The iPad is still not much more than pages on Apple's web site, but already some folks are telling us that it's unimportant, a bust, a no-show, insufficient, ill-conceived and all that. That some of those nay-sayers cast similar barbs at the iPhone could be amusing, but I wouldn't argue against most of the complaints: they are absolutely correct that Apple's new device has warts.
And they are absolutely wrong that it will be a failure.
The iPad is a game changer. The people carping about its defects are missing the bigger picture - devices like this will ultimately change the way we use our computers.
Consider the form factor for a moment. No, the iPad doesn't roll up to fit in your pocket (though some future device like this might). But at 9.6 inches diagonal and with 720p resolution, it is big enough and sharp enough for pictures, TV and movies and, of course, books. Yeah, yeah, E-ink is "better" for books, but that misses the big picture - the iPad has books AND everything else.
It also has apps. The existing 140,000 iPhone apps and many more to come that will take advantage of the larger screen real estate. Among those apps are a few that implement some very important three letter acronyms: RDP, VNC and SSH.
Those three will make the iPad the perfect choice for technology workers. Set your iPad in its keyboard dock and connect to the company server. But what most everyone is missing is that you'll probably end up using this the same way at home. You may very well have a Mac or a Windows machine packed with ram and disk storage and you may be accustomed now to sitting down at its keyboard. One day you'll realize that you can use the iPad as a client. Maybe at first you only use it that way now and then - when you are sitting on the couch or enjoying your patio or porch. But as you realize how convenient that is, you might start doing it more and more.
By that time, the iPad will have probably insinuated itself into your life in other ways. You'll probably be using it to control your TV and associated devices - remote controls are horridly primitive, aren't they? You'll have started using Google Voice and Gizmo and you may be wondering if you still need a cell phone at all. The iPad has become your constant companion - you put it down on your bedside table before you nod off to sleep and it wakes you up in the morning. You may have even fumbled for it in the wee hours of the morning to record some Very Important Thought that raised you from your dreams.
Of course you use if for your calendar, your music, your movies, your books, probably your newspaper. It's your photo album, your email client, your gaming console, your web browser, your music, your journal, your spreadsheets, your private movie theatre, your work.. your life.
It's not perfect. There are things you want: maybe a camera, maybe other things. Those will come, but you have so much now that those gripes seem almost unimportant.
Not perfect, but it IS magical. It IS a game changer. Microsoft already hates it and will be spreading all the negative FUD it can. Cell phone makers might join in as people start switching to Google and Gizmo. There will people who insist they don't need it, don't want it. They'll be lying to themselves.
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