Apple iPad… I just don’t get it…


I’ve been using a Mac for a while now and I’m still waiting for it to change my life. It’s no different for me than any Windows or Linux box. Just a box to run a browser and SSH sessions from. The only thing that distinguishes it from the other stuff out there is the box is really pretty. The content is no big deal. I don’t find it easier or harder to use than anything else. Tastes vary, but the OS is not particularly prettier or uglier than anything else I’ve used. Added to that, I believe the iPhone is just another smart phone, not a lifestyle. Now you know where I stand, here are my first impressions of the iPad.

The iPad looks like a really nice way to view information, but I just don’t see how it fits into my life. Of course my lack of understanding is explained by this quote from the advertising blurb.

“Exceeds your ability to understand”

I see. I’m just not clever enough to understand that I need it. I better not announce to the world that I don’t understand or I’ll prove I’m stupid. Isn’t that like The Emporer’s New Clothes? Well I for one don’t understand…

Here are some of the things I’m confused about:

  • No phone functionality? So I have to carry my phone and this around, but if I have an iPhone I can do most of this stuff anyway (but with a smaller screen), so what’s the point of having both?
  • No keyboard? I just don’t see it as practical to do any of the non-work stuff I do without a real keyboard. Of course I’ve not tried this screen, but typing on touch screens sucks. I need physical feedback to type at any speed. If I have to use a separate keyboard to feel comfortable, what’s the point? If you are predominantly a viewer of information, fine, but if you have to produce anything I can’t see this working.
  • No lid? How long is that screen going to stay unscratched? I can see those who have Compulsive iPhone Polishing Disorder going mad with this thing. Of course it’s great for the manufacturers of accessories who will no doubt produce a multitude of covers and lids.

So what does it do well?

  • It looks really neat for viewing existing content. Browsing, reading, casually information retrieval.
  • If you are a big traveller, it looks like an improvement over the Kindle for reading.
  • For travellers also, it beats watching films on an iPhone, but I’m not sure it is better than a laptop. Why? Well a laptop is free standing on the fold down table. I’ve got to hold this thing or rest it against something and risk dropping it if I fall asleep it’s going to annoy me. I see an opportunity for a iPad stand for plane tables. πŸ™‚

My biggest stumbling block is many people I know would still need a phone and laptop if they bought an iPad, so what’s the point?

I’m torn between thinking it is cool and wanting one, but ultimately knowing it is pointless. I would consider having one in the living room, lying around so I can casually look something up on the net, or quickly check my emails, but that’s about it. The problem is it’s not as portable as a phone and not as flexible as a laptop. This middle ground always confuses me. I’m sure this will be a natural fit for some people, and this years accessory for others, but I just don’t get it…



Update: This is funny Next from Apple: The Pocket iPad.

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

29 thoughts on “Apple iPad… I just don’t get it…”

  1. I’ve been using a Mac for a while now and I’m still waiting for it to change my life. It’s no different for me than any Windows or Linux box.

    In a sense, you’ve answered your own question. You overpaid for a computer because you were taken in by Apple’s marketing machine.

    Many more will shell out for an iPad (which sounds like a sanitary towel to me) for the same reason.

  2. I think this device can be good for Black Berry lovers who needs a decent browser but who hates touchscreen keyboards.

    The fiasco was Steve Jobs’s decision to start presentation and spent 1/4 of the presentation on the ability to change the background in 2010 on a device with 500$ min price tag. That was like a joke.

    If they sort multitasking and sell their dock with a decent price for watching movies this device can be affordable

    For me ? They need to release itunes for linux but I don’t think they will do that in near future.

  3. I think you nailed it. There’s nothing to see here, let’s move on. Even if it did do phone functionality, it would be too big to hold up to your ear, so you would either have to have a bluetooth headset or speaker phone, both options stink.

  4. If you are a big traveller, it looks like an improvement over the Kindle for reading.

    I don’t agree with this; big improvement over the iPhone/iTouch, maybe, but not over an e-ink reader.

    I find it much easier to read off of paper than I do off of a computer/backlit screen, and e-ink readers are more similar to reading off paper than (I imagine) the iPad would be…

  5. Andy:

    I don’t think Macs are overpriced if you buy them at the right time. If you get them just as new specs are announced they are similar priced to Dell. Mine was actually cheaper than the equivalent spec Dell laptop.

    If you buy them a few months after the specs change, then they are overpriced compared to the spec you get from Dell.

    It’s just a timing issue. πŸ™‚



  6. > No phone functionality
    What a great image that is.
    Holding the ipad up to your ear like Dom Joly/Trigger Happy TV.

    I want one just so I can do that standing on train holding up the iPad to my ear. Priceless.

  7. > I’ve got to hold this thing or rest it against something

    One of those things which keeps open cookery books – perfect.

    Or maybe a hand crafted pretentious looking artist’s easle?

  8. I was thinking more of one of those stands with arms and legs to make your iPad into a little person that can be your best friend. πŸ™‚



  9. I really want to like it but I just don’t.

    I dont see how this is any progression on the 1st Gen iPod Touch. Sure its quicker (but still cant multitask) and bigger, but wheres the innovation? New gestures to maximise the screen real estate etc??

    If it had been introduced 3 years ago im sure I would have brought one. But now, meh!

    I guess the iPhone has set high standards.


  10. I think you compare the ipad too much with an regular pc. Its not for working or installing a database. πŸ˜‰ I think it’s more like a couch toy. Still no flash is a killer for me besides the fact I don’t need a couch toy πŸ˜‰ about the screen – I don’t think you can scratch the screen without putting some serious effort into it – I have a 3G for almost a year now and it doesn’t have any scratches at all.

  11. cmi: I wasn’t expecting it to do PC stuff like Oracle installations.

    As for couch toy, I can see that, but functionally it’s worse than most netbooks. Of course the interaction is cool, but what you actually achieve with it is not special…

    I’ve been reading some press articles today and it seems most of the press feel the same way. It looks like most of the press think Apple dropped the ball with this product.



  12. Biggest thing I thought of was video calls – still waiting for that to make it big. This would be the perfect device – but no camera whatsoever!

  13. Completely Agree…

    Its nothing more than mix of stretched iPhone and a new Tablet pc (after the failed attempts by other companies). Neither it replaces a phone nor a laptop. So a fun device it is. Usability wise, i have serious doubts that where it would fit ? But then its Apple…and an apple sells…to keep the doctor away πŸ˜€ .

  14. I’m with you Tim… I just don’t get it.

    Call me old fashioned, but if I wanted to watch a film, then I’d like to be able to put a DVD/BluRay into a drive, which this thing doesn’t have, rather than have to pay for it again and wait hours for it to download from iTunes.

    I really think I must be missing something, but I’m struggling to see what !



  15. I dont think its about the hardware or being able to do any one thing like watch a film. I think its about the software and evolving content.

    I think it will change content more so than anything else and thats what will drive this.

    The newspaper app with embedded video in it would be a prime example. You could see this translate in to many things like student text books with visual aids etc.

    Or watching sport but being able to call up stats etc on a team.

    I know all of this is can be done in “normal” web pages on “normal” computers, but it generally isnt. I guess thats the whole in the market theyre aiming for as this hardware (and their content delivery system) will drive it.

  16. So long as the video isn’t a flash-player, since Flash is not supported.

    I don’t think you can divorce the software from the hardware, since the device needs to be multi-functional to get people to buy it. Much of the software experience look s like the iPhone, which just looks gimmicky to me. I don’t see that it adds value, but makes transitions look pretty.

    I don’t need touch screens and gestures on a laptop or netbook, so that sort of thing looks kinda gimmicky. Fingers aren’t as accurate as a mouse pointer, so for somethings the touchscreen looks a little annoying, like navigating web pages.



  17. It doesn’t support multitasking and neither its cousin Iphone, no flash support, too big to hold it for a longer time even for reading purpose! iPad or iPodium , whatever it may be, it just proves to be another device from Apple which created much fuss than it can actually deliver. And I did watch the keynote of Steve Jobs as well. I in fact, didn’t notice him to be as aggressive talking about it/demoing it as he did with iphone/pod. But for some, apple is apple and anything from it is a god-send piece of work πŸ™‚ .


  18. As much of a fan of Apple products as I am since I own an iPhone, iPod and two Macbooks, I am not feeling the love for the new iPad. Maybe if it was half the price and had more features like a Netbook PC than would be worthwhile. However, as a power DBA and user, I need more power and features for my hard earned dollars.

  19. As an Apple fan, I’m not feeling the iPad love either. I have an iPhone and an iMac and an iPod. I don’t know what I’m supposed to DO with an iPad that I can’t do with those other devices. Until it can run Adobe Creative Suite, I can use a pen to draw, and it can take the place of a MacBook, I’m thinking it’s useless to me…

  20. While I am no Apple fan, I do see several really nice uses for this device. A small, light, full multimedia device I can take anywhere? You betcha!

  21. I purchased it for my 3 year daughter. And I sometimes read books/newspapers on it. But it’s really cool thing to have specially for reading and playing chess. After all u cant keep ur laptop on chest and read.

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