So, it’s finally here. Well almost. Apple has announced the iPad and it’s set to change the world.
Either that or in a year’s time Apple will look sheepish and remove it from sale.
The web has been awash with people’s opinions as to whether the iPad will catch on. There are the inevitable naysayers who complain that the iPad’s too expensive, too big, that using the keyboard will be an ergonomic nightmare, and that, basically, nobody needs one. They are probably the same people who were unconvinced by the iPod and iPhone when they were first announced. We laugh in their faces now.
There are also the people who agree with Apple’s premise that the iPad is set to be a better answer to our need to surf the web and send emails than a netbook. Most of us have a pretty powerful laptop or desktop at home, but what do we use it for. Surfing the web and writing emails – what a waste of all that power. Maybe Apple is right and all we actually need is a handheld device that can to do those things, rather than a device that can do things we don’t need it to.
I can see where Apple is coming from on this one. Before I got my iPhone I’d spend most evenings browsing Facebook and emailing friends from my laptop. Since I got my iPhone the only thing I use my laptop for is watching TV (I have it hooked up to a flatscreen TV). My iPhone has already replaced my laptop as my tool of choice. Why turn on the MacBook if I don’t need to?
So the question as far as I’m concerned isn’t whether the iPad could replace my laptop, but whether I really need an iPad when I’m more than happy using my iPhone to do all those netbook-style things. It can go either way. The iPad may be better than the iPhone because it has a larger screen. Or it might be a worse option than the iPhone because it has a larger screen. Until I’ve tried one out I’ll suspend judgement.
In the meantime, many of our colleagues at Macworld US have already had a go with the device and they love it. So maybe, just maybe, the iPad will change the world.