Yesterday, I arrived here in the panhandle of Florida for some much needed r & r. When I got in the door, what was waiting for me? It was the Apple iPad. I’m not going to lie. It’s one of the most amazing pieces of innovation that I’ve ever seen.
If you want the traditional review of the iPad, I’d recommend checking out the writings of Josh Topolsky at Engadget or Andy Ihnatko at the Chicago Sun Times. They’ll be able to tell you about how the standard features play out.
For the last 24 hours, I’ve been thinking about what sets the iPad apart and where it’ll sit in the standard routines of my life.
The Web Browser – The Most Important iPad App
When word came out about the iPad, media companies rushed to create all kinds of apps to create experiences that were very similar to reading a physical magazine or newspaper. I played with them all for a few hours. The USA Today and NY Times apps are really neat. You feel like you’re reading the newspaper.
Regardless, I quickly decided that instead of using the app to get my news, I’d just go straight to the website for the news. The news and magazine apps all feel like I’m missing something or I’m not getting all the news that I’d get through the website. So, I just go to the website. I really don’t want a Facebook iPad app, I can just use the website. For GMail, I don’t use the Apple Mail app. I just go to the website.
If you focus on the Web as the platform for getting your content distributed than you’re not restricted to Apple’s app walled garden. You can post whatever you want and you can update whenever you want. You don’t have to worry about making multiple versions of the same app for different platforms. As my boss says, “The Web always wins.”
And… Let me say, the iPad is a sweet computer for surfing the Web. When I’m watching TV, sitting at a coffee shop, or commuting, I can see this as the main way that I’ll surf the Web.
iPad Games — Bigger is really better.
The one thing that I think you’ll absolutely need separate apps for is games. Until HTML 5′s Canvas takes off more, I can’t see games in the browser. So far, I’ve downloaded Flight Control HD and Plants vs Zombies HD. I had played Flight Control already and had just heard a lot about Plants vs zombies.
These games are amazing on the iPad. Flight Control was great on the iPhone but it’s so much better on the iPad. The size of the screen makes all the difference. I played Sim City and Madden 2010 on the iPhone and I’d love to play these both on the iPad.
I’ve never been a HUGE video game player but especially with some of these more casual games, like Plants vs. Zombies, I could see myself getting hooked. You can quickly see how the iPad is an amazing video game player.
A Better Kindle than the Kindle
Prior to the iPad, I had invested a lot of time & energy with the Kindle. I’ve loved my Kindle and read a lot books on it. Initially, I was worried about the iPad. What would happen to all the books that I read? But… Amazon released an app to read Kindle books on the iPad and it’s great. So, there’s nothing to worry about.
With the back light on the iPad, the text and graphics for the book are so much clearer to read than when you read it on the Kindle. I haven’t had enough time to tell you how it feels after you’ve been reading for a while. I’ll let you know. Being in Florida, I’m going to take the iPad to the beach this week to see how it reacts in direct sunlight.
Should You Buy It?
If you’re the kind of person that uses your computer to consume a lot of content and casually produce it, like write some e-mails or a blog post, then I’d highly recommend it. The iPad is great for the things you just doing in daily life… for surfing the web, reading books, reading the newspaper, and watching video.
If you’re a professional writer or a heavy e-mailer then this is not the computer for you. You’re going to want to stick with your MacBook.
Sorry if this post feels kind of fractured. I wanna write more later. Stay tuned…