Friday, April 10

Apple fail to excite with the iPad

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The worst kept secret in Silicon Valley was revealed yesterday and caused Internet outages on certain services like Twitter, but that is what Apple does and has done on numerous occasions. The revelation was from Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs unveiling the Apple iPad in California.

Apple has, in the past, revolutionized the music industry with the iPod; and the mobile phone industry with the iPhone. The e-reader and tablet industry were therefore all waiting to see what Apple developed behind closed doors as it would affect them and how users experience the Internet, books and mobile computing.

The Apple iPad is a just bigger version of the iPhone, unfortunately, and contains functionality that already exists in other Apple products i.e. the apps and the familiar look and design of an iPhone.

So what are the specifications of the Apple iPad:

  • 1GHz Apple A4 processor (custom)
  • 0.5″ thick
  • 0.5 pounds
  • 9.7″ Capacitive touchscreen (1024×768)
  • 16-64GB of SSD storage
  • 3G available but not in all iPads
  • 3G iPads are unlocked, have GSM micro SIMs
  • Accelerometer, Compass
  • 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1
  • Runs iPhone apps in window or pixel doubling
  • Hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics

The biggest innovation for me is the Apple A4 processor as Apple has distanced themselves from Intel for manufacturing of CPU’s for their hardware.

I must admit I am extremely disappointed with the iPad, as I naively thought something better would be revealed. The truth is that Apple owners create these high expectations and sometimes Apple does not live up to them.

There are some issues with it already:

  • The name is a disaster and has already seen a fair share of criticism
  • No camera is available so video chat is not possible
  • Limited space — 64GB may be a lot for an iPod, but when you’ve got movies, books and such, it’ll disappear really fast and there is currently no way to increase it
  • Multitasking is still not supported. Only one application can run at a time so having a twitter client open while browsing the Internet, is not possible for example
  • The touch screen is difficult to operate in certain positions
  • The lack of a camera on both sides of the iPad is a concern as makes video calls impossible
  • The inability to view websites that have flash is a  major drawback
  • Lastly, I believe the iPad is not the competitor to netbooks that I hoped it would be

I think a strategy to follow with the Apple iPad is to purchase one for recreational usage or wait for the second generation Apple iPad which will hopefully feature improvements. It is going to be a hard decision to make.

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