In its current stage, the iPad is a let-down. There is so much more potential in a device like this.
Granted that nothing Steve Jobs could’ve unveiled at Apple’s event last night would’ve matched the hype that was created before the iPad was launched, I still cannot understand why Apple released the iPad in the form it did. As per Steve Jobs, its a device thats supposed to sit somewhere in between the iPhone and your notebook- a device we commonly call a netbook in the PC world.
I agree that the netbook doesn’t necessarily offer the best experience in computing but at least it does allow me to do pretty much anything I can from my notebook. And most of the sluggishness on a netbook is because of the O/S. Try Moblin and you’ll suddenly realize that your netbook feels so much more usable. Coming to the iPad, pardon my language but WTF is with the name. An iPad?
Getting past the name, here are some of the things that I feel Apple could’ve done better. Lets start with the hardware. My biggest gripe is the lack of an SD card slot or a USB port. If iPad is supposed to offer you a casual computing experience than you should have Facebook working on it and one of the most used features of Facebook is uploading your photos to it. Yes, I know Apple is releasing a Digital Camera connectivity whatever but how hard would it have been to put an SD slot to transfer pictures.
Secondly, the lack on a front face camera totally destroys the chances of me video chatting with my kids at home while I’m on a business trip. Lastly, the screen resolution of 1024×768 (786.5k pixels) is just shy of 720p HD capability of 1280×720 (921.5k pixels). That means that you’re going to have to re-encode all your movies separatly for your iMac, your AppleTV, your iPad and your iPhone- not very Apple like.
Now lets get to the software. The Home screen looks like its straight out of the iPhone which works great on a 3.5″ display but looks horribly wasted on a 9.7″ screen. Just four icons placed horizontally with a tiny clock on top is not a UI I’d expect out of Apple. The lack of flash on such a device is also unforgivable- and lets not blame Adobe for it. They have, time and again, shown interest but Apple has conveniently brushed them off. And last but certainly not the least, what about this little thing called multitasking?
After all this bitching, what I’m going to say next will probably make you think of me as a fanboy. I do think the iPad has plenty of potential. I also think that what Apple unveiled yesterday is far from what the iPad is capable of. And I think, other than the hardware deficiencies, everything else will come in a firmware update.
My guess is that the iPhone/iPad OS4.0 is going to be the game changer. Yes, I still believe in Apple. And at $500, I will probably end up getting one.