IPAD = IFAIL?

iPad = iFail?
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IPAD = IFAIL?



04 Thursday 04th February 2010

 For months the online rumour mill has been in overdrive as speculations surrounding Apple’s latest gadget circulated the globe. And then at 6pm on Wednesday the 27th January, the wait was finally over as Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched the iPad in San Francisco, California amid a veritable media circus.

The online community reacted almost instantaneously to the unveiling, with established critics and Joe Bloggers all passing judgement on Apple’s latest creation. Most were quick to focus on what was lacking from the product instead of what it can do. And unfortunately for Apple, some of the key features that are missing are quite significant – the fact that it does not support Adobe Flash is a as such a large proportion of websites use the software. Other downsides include the lack of multitasking. Want to listen to ACDC while you edit your photos? Tough luck. Also, it doesn’t have a camera, has no USB port the name makes you think of a feminine hygiene product.

On the plus side the iPad supports all 140,000 existing App Store apps and as with all of Apple’s products the machine is slick to use and great to look at. The unquestionable simplicity of the device, which only has one “home” button, otherwise allowing the user to do everything via the touchscreen, makes it an amazing piece of technology and design. But the question that I keep asking myself is what market is it going to revolutionise? Unlike the iPod and the iPhone the answer is not so clear-cut. Apple claim they are aiming to bridge the gap between increasingly popular smartphones such as the Blackberry and the household computer, but I’m not convinced that the supposed void between them is sufficiently great to warrant the purchase of another mid-price gadget.

Saying that, I think it is worth noting that this is clearly the first draft of the iPad. As with both the iPod and iPhone, updates to both the hardware and software are undoubtedly in the pipeline that will improve the product’s abilities. Unsurprisingly, discussions are already taking place of what will come next.

Despite the widespread criticisms, I’m inclined to sit on the fence and reserve judgement until the iPad has been on sale for a while and there have been a few updates, because let’s face it, having revolutionised the portable music and mobile phone markets in one fowl swoop, we should at least give the iPad a chance…

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