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    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Apple's Latest - iPad or iPffft?

    Yesterday put all rumors and speculations to an end, as Apple finally announced their tablet machine, known as the iPad (at least it's better than iSlate or iGuide.. Hold on, HP took the Slate?).. Millions around the world logged in the different live updates from those who attended the event, and now that we can actually see the specs of the machine posted online, and reflecting on the previous speculations, it's the moment of truth..

    Does the iPad deliver?

    - For those who're expecting NASA space technology to be fitted in a 10" machine, don't click "Read more", the iPad is everything but that -

    To be honest (am taking my Apple fanboy t-shirt off as we speak, am keeping the Boxers), I kind of expected more to see more from it, and it bummed me out seeing many concept ideas and hardware speculations be shot with the reality we saw yesterday..

    Not shot in a "Apple lost it's path and must repent" kind of way, because we all did IN THE END speculate on rumors that Apple chose NOT to comment on.. So, We can't say, you told us so, but we CAN say, why the hell not?

    Before I say why I actually like the tablet (or as many would probably call it, fanboy defending masters), here are the main three reasons why the iPad wasn't a bit of a "WOW" than a "O'Rly?" (and the name "iPad" isn't one of them, as much as people are already joking about it, i actually like it better than the others suggested.. Call it lesser of two evils):

    • Where's the camera on this thing? hidden somewhere? I mean, am already welling to let go of a front camera for video conferencing, but a back camera? Apple? You managed to fit a HQ video camera on a NANO!!! and you can't with this 10" piece of metal? (Hold that thought, check the update link below)
    • To shoot down the price, Apple chose to build the iPad from Apple's Household material and existing technology (humph).. From the demos seen, the architecture of that 1Ghz chip seems to integrate smoothly with the machine, and since it's already running a semi-stable software (a mutated iPhone OS, in a good x-men kind of way), Apple doesn't seem so keen on Multitasking.. I know iPad has Push Notifications, but why can't I keep my Twitter app working while i check my email?
    it's a big BIG iPhone.. and it still can't multitask.. HA!! -Steve Job(s)
    • It was an awkward moment in the keynote when Steve was browsing and happened to come across some unsupported flash content on a website.. I know HTML5 is already happening, but still, show some Flash love BRO!
    • Where's that "magical" keyboard everyone was talking about? You know, that one that bumps out and then bumps back in again? Ok, the on-screen keyboard is as big as a laptop's keyboard, but it's a touch keyboard..
    Hold on, maybe that last point was me being angry.. The rumored keyboard was only a rumor based on a patent acquired by Apple (one of many millions that they register to avoid future copyrights issues, not necessarily use them).. After seeing the demos and the way the keyboard is placed on screen + the different keyboard layouts needed for the machine to function made the on-screen touch keyboard make sense.. Like the way iPhone makes sense in compare to crummy phones who have actual buttons, this one seems to slide right in that category.. It's a mobile device afterall..

    So, to be fair, we are just all angry on speculations and rumors and high expectations from an industry giant like Apple.. Apple can't blame us for the over-excitement, and we can't blame them for trying to fit that machine in your life, and make it affordable (they're still trying to get revenue, they're not completely out there to bring world peace.. and last time I checked, breakthrough technology costs allot more than $500.. Ask Sony, they learned their lessons from the PS3 Vs. PS3 Slim)..

    From a marketing point of view, Apple are masters.. They take your money and you're still smiling about it..

    From a computer-nerd point of view, they're still in that "making technology easy for n00bz" category, which is what Apple's usually bashed for by software techies and linux zombies, since Apple doesn't seem to APPEASE the nerds (which are still a minority compared to the consumers Apple scoped since day one).. Apple has always been about taking the things you do on an everyday basis, and make it better..

    From a consumer point of view, here's why I BELIEVE the iPad will find it's way into our homes and into our lifestyles, despite being bashed on the head by the nerd community (the same bashing that happened when everyone joked about iPhones being media-constrained Bluetooth'less huge iPods):

    User Interface

    In the presentation, all keynote speakers focused on one term, saying it over and over, "It Just Works".. When one thinks of a machine that enables you to surf the interwebs, watch movies, play music, play games AND last long enough on a single charge (but not all running simolataneously, the SHAME) you won't think of anything that can actually top the iPad.. The UI is extremely user friendly, and anyone who ever used an iPhone or an iTouch can adapt in less than an hour.. The learning curve is very important when you try to introduce a product aimed at everyone from Age 4 to 40 to 140 (maybe not a 140, but i think there's an App for that :P )..

    When compared to the rest of the market, the iPad is the new fancy-looking hair-gel bully in the playground.. Smooth graphics, visually interactive, and the hand gestures make the iPad more organic than the systematic keyboard shortcuts, or the annoying missing stylus (lost my DS stylus 3 times now).. And truly, when you think of a tablet machine, or a netbook, can you seriously overlook the iPad? If you can't, then Apple achieved one of their main goals.. Now you know there's a better experience (as many hoped for a newer experience, it's a very dangerous room to gamble, and it's clearly Apple is releasing this machine to maximize profit)..


    Why create a new machine with new requirements, new components and new accessories that only increase the money you're paying for your existing machines, and stuff your drawers with more cables and wires and USB's that seem to multiply asexually?

    -LONG rhetoric question-

    If you happen to be a Mac user, or own an iPhone or an iTouch, the iPad fits right in (giving you more backup USB cables too, loool).. And the App store is already a booming business that is creating massive amounts of revenue (3 billion downloads in 18 months!!!), and if you already purchased some apps you can't live without, you can simply sync them to the iPad (ou don't even have to wait for an iPad version, they all work together).. The same apps that turned your head on the iPhone are usable on the iPad, and with still more coming our way with the new possibilities of the iPad and it's newly released SDK..

    Product Vs. Product

    As much as everyone stresses, the storage on the machine is indeed a bit limited.. I mean, who nowadays can use their laptops with 60 GB's on them? or survive with 16 GB's of music, compared to the guzzling 40 GB's stuffed on their desktops? Well, you're right, no one can.. HOWEVER, the iPad is NOT a laptop machine, nor it is meant to replace your iPod (both are products by Apple, both generate revenue, and both are still successful despite the other products).. In a way, it would be foolish to create a machine that beats another machine from the SAME COMPANY..

    Apple's ideal customer is someone who uses an iPhone, drives with an iPod, works with an iMac, travels with a MacBook and, now, surfs the net while at home or at a quick business trip through a tablet.. it's like an agenda, but it has Apple logo on it, with Apple brain wokring in it.. If you noticed, all products share similar UI's and all products share the same content, each in their own use, but have one big iTune'ish mother.. Did Apple succeed at milking our pockets? it sure did with me, and it applies to anyone who agrees.. So the fact that people want a 10" machine that is stronger than a laptop, and a smartphone, is just basic consumerist "wanting more for less".. Be physical size, or price, or both!

    I mean, comparing the prices, an iPad that has the best of both worlds, starting from $499, is pretty affordable.. Did Apple say they want to get something new? Nope, they just said "improved at key tasks".. It's still a tablet, guys, stop watching StarTrek..

    And as always, if Apple really screwed up this time, explain the rest of the market following their lead? in terms of software (Windows 7's inspiration is Mac OS, DUH!) AND hardware.. i mean, come ON!!

    "No.. regular none-nerdy consumers are not n00b monkeys, they're just inferior.." -NerdMan84

    So, looking back, the iPad wasn't as we expected it, but if numbers and facts will prove one thing, it's the best tablet computer in the market..

    Software? The most flexible and easily-adaptive out there, carrying the same originality found in other products (usually the iMacs and MacBook are the machine that introduce new technologies, and smaller products in the Apple family just follow their footsteps and innovate when needed, i.e. Trackpad gestures vs. iPhones multitouch).. Not to mention, allowing eBooks to be experienced in a way where no other competitor managed to achieve (all hail the iBook Store).. Moreover, the amazing integration of iWork into the iPad allows the users to experience Documents, Presentations and Spreadsheets in an interactive way, instead of an input-then-edit-then-print-then-archive.. They're actually interactive.. Portable high quality presentation/portfolio/high-quality-pictureframe-while-charging, anyone?

    Hardware? Environmental friendly as hell (like always) with a sharp graphics card and processor (that fits it being a tablet) and a Battery life that is truly amazing (10 hours activity time, and 30 day standby time).. And the storage is SSD that goes up to 64 GB (it's a cloud computing tablet, people.. let's not forget that)

    User Experience? Well, when this product comes out, it may be another brick in the wall with "Once you go Mac, you can't come back" written on it..

    Price Tag?

    Can you really beat that?

    Then again, I really didn't like the way the speakers kept on stressing on how magical the machine is.. Graphically? Maybe, but in terms of innovations and hardware, it's better than everyone else, am sure, but it's NOT magical and it surely is DOES NOT have an odyssey.. Apple did a good job delivering, but a bad job living up to the expectations, which WE CREATED..


    Would I buy it? Sure, at least it would lessen the load on the battery life for my iPhone (with all the Safari surfing and games), I can sketch with high accuracy (10" of zoom-able glory), catch up on my reading AND knock the boots off anyone with my interactive portfolio (or create an amazing one while stuck in traffic)..

    Also, it can be a really good excuse for me to buy that Louie Vuitton man-purse I saw in London, but were too manly and tough and manly to buy for just my sketchbooks (did i mention tough manly man?)

    p.s. manly man!!! *cries*

    [ Update: Apparently, there's a new type of rumors circulating the web regarding an iSight Camera in Steve's iPad.. I know for sure the next generation of iPad will have an iSight camera, but Steve's iPad seems to be either the real deal, a test model for the next generation, or just a small white dot that caught some internet hunter's eye.. Your call..]

    1 comment:

    1. I wouldn't have said it any better, well done Lou.