10 Reasons to Love and Hate the iPad

March 4th, 2010

As the world waited to see what Apple had for them next, many rumors were buzzing around the office and internet. From an iPhone for Verizon Wireless to an iPod Touch with a built in camera and GPS, we couldn’t wait to see what Apple had in store!

As January drew ever closer, an internet leak of an “Apple tablet” soon grabbed everyone’s attention. There was talk of the new device running the Snow Leopard OS, or possibly an OS designed specifically for the tablet itself. It was even rumored that the ‘tablet’ would include a GPS, a 5 megapixel Camera, and paint brush attachments for artists who love to paint and sketch. Needless to say, we became very excited here in the office and were on the edge of our seats with each and every new piece of gossip and speculation we came across.

On that exciting day in January, we were keeping up with the rest of the world- reading blogs, downloading Pictures, listening to Podcasts about the iPad, and anything else we could get our hands on. So my question to you is, “Did the iPad fall short of everyone’s expectations? Did the iPad fail before it was even launched? Or could it be that the iPad isn’t about what you get “right out of the box” at all? Is there more yet to come?”

# 1 – The iPad does not have a built in camera

It’s true, we were a little shocked at the fact that the iPad did not have a built in camera. However, there are rumors of an attachment soon to be available with a camera for all you shutter-happy people out there (you know who you are), and for the business savvy people who on occasion need to make a video conference call to Japan at two o’ clock in the morning.

This has not been confirmed yet. It’s only a rumor at the moment, but come on. We should not have to pay for it as an addition. If Apple can put a camera into the iPod Nano, I’m quite sure they can put one into the iPad. Apparently, Apple sets the expectations for its users (not the other way around).

# 2 – The iPad is very sexy

Yes we said it; it is gorgeous on the outside. Everything about it says, “Look at me I have an iPad and I’m awesome.” The sleek streamline design is eye catching! It weighs in at a total of 1.5 Pounds (most of us eat that much food in one sitting), and is 0.5 inches thin. Its design is amazingly simple yet astounding! One can only help but ask, “Did Apple cut performance and focus too much on the cool factor?” I hope not. We will all find out next month.

With only the 20 pin “iPod” USB connector slot and head phone port, the iPad isn’t full of holes. Will the lack of USB and Fire wire support be enough to keep a select few from getting the iPad? Next we have the gorgeous 10” display (9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology, 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch for you tech spec buffs). This is a real selling point to those who want crystal clear photos. The iPad also supports H.264 video (up to 720p, 30 frames per second) for the movie lover in your family. Let’s just hope it sounds as good as it looks… which brings me to our next subtopic.

#3 – No Multitasking

There is no multitasking on the iPad (or iPhone for that matter).The iPad does not run the full blown Mac OS X, so weather you’re checking your Facebook page, checking your exchange portfolio, or playing dress up with Barbie; you have to do it within that respective app. Don’t get us wrong, the Apps are very nice and “just work.” That’s the beauty of Apple- it does just work, but it works the way Apple wants it to and not necessarily the way we would like it to.

Nevertheless, the way the App store is laid out along with the performance of the apps themselves are very nice and keep the machine running nice and clean. We have nothing against the App store, but we would love to see multitasking. That way you can run Pandora, AND shoot the bad guys in that 1st person shooter game you just downloaded while you were in a meeting. (We know…)

One definite plus is that The Apps will fit the screen without one pixel out of place. This is great for gamers and for the newspaper junky who likes his daily ePaper. (We are glad to see this).

#4 – Flash is dead to Apple

A world without flash… this is what Apple wants (hey, they were right about the floppy drive.) What about our Hulu, CNN, and every other site on the internet that uses flash? A lot of them do. Oh, and what would life be without Farmville? There would most certainly be bloodshed over this! Who of you has not played a flash game in the last 30 minutes? We thought so.

Steve Jobs was pretty blunt when he said, “They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.”

So if you want to use the iPad for anything that requires flash, you may be out of luck on that. However, you have to see Apple’s side of reasoning. If they let us have flash, then they take a cut in sales in the App store and iTunes store. Why watch it or play it for free when you can download it for .99 cents?

Then again, if you’re running an App that is designed for the Apple in the first place, Mr. Jobs is correct in saying that it is a lot less likely to crash. We will not lie- we wish the iPad had a flash player, but we can also sympathize with Apple on the matter.

#5 The Apple A4 Processor

One of the first things you may notice about the A4 is that it’s not Intel. This is a big step backward for Apple. However, the iPad isn’t running a full OS so the 1GHz speed should be blazing. The iPhone itself is only running 600MHz (hard to believe that was the speed of some iBooks back in the day) and it handles apps at awesome speeds. We should definitely see a world of difference between the two.

It is still unclear weather or not the A4 is dual core. It probably is not since it doesn’t seem to need it at the present. This is especially true because of the fact that the iPad does not support multitasking. The chip also supports the GPU so there isn’t a separate video card, but it can still handle High Rez 720p video. This chip is a real breakthrough, and we think this will change a few things in the near future. One other notable feature about the chip is the promise of ten hour battery life. That is some promise for Apple to make (but an awesome one). We really hope Apple isn’t kidding with this.

On the flipside, Apple could have easily made this machine run a full OS and used the same chip that sits inside the Macbook Air. I have personally taken apart a Macbook Air. The logic board and the processor are tiny. This thing could easily fit inside the iPad. Also, the Macbook Air comes with a very nice NVIDIA graphics card. This would have been nice to see. Who knows, there may be an iPad pro right around the corner.
#6 SD Card slot…not!

Yes, Apple tends to stay away from the SD card slot. They have a few models with them, but it isn’t standard. Steve Jobs said in the Keynote Address that the iPad is far better than a netbook, more intimate than a computer, and way better than an iPhone. But let’s look at, well, a netbook.

1. Most netbooks have an SD card slot.
2. Flash…beautiful flash
3. Keyboard, Camera, USB.
4. Some have HD out (Who watches HD anyway?)
5. Multitasking (Remember this is supposedly far better than a netbook)

Now let’s look at the pros of this iPad.
1. No viruses (Enough said)
2. Everything is guaranteed to work
3. It’s all multi touch, 10 hour battery life, it looks awesome
4. 500,000 Apps , it’s thin & light
5. Not having to deal with Windows!

With that in mind, there are many pros for both. It’s up to you to decide which is the best for you. All we can do is present the information and let you decide.

#7 Bill Gates, Microsoft, and the iPad

As many of you know, Bill Gates (the former CEO of Microsoft) commented on the iPad. He wasn’t as blown away by the device as he was with the iPhone. He still believes that the netbook is the device of the future:
“You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen, and a real keyboard – in other words, a netbook – will be mainstream on that. So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with the iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.’ It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.”

Of course Microsoft is going to stand by the netbook; they only run Windows software (Duh Bill). So, why is Bill not as scared of the iPad as he was the iPhone? It’s simple. The iPhone at that time was completely different in every way. It was a complete multi touch device (with no stylus). It was fast, efficient, and it changed the way that phones were made. The same goes for the iPod. It was different and it was good! It just worked. The iPad just didn’t blow anyone away. It had nothing we have not seen before. As we said at the beginning of this blog, ‘the iPad may not be about what you get straight out of the box, but about what is yet to come.’ If I were Bill I would be a little scared.

#8 – The price and the different models

True, $499 is not a bad price, but with that you only get 16GB which is not expandable.  Another drawback is that this price is only for Wi-Fi. If you want 3G it bumps the price up to $629. Yeah, that’s what we said too (we just can’t put that in the blog). We think the 3G option should have been in the Wi-Fi only price.

As the GB’s go up, so does the price. You pay $829 for the top of the line 64GB model. Will 64GB be enough for the movie lover in your family? We would have loved to see a larger hard drive in this iPad, especially since it will support 720p (but hey, what can you do?)

#9 – The Contract that wasn’t

We just wanted to mention that AT&T still has all the Apple business they can handle. WE WANT TO SEE OTHER WIRELESS NETWORKS!!! There we said it; we can’t take it back now. Some of us Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile users need a turn to play. “Hey AT&T quit hogging all the fun!” There is some talk (or so we’ve heard) that Verizon may get the fourth iPhone that comes out sometime this year. That, however, is completely hear-say; and we will have no part in rumors (yeah right). Let’s hope that this is true, and that Apple will soon wise up and see that AT&T isn’t all that great.

#10 – What is yet to come?

The world doesn’t really know. Only Apple and the developers of the iPad itself know what the future holds for the device. Maybe the SDK will fill us with awe as they develop more and more Apps that enrich our lives.

Maybe Steve will give in to the word’s demand for flash (He won’t), and maybe there will be one more surprise in store for the first people to own an iPad. At $499 base price we think it is a nifty little gadget (which may be worth purchasing if you love the iPhone and iPod touch, or refuse to get one of those awful netbooks).

Hey, the iPhone has gotten better over the years. We are sure the iPad will as well. We can only wish that for once Apple would listen to the customer, but therein lies the beauty of Apple. Maybe Apple knows exactly what they are doing. Perhaps we just need to figure out for ourselves what that is as time passes and more is revealed to us about the iPad.

The verdict

If you want an iPad, by all means, get one! You will love it, and no one can tell you otherwise (especially if you are a hardcore Apple only, ‘Microsoft must die, I hate Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs is God’ kind of person). With that said, if you are a Windows-only person and want to switch to Mac, we would not recommend getting this as your first Apple product. Instead, go with a Mac Mini or a Polycarbonate Macbook. These have the full blown Mac OS X Snow Leopard; and you can experience the virus free, amazing, and super easy to use operating system of champions.

If you want a powerhouse media machine, again, this isn’t for you. If you want a machine that you can use to watch movies, view pictures, play games, and keep your life organized… then yes, this machine is for you…for now.
Who knows what Apple has in store for this machine? Apple workers report that ‘this is the happiest we have seen Steve since the 1st iMac CRT’s came out.’ We really hope that he and Apple have big plans for the iPad. There is still the promise of flash, multitasking, a camera, USB support, HD out, GPS, and a keyboard that doesn’t cost $30 as an add on. We’ll just have to wait and see if Apple will give in, or simply continue to excel in telling us what we want. We are hoping for an iPad Pro, and we are almost sure it will come.

Until then, we will have to wait and see what awesome apps show up for this “Magical” device, because that is all it will do… for now.

One Response to “10 Reasons to Love and Hate the iPad”

  1. Ross says:

    IMHO the most important, core issue about Flash on iPad is this:

    Flash assumes a mouse, and much of what goes on in Flash games (and user interfaces) involves moving and ‘hovering’ the mouse in addition to clicking it. Touchscreens do NOT have the equivalent of a ‘hover’ state for the input device (your finger).

    Each touch of a touch screen is (generally) going to be treated as some sort of ‘click’ event. This is a hugely important concept, as I have learned developing touch screen kiosks for visitor centers. There is no ‘rollover’ event either. You touch it, you select it.

    New games designed for touch devices are going to blow us away and more than make up for losing many of the current ones.

    There are other reasons to dislike Flash, which I could expound on since I have programmed in it for years, but don’t forget that many or most of these so-called ‘must have’ Flash games would not work on a touch device *anyway* !

    Long live adoption of HTML5 and may Flash gradually retire as did the floppy drive.

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