Yeah it sure created a stir alright, with Fanboys and haters alike! It seems the iPad is certainly dividing camps and Im not really sure why. Yeah I have to admit I was watching the live blogs during the event as I always do. Anticipating something that would be revolutionary. I have to admit though, my expectations were not super high. I have never been interested in a tablet PC. I owned a netbook for 2 months and hated the damn thing with a passion. So I was just watching hoping for something that would allow me to browse the internet while sitting on the couch without unhooking everything from my Macbook Pro in the office.
After seeing it, I thought like alot of people, “its just a big iPod Touch”. But after seeing the iWork demos, I started to think bigger. I still wasnt sold yet. Here are a few of my initial gripes, notice I said initial because after thinking on it a few days, some of them have changed.
- No iSight camera
- Runs the iPhone OS, really?
- $130 upcharge for 3G
- No Flash support
Now after thinking on this for a few days and reading plenty of other gripes about the iPad, I have changed my feelings on at least 2 of these.
First, I thought the idea of running the iPhone OS was just rediculous. How could a tablet be functional without a real operating system? How could I get any work done on it if I cant run Textmate or any of my other applications. But I started to realize, its not meant for work. Its not meant for people like us (developers) to replace our work machines. Steve Jobs stated at the beginning of his presentation that the device was to fit between the iPod and the laptop. Not replace the laptop. And given the fact that there are what, 7 million iPhone and iPod touch owners it just makes sense given the amount of apps out there already.
I think this move will make the iPad more accessible to more people this way. Again, this thing wasnt aimed at being our mobile development platform!
As far as no flash support, I know there are alot of people screaming about that right now and I admit every time I try to visit a flash enabled site on my iPhone Im further annoyed. However, let me make this point. Every time I load a page on the web that uses Flash, the CPU on my Macbook Pro spins up to 80% – 90% until I browse away from the page. I know Im not the only one since I have seen a few others ask about this on Twitter as well. Now if Flash Player does that to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor, whats it going to do to a 1GHz processor? Not to mention the battery power it would consume. I certainly wouldnt want this happening on my iPhone.
Now Im not saying any of that is the reason for lack of Flash support. There are even posts on MacRumors as well as a few others stating that Flash may be enabled on the iPad. None of us will know before 60 days unless Apple publicly states otherwise.
I will buy one. My kids are going crazy for the thing. However I learned a lesson from being an early adopter of the iPhone. I will not spend the big bucks for the high end model. Not yet. I will buy the cheaper one without 3G so we can play games on it and browse the web from the living room. But I suspect that we will see a second version following this one that will have the camera and alot of the other things people are complaining that is missing.
I think as being tech people though, we look at things from a skewed perspective. And thats the biggest reason that the iPad seems lacking at this point.