iPad – part of the journey not the destination

I was fortunate to be 1 of the 6 and today received my most anticipated tech toy of the year (so far).

I think the iPad is a game changer. This article from Kleiner Perkins provides a good summary of why.

In the 10 hours of my love affair I have some thoughts.

  1. No one needs an iPad.  It doesn’t do anything that other devices, or a collection of other devices, can do. But for a geek like myself I love it.
  2. I won’t read for pleasure on it, but I may pull down some reference books to skim through.  An eBook is not the same as a paperback.
  3. I don’t need my iPod touch anymore, other than I can plug it in the car.  On a plane I’d use the iPad.
  4. I still use a BlackBerry (my last one), but it would be confusing having an iPhone and an iPad. Everything would be doubled up.
  5. The iPad is a magical device.  It is the best way to read the web and consume information. I’ll probably get a 3G one when they come out.
  6. I’m in two minds as to installed apps versus web apps.  Both are great but Googles web based GMail and Reader show the power of HTML5 web apps with no install.  For the iPod features (music, photos etc) the iPad rocks but I also think the upcoming Chrome based NetBooks that run only web apps may be able to give a fantastic experience. I couldn’t find a good iPad sized RSS reader and instead found Google reader (HTML5) worked great – perhaps even faster and better than an installed app. (I’m sure they’ll give it a makeover like GMail with iPad widgets soon and it will be even better)  These new devices demonstrate clearly the power of SaaS. It is magical to have the web in your hand.
  7. Exchange support is excellent.  I’ve been doing work on my iPad all afternoon.
  8. The keyboard is great. I can type pretty quick on it.

If you are a geek.  Get one.

While I think the iPad is a hugely important device in the history of computing I don’t think the iPad is the final answer.  The technologies and approach have lifted the game for everyone.  I hope a future MacBook Air will be a convertible that blends the best of a laptop with the best of the iPad.  The iPad currently is part iPod, phone and NetBook. But it’s not a viable one device as it is too large for a phone.  Maybe the iPhone and a separate NetBook that tethers to the iPhone is the answer.

I will probably get a 3G one, but individuals are going to get hit with multiple data accounts. It would be a great if the iPad could tether through your 3G phone. Another alternative is a Mifi (not yet here for XT) or CradlePoint which does allow an XT data stick to be plugged in and creates a shared wifi connection.

As a demonstration of the power of NetBooks I’m completely sold. The iPad is the first instant on, web computer I’ve used. The future of web applications looks very bright as these stunning connected devices take off.

21 Comments

Hugh
April 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Hi Rod – when you say Exchange support is excellent… does that mean better than the current iPhone? For example does replying or forwarding from the iPad show as such in your email Client inbox (and not just shown as ‘read’).

Rod Drury
April 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Sending emails from the iPad show up on my Mac as sent items. Seems like I can flip between Mail.app, iPad and BlackBerry and it’s all in sync.

Forwarding from the iPad puts a forwarded icon on the iPad but not in Mail.app. Also the conversation link isn’t maintained. Probably the same as iPhone.

Jason
April 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I toogot to use an iPad very briefly today. I can see that for watching videos and some motion sensor type games it will be great. Keynote looks good. I’d guess some iPhone style apps will need more than a 2x zoom to look & work well on iPad but that will come.

Luvkily i’ll be in SF at end of month when the 3G model gets released so hoping it can share my mobile account by then or soon after.

It is a giant leap in the right direction. Thanks to iTouch & iPhone even tho new it will get fast uptake. I dont need another camera or phone but would be nice to do skype video on it if it had a cam or i can connect one.

Adrian Pearson
April 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Consumption v Production – personally I think this is another major milestone in a fundamental forking of device technology. In future we will have devices that are magical for consuming stuff like the iPad and devices that are useful for producing stuff, like laptops.

If you want to produce – like doing your accounting with Xero, or writing a document, you are like to sit at your desk with your laptop or desktop.

If you want to consume, like browse the web, or watch a movie, you will lounge on your sofa with your iPad.

Devices will have difference uses but they will be glued together by the Internet.

Kimball Fink-Jensen
April 4, 2010 at 1:42 am

Just a brief note to give a big tick to mifi (I’m on Vodafone). With that i don’t need my 3G card anymore and can now get my BlackBerry + iPod touch + laptop dancing a merry tune anywhere. Each has its own best features but it’s the mifi with just one data account that brings it all together. iPad for touch (although it will still be in my pocket for immediate app needs) and my gadget life will be complete – well, until the next one comes along …

accountants in worcester
April 4, 2010 at 2:47 am

Nice product because it was a gadget that we need to carry all day long. It has lot of advantage for me if i had that .

Dermott Renner
April 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

Potential iPad users should be aware that your current phone sim card will not fit in the 3G iPad. It will take a much smaller sim card and you will need a new account with the Telco.

Rod, you say the iPad is a game changer but no one needs one. Isn’t that a contradictory statement? There will be lots of touch screen devices released this year and I think devices like the HP Slate will get traction because it will give users more flexability around being able to install an app of their choosing (i.e. office 2010) or use web based applications, or just sit on the couch and browse the Internet.

Once Apple moves to multi-tasking (and let us hope that Steve’s view of this is everyone else’s) it will increase the iPad uptake.

Rod Drury
April 4, 2010 at 10:25 am

For goodness sake Dermott the whole point of the post was that the iPad is not the final product but moves us towards a new type of computing.

You need to read this: http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2010/04/04/ipad-and-the-failings-of-dell-hp-and-microsoft/

Slate may have a short battery life and burn your leg because of the cpu chosen. But you may be right. But so far the score is 450,000 to 0.

If you just want to sit on the couch and surf, the iPad is great for that.

Multi-tasking announced this morning for US Fall. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20002049-37.html?tag=newsLeadStoriesArea.1

GarethW
April 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Interesting comment re the confusion of having both an iPhone and an iPad. I read a similar sentiment in one of the early reviews (Engadget maybe?) that suggested they could do with a much simpler phone once they have a 3G iPad.
Perhaps the smart phone trajectory will now head downwards to a somewhat simpler “what are the core things I need to do on the move” approach rather than “we have to do everything you can possibly ever think of ever” approach…

Will
April 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm

“sit on the couch and surf”, as long as you don’t want to view a page with Flash on it, and you can connect to your wifi which every other device connects to OK.

Rod Drury
April 4, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I’m not missing Flash. But after a couple of days I’ve left my mobile behind a few times. I think I could have a less featured phone now. Definitely would like to have an iPad that is always connected. Also would be great to have a case/stand, which should be available by the end of the month.

Rod Drury
April 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Just had play with iPhone OS v4. Wow! Folders work great and the multi-tasking model makes the experience feel a lot faster and more natural. the iPhone/iPad platform is really moving ahead. Looking forward to seeing the new hardware.

Aaron Green
April 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Great article Rod, I got my iPad the other day and agree with everything you’ve posted. The experience is truly “magical”. Xero looks awesome on it and I see no reason for a “iPad Xero App” as such because it looks and works so well in the browser – its not needed (same almost applies to FaceBook actually – I know they don’t have an iPad app out yet but do they really need to? – perhaps they just need to make the necessary subtle changes to the browser version?). I’ve written some more stuff about iPad over at our blog http://previewstreamtime.com/blog/?p=682 in that article I’m talking more on the UI specifics. I’m getting one for all our staff just so they can immerse themselves in the UI experience. Its a device that inspires me and challenges us all to build truly remarkable applications that people love. My kids love this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gew68Qj5kxw – Aaron.

Tim
July 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Hi Rod, you say you’re not missing Flash, but Xero relies on Flash for all it’s fantastic graphs! Would you not love to see Flash on the iPad, or do you think your developers are smart enough to do everything Xero does in Flash in HTML5?
Cheers,

Tim
July 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Ignore my last comment Rod – I have just read Craig Walker’s post and it does seem the plan is to do all the graphs in HTML. Good stuff. I can see how awkward it is dealing with cross platform/cross browser compatibility when you can’t assume Flash is/can be installed!

Simon Andrew
December 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Can someone help me please……I have an iPad for the purpose of mobile invoicing from xero accounting system……I have access to xero by m.xero, however it’s only giving me a basic platform….. Is there a way that I Can raise an invoice from the iPad using xero?………thanks

Gary Turner
December 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Hi Simon, you can use the full Xero app on an iPad, for now the only thing you’ll miss are the Flash based charts, but all the standard functionality including raising invoices is there. I use it happily on my iPad.

Simon Andrew
December 12, 2010 at 7:22 am

Thanks Gary
Without being a pain, can you guide in the direction o where to find the app please…..
Thanks Simon

Gary Turner
December 12, 2010 at 7:33 am

Hi Simon, sorry for not being clearer – what I meant was you can just use regular Xero, we don’t have a native Apple iOS app on the AppStore.

Regular Xero at https://go.xero.com will work just fine on an iPad (apart from charts for now).

Simon Andrew
December 12, 2010 at 7:50 am

Thanks Gary
Just tried it and works perfectly…….thankyou very much for your help
Simon

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