February 1, 2010 / by James Whatley">James Whatley / Geek, Home Life, iPad / 15 Comments

This is my iPad post

Last week I was approached to write a piece about the iPad. But if you read here regularly, you’ll understand that it’s not something I’d typically do. However, I’m not proclaiming to have uncovered something new or shocking about the product, I just fancied putting a few thoughts down about how I feel about it because someone asked me to.

The original piece I wrote is now up where it should be available here (after said someone changed their mind at the last minute), and is a reasonable assessment of my thoughts on the subject. However, the very idea of writing a piece about Apple (a company about which I have never had any interest in writing about), forced me to look at the brand in a whole new light.

I am, as you may guess, no Apple fan. I have never owned an iPod and I will never own an iPhone. Though the keys I’m currently tapping away at belong to a MacBook Pro, a lot of the posts here were first written in my moleskine (my true creative pallette) then transferred to this page at a later date.

A zealot I am not.

iPods enforce iTunes. iPhones enforce iPods. I don’t like the iProducts, because I like to do things my way. Mine. Not Apple’s.

I digress.

When I was eight years old, my father bought my sister and I the complete Encyclopedia Britannica; appendices, indexes – the lot. This was before the Internet, before the Web, before Wikipedia.

The Encyclopedia Britannica got me through school. I used to sit and read through the pages, sometimes just for fun. ‘Let’s see what I can learn today’ was my daily motto. It was a thing of wonder.

When I look at the iPad, that is what I see.

Not a great big iPhone, nor a simplified MacBook Pro. Just a small boy, spread out on the lounge floor. With his school books on one side and the iPad on the other, he’s laying there, doing his homework.

For that reason and for that reason alone, I think I might get one.

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15 comments on “This is my iPad post”

  1. J says:

    Funnily enough that’s a very similar thought to the one I had. I think I’ll wait a generation or two before investing but it’s coming. Xerox PARC (naturally) had concept pad devices not dissimilar to the ipad a long time ago, it’s been a long wait for the technology to catch up. Have you ever seen the knowledge navigator video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WdS4TscWH8

    Remember that this was made by Apple in 1988.

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  2. Finally somebody gets what Apple are doing! They’re not trying to replace the iPhone, they’re not trying to replace the MacBook…why would they want to kill off profitable arms of their business?

    This is about creating a new market, a market that personally I think is there for the taking. Yes tablets are not new but then neither were mp3 players or smartphones. Like it or not Apple provides an experience when using their products, they may be technically inferior to their competiors products but what you get is a fantastic user experience.

    I love your analogy of a boy looking through encyclopedias as a child, something I also did. For me personally this would mainly be a device used at home. Tweeting or browsing the web in bed, when I can’t be bothered to turn on my computer or type a lot on my phone, and on flights.

    One day when I have children the ipad will be multimedia encyclopedia providing the same enjoyment that I got from those big dusty books when I was a child.

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  3. My time with the iPhone has taught me that multi-touch makes a difference, not just a little difference, but a whole planet sized difference to content *creation*. Yes, that’s right, CREATION.

    As much as it pains me to says this, I can do things on my 3GS that I have no hope of doing on a Symbian, Maemo, Android, etc. This saddens me, because I’d really like to see some other company step up and give Apple a bit of competition in the field of content creation, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon, and the iPad is going to give them an even bigger lead.

    Anyway…

    The multi-touch divide is why I believe that people will chose the iPad over a netbook. That and the fact if the various hands-on video are to believed, it’s freaky fast!

    [Reply]

  4. steve M says:

    Great post – with all the talk of the iPad being for family use, i had totally missed the encyclopedia angle for small people

    I had a similar experience of being fascinated by learning and reading as a child – totally with you on this thought.

    I am also loving this as it means that another Neale Stephenson invention has moved one step closer to reality – The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

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  5. nokiarob says:

    james burland,

    multi-touch makes a difference, not just a little difference, but a whole planet sized difference to content *creation*.

    You mean creating content can be helped by using multi touch? Can you please elaborate on this.

    So far the only benefit I’ve seen to multi touch is zooming in and out of webpages.

    [Reply]

  6. Nokiarob: Music apps that let you press multiple strings/keys/buttons at the same time is a good example.

    [Reply]

  7. Nokiarob: Just thought of another one. Gaming. FPS’ are impossible without multi-touch or a physical keypad of some kind.

    [Reply]

  8. j says:

    what the.iPad is a special one in twitter too..for #itampoon! =D

    [Reply]

  9. Steve says:

    Could care less about the iPad. Took years for me to get an iPod and still do not own an iPhone. Apple overcharges for their products and I’m not a big enough techno-phile to get in early (or at all). Really doesn’t meet any need.

    ” I used to sit and read through the pages, sometimes just for fun.” That made me smile. I did as well, but with the Worldbook Encyclopedia set.

    [Reply]

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