on an iPhone despite having access to XBOX and PS3… and I’m not alone. What does this mean about iPad? Expect a further boom in casual gaming culture.
- As the medium solution. For Apple users, the solutions were small and large. You had your laptop/desktop and your telephone/pod. What if you needed something in between? A small version of one, or a big version of the other? Enter iPad. Because sometimes you need a tool that’s juuuuuust right.
And no, I don’t have one yet. But someday I will. 😉
One thought on “The Medium Solution”
Funny, but I was just thinking about iPads on the way home from work and went into the local Apple Store to check them out for the first time. It got me thinking. What I tentatively concluded (apart from the obvious ‘I can’t afford one’) is that in their small, smooth, glassy, beautiful touch-screen perfection… they lack physicality. As a media interaction tool sure, fine. But as a production tool? I’ve tried all sorts of travel or on-the-go miniaturisation tricks these last few years in search of that elusive ‘do it when the inspiration strikes’ moment but… writing is typing or… writing. Music is played. You have to sit down somewhere and spend some time doing it. It isn’t an interstitial activity. For inspiration there are… $1 notepads and glorified dictaphones etc. For synths, the sine-qua-non seems (reputedly) to be the big beast with knobs and dials and boxes of stuff… the iPad conveys this illusion of seamlessness which… hmmm I dunno 😉
P.S. apologies for the overlong comment. It was just, coincidentally, on my mind.