While taking the Paris Metro yesterday on my way home from Bruxelles, I noticed there were adverts for the just released Apple iPad everywhere, and I fully expect to see the same on Tuesday while taking the Tubes in London.
I don’t believe it!
Told you that Jobs would get you in the end.
It is a good product though Nick, so let us all know how you get on with it over the next few weeks. Make sure that you get the Papers application installed if you have a lot of PDFs, I have it on my Macbook Pro and don’t know how I ever managed without it.
Well after much deliberation, and physically checking out the Archos and the iPad, I decided to buy the iPad. I have to say I’m very impressed with the product so far, as it was a choice between it and the Kindle/Archos for e-book reading. The whole Apple lock in with iTunes really annoys me, but I’m prepared to put with that for the many benefits it brings. I fully suspect that by the end of this year there will be many Android tablets which will offer more, but I have waited long enough.
As I travel a hell of a lot, this is great for me, and saves me taking my laptop everywhere, but I do think that for some people the price/usefulness ratio might not be there. It’s early days yet, but so far so good.
Interesting to hear of your experiences. I am sure if I ever got my hands on one I will also be impressed. I am used to installing what I want on my PC when I want to. Something Apple seems to take offence at. I just don’t like being locked in to something. Perhaps I have been using OpenSource for too long!
In the next year or so, we will see Meego, Linux and Android featuring on tablets. There is going to be some really awful ones and some very special ones. I want to wait until I really need one and there is a good choice to be had.
For me, a tablet is a way of browsing the Internet and reading PDF’s. I would not consider one for work unless the interface was very special. The traditional WIMP interface (Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer) is too fiddly to use on such a small screen. Using your fingers to edit or prepare documents is too long winded. Each device to it’s own function. A PC with a large screen is great for technical or graphical work, not something a small screen is suited to.
I had the opportunity to make full use of an iPad today when a colleague brought one into the office.
Many of the applications he had installed were very usable and intuitive, and quickly dispelled any concerns that the device was just a gimmick.
The video applications, both over 3G and from the internal storage were quick to start and smooth during playback and scrubbing.
Most impressive were the e-books and ‘Papers’ applications which were the closest I have seen to a paper book, with turning pages, ability to drag and move content with your finger, and real time search facilities. Like you we rely on an extensive portfolio of documents and PDFs for our research and technical reference, so these features looked particularly useful.
The email client was easy to use, very similar to the iPhone but with a much larger and easier to use keyboard. The iPhone felt incredibly cramped afterwards.
However I feel that the two main drawbacks are a) the price at around £800 with accessories, and b) the inability to connect a pointing device to the iPad for precision control, such as when preparing technical diagrams.
In summary I can see it being a very influential and formative device; an indicator of where technology is going and where others should follow, very similar to the first iPhones. However it’s just not quite there yet and I would agree with Bob’s observation that the next few years will certainly be interesting times in this area of the market.
I agree Bob, I think the market is going to get more complex with more offerings appearing on a daily basis. There are at least two giants about to launch their versions of the Tablet future with HP using Palm WebOS, and Intel/Nokia having just launched Meego. There are also very strong rumours that Rim(Blackberry) are going to have an offering.
Open source is at the heart of all of these, so it will be very interesting.
The Ipad and related (iPhone and Itouch) are really nice products but I can’t really see what all the fuss is all about. It’s like a step back 5 years, we have proprietary technology that is owned/control and marketed by Apple. It has it’s uses but does really have a future?
There are more and more tablets coming out and I can see in the next 5 years the way we use computers is going to change. Windows 7 on Tablets seems like overkill but the way forward may be Open Source.
Ubuntu and remix editions look to be the best OS to use. Chrome OS should be interesting as well as the Nokia/Intel mix - Meego.
It’s going to take a few years for the market to settle down but we are in for some interesting times.