My Take On The iPad

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.
Cons:

  1. No iSight camera
  2. Runs the iPhone OS, really?
  3. $130 upcharge for 3G
  4. 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.

4 thoughts on “My Take On The iPad”

  1. I agree and disagree.

    Agree because I think more people than I care for actually buy Apple-goodies as if they are the solution to all the worlds’ problems. This will be no different.

    I disagree because I think the lack of support for Flash will annoy a lot of people having bought it. But this will only give them an excuse to buy the newer, better and improved version in a year or so. And boost Apple sales even more – go stockbuyers!

    Regarding Flash and processor-use: on my Windows XP version on my old PC (dual core, Athlon 64, 2GB) it hogged all my processor power only watching YouTube videos. Playing Lego online games was no fun anymore. Changing my OS to Ubuntu didn’t improve the whole situation a lot. In the end I had to buy a new computer (a PC!). Now with a quad core Win7 4GB machine Flash is runing smoothly 😉

  2. Hi Russ!

    [I’ll shoot you an email when I get a chance.]

    I bought a Samsung Q1 UMPC from a co-worker about a year ago.

    It’s too small to work on. I CAN plug in a monitor, keyboard, etc., but then I’m at a desktop again. Typing w/out a keyboard on anything is a PAIN!

    Its too big to carry in your pocket. If you carry a purse or man-bag its not too bad. But if you don’t and don’t want to, then you’re doing a lot of juggling between car keys, computer, and keeping the 2 year old’s peanut butter fingers away.

    The few areas this type of device works are watching video, internet browsing, reading e-books, and some gaming. Try hard enough and you’ll find more, but that’s basically it.

    IMHO, I wouldn’t buy (another) one. For the $, just get a cheap laptop.

    RV

  3. I’ve been watching the iPhone/iPad vs. Flash debate going on within the blogosphere since the iPad announcement came out. There’s been a great deal of conjecture as to why Flash isn’t supported. As anecdotal as the cases here are, I have to give credit to all of them.

    The biggest reason Flash is not included, IMO, is the competition that Flash provides for online gaming, video streaming, and online applications. That coupled with the fact that Steve Jobs is a technical elitist and you got yourself some nice flame wars for years to come.

    All the other technical concerns such as battery life, security, processor power, and bandwidth are still important, but not as important as the content-control factor. This is primarily why you’re not seeing any of these sorts of shenanigans with Google’s Nexus One platform. If Google’s Nexus One can prove that Flash is highly demanded and is also secure, then maybe just maybe Jobs will budge in order to remain competitive. That’s my take on it, anyway.

    I’ve been thinking of how best Apple should handle this. For a while I was leaning on the idea that Flash should be off by default, and then users can download a plug-in via the App Store. But then we go back to square one with all the other concerns for the many, many users who *will* want Flash. At that point I’m sure the **** will hit the fan. Bandwidth not an issue you say? Maybe you’re not using AT&T 3G in the US.

    As for Flash and its bugs, it definitely has its share.

    http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/adobe-error-leaves-flash-flaw-unpatched-16-months-020910
    (check out the blog post date)

  4. The Problem with flash on the mac ox has been worked on since flash 10 was released in 2008. The newest version of flash 10.1 available on labs.adobe.com is supposed to dramatically improve the performance of flash on the os x platform, as well as eleminate the reported crash bug.

    Other smart phones allow flash, using the performance excuse is just that, an excuse to keep a stranglehold on apps. With flash enabled on the iphone, ipad, ipod that stranglehold will be gone, people will be able to get access to great apps without having to go through the app store.

    That is the main reason why flash is not allowed on the mobile platform and not performance.

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