Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who will be first to buy the Newton II iPad?

Just asking. Notice how delightfully bitchy Wired is being about the new toy:

10:21 Mark McClusky notes: In the web demo, you could see a broken plugin icon on NYTimes site. Does that mean there’s no Adobe Flash support on iPad?

Updated thoughts: Two Galley Friends immediately likened it to the mostly-forgotten Cube. That's a little tough. But maybe not wrong. My own first-blush reaction was, Hey, they made an iPhone Touch DX!

And isn't that really what the iPad is? At least for now? With nothing more than the iPhone OS, it's a super-slick smart-phone/Kindle/netbook hybrid. Only it lacks a smartphone's portability, the Kindle's readability, and the netbook's power. For me, this last bit is the killer. Unless I'm missing something, you can't word-process on it, except for in-browser applications, like Google Docs. If you could power Word into it--or even the Apple knock-off--it might be versatile enough to carry around on reporting trips. But even then, the iPhone OS's inability to keep multiple applications running at the same time seems goes from being a minor annoyance to a crippling short-coming.

All of this isn't to say that a second-generation iPad might not be killer. If it had: (1) A camera to facilitate video-conferencing; (2) A beefed-up OS enabling it to run multiple applications simultaneously; (3) A real-deal word processing application allowing you to do actual work on it for hours at a stretch--then, I could see dropping $500, or even $650 on it to have as a travel accessory.

But even then, it's a twilight device. Without built-in cellular service, it can't replace your iPhone and I don't think it'll ever replace either your laptop or desktop machine. Do people need a third computer in their lives? A computer that is really only useful for short stretches of time, ie, travel? Maybe. Maybe not.

More thoughts on this tomorrow, but other items of note:

* Amazon breathes a sigh of relief, no? With just an LED screen, the iPad can't compete with the Kindle's ink, and can't be taken as a serious challenge to dedicated eReaders.


trumwill said...

This guy speculated a couple weeks ago that there would be no Adobe Flash support (and thought that would be the correct decision on Apple's part).

Sonny Bunch said...

This is the question I asked over at Conventional Folly: If I already have an iPhone and have no desire for a Kindle-type reading device, what does the iPad offer for me? As far as I can tell, the answer is nothing. I can see the benefits of the Kindle, with its easy-on-the-eyes design, but if I tried to read to anything longer than the average Galley Slaves post on my iphone, my eyes would simply pop out of my head, wave the white flag, and roll away. I can't see a larger screen space making any difference.

So yeah: What, exactly, does the iPad offer me?