There’s a ton of interesting writing about the iPad floating around that you may have already seen.
Steven Frank writes about Old World and New World computing, and explains that the exemplars of the new world are the iPhone and the iPad (and their competitors from other companies). I agree. The first thing I thought when I saw the iPad was that it would be the perfect device for my wife. She uses her computer to read email, surf the Web, and do some basic productivity stuff. She hates laptops, and she’s not a fan of the complexity of desktop computer operating systems. She’s ready for New World computing. (I, on the other hand, want a 27″ iMac and the opportunity to steal the iPad when she’s not looking.) Steven’s piece is really great, full of astute observations. You should read it.
Alex Payne is disturbed by the iPad because he sees (as I do) that it is the beginning of the end of computers for people who tinker.
Adam Pash says that forcing people to choose between open and user friendly creates a false dichotomy. This is one of those things that I wish were true, but that I’m not sure actually is true.
Fraser Speirs posts the positive take:
If the iPad and its successor devices free these people to focus on what they do best, it will dramatically change people’s perceptions of computing from something to fear to something to engage enthusiastically with. I find it hard to believe that the loss of background processing isn’t a price worth paying to have a computer that isn’t frightening anymore.
If you’re interested in the iPad itself rather than its implications for the future of computing, you have plenty of options. Stephen Fry is incredibly impressed. John Gruber talks about how fast it is and the chip Apple has built to make it so fast. He posted more hands on details yesterday. Usability expert Luke Wroblewski talks about the new user interface interactions introduced in the iPad presentation.
And finally, I agree with Roger Ebert — they should have called it the iTab.
My take on the long term implications of the iPad is here.
January 30, 2010 at 1:18 am
It’s inevitable that they go away — large corporations will demand it, essentially — but I am really, really going to miss general-purpose computers.
It’s only an anomaly that they exist at all, and now they are doomed, and much freedom and culture will be lost that way, and very little gained in return.
January 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm
In my mind, the iPad makes jumping to a 27-inch iMac feasible as a developer. There are still some needs filled only with a laptop, but they’re fewer.
January 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm
heh, iPad makes me think of “iPod” and “ThinkPad”
iTab makes me think… “People still drink Tab??”
January 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm
The iPad is just a new kind of peripheral. I seriously doubt that the iPad will ever replace a laptop.
February 4, 2010 at 9:49 am
Old World/New world is a misnomer for the described phenomenon. It’s basically simply the blowback to the “convergence” hype from about a decade ago.
Back then everybody was talking about how all kinds of different devices are being integrated with each other and how we’ll have fewer and fewer devices that will be capable of doing more and more. But neither did we end up with one appliance for everything, nor we will we end up with a world where we only have special purpose appliance and no general purpose computers.
Also apple is hardly the company that started or popularized this or that trend, it’s just that people like to philosophize more about the things apple does (however mundane they may or may not be). Look at the xbox(360) which took general purpose hard- and software (pc+win), locked it down and tailored it to gaming. The result was a very successful walled garden/closed platform, and while it (and the other consoles) certainly hurt gaming on the pc, it didn’t hurt the general purpose pc itself. And the same will go for tablets/readers/pads etc.: they will certainly be responsible for certain activities moving away from the general purpose pc to that niche (like reading, casual short term online “surfing”, etc.) but the general purpose pc will always be around, and it will always have a larger total user base than any special purpose device.