Ten Things You Should Know About the iPad in the Real World

People have said many things about the iPad. It has been called everything from “revolutionary” to “overblown.” It is both. It is most certainly a unique addition to the myriad choices we now have for exchanging digital information, and it has been so well received that it has already made a huge impact on the publishing market. Magazine and book publishers are scrambling to release new products that effectively exploit the many possibilities devices like the iPad open up for an interactive experience between the device, the user, the publisher, the author, advertisers…the possibilities seem endless.

The first thing people say to me when they see my iPad is that they want one. What is interesting about that response is that it comes even before they have had a chance to really look at it. They want it because so many people have told them how cool it is. They like the idea of the iPad almost as much as the device itself.

Which may seem strange in light of the fact that, (a) few people ever say that about a netbook and (b) when the iPad was introduced there was a general feeling that it was likely to be a dismal failure.

Q: Who would want to pay $500-$850 for a big iPhone?
A: Millions of people would.

Apple did a couple of things wrong (no camera and no SD card slot), but it did so many things right that it has established a totally new market for publishers. The screen is gorgeous, the speed is fast enough to make it extremely useful, and the total experience of using the device is very satisfying. Like the iPhone, it’s simple and useful. It just works.

Publishers were very concerned that a backlit screen would not be good enough for reading. ePaper is brighter, much easier to read in high light (absolutely true) and overall a better way of delivering materials we have previously read in printed form (not so true). The spacious and sharp iPad screen delivers an experience far beyond what the current ePaper screens can provide, and the iOS has been designed to give the user control and interactivity that products like the Kindle and Nook simple can’t touch (literally, since the iPad touch screen is a huge part of that experience).

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  • http://NoelWard Noel Ward

    I’d been taking a wait and see approach to the iPad. Not because I was skeptical, but I’ve learned that Apple delays the stuff you really want for a rev or two. And I don’t early adopt.

    But having played with one during a break in a meeting last week, it’s now high on my shopping list. It could replace my MacBook Pro on most of my biz trips, meaning less weight in my bag. And the computer stays safe at home.

    I will still wait for the version with a cam for video Skyping and/or an SD slot or equivalent. I’m hoping for Q1 before the 2011 travel season starts!

  • http://MarkH Mark H

    I bought in right off and have not looked back. I now use my iPad for everything my desktop used to be for. From calendar, email and contacts (all synced with my work’s Exchange server) to books (I’ve read more books since I bought the iPad than I had in the previous 2-years), and now to targeted applications that help me manage my sales calls, keep in touch with my peers, and help me stay informed about the world around me.

    Oh, and did I mention I also host PDF samples, PowerPoint presentations, and demo my websites right from it? Perfect to carry around any exhibition floor, or to take on sales call. Much easier than a laptop and more versatile than a mobile phone.

    Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. But this is version 1. I can’t wait to see what they do with the next release.