About the iPad

The iPad is without a doubt the most divisive device that has been produced in the past few years. One thing I find interesting is that the traditional battle lines have been blurred with hard-core Mac enthusiasts becoming as negative as those who dislike anything that Apple produces. There is a considerable amount of argument that people who are disappointed Don’t Get It. I tend to agree.

Different Tools for Different Tasks

Those who wanted full OS X on the iPad seem to want everything at all times. What they aren’t grasping is that sometimes you don’t need everything. When you’re shopping for a new knife, do you automatically buy the biggest swiss army knife you can find with a magnifying glass, corkscrew, allen wrench and blender? Of course not. If you’re going to use it to chop veggies you’re going to pick up a blade that fits your needs. Does that mean that you can’t have the Swiss Army or Leatherman too, it’s just a tool for a different task.

Lets think about laptops and desktops again for a second. If you’re going to be working on a big spreadsheet with lots of data entry are you more likely to go into your home office to sit down at the desk where you have a big monitor and a full size keyboard with a 10-key or will you use your laptop? Sure you could use your laptop, but the 10-key makes things much nicer. If you’re instead going to write a paper or an article, then the laptop might be just as good of an option.

For those who criticize the iPad for lack of functionality, take a look at the number of operating systems you run. I run Windows for Excel and work at the Firm, Ubuntu to drive my local web server and for some development, Backtrack 4 for shenanigans and OS X for everything else. I’ve got my iMac for stuff that favors a big fat monitor and a full keyboard, my MacBook for general use and my eee for…well…shenanigans. Different tools for different tasks.

There are a lot of gripes about the closed nature of the App Store and the approval process. I can empathize with the developers who put heart, soul and sweat into a project only to have it rejected in some arbitrary way by someone they will likely never actually meet. The approval process does, however, ensure that what I install on my iPhone won’t make it crash and won’t vomit personal information to some criminal. I wish there was a way for me to manage some of that myself (Little Snitch for the iPhone would be nice) but hey…you can’t have everything all the time. The same should be true with the applications developed for the iPad and I’m okay with that. I want it to Just Work.

Sunday Morning

My regular Sunday morning consists of getting up at a reasonable time, making some coffee and catching up on interesting things on the web. Just like many folks, I can either take my coffee to the desk in my office or relax in my living room with my laptop. I really only need a web browser with a nice screen and a way to navigate around. The 10-key never gets used and my keyboard goes almost completely unused.

Currently, my laptop is the best tool for this task. It still kind of sucks though. I’ve got to get my bag, pull out the laptop, unwind the power cord then finally settle in to my big comfy chair which is tough to get out of (in a very good way) once I sit down. About half the time I realize once I’ve got the computer in my lap that I’ve forgotten my coffee or its sitting across the room. Grumble grumble.

Sure, it’s not completely tragic and I’m certainly bitching about a First World Problem on the highest order but whatever. Sunday mornings should be as stress free as possible. Soon this will change. I’ll wake up, grab my coffee and the iPad and sit. No power adapter to wrestle with, no hassle of balancing my laptop while I get up to get more coffee, I’ll just sit and read.

Now doesn’t that just sound nice?

Let’s face it, there are times when even the most hardcore geek uses their computer for the same things and in the same way that their Mom does. It’s for those times that the iPad will be a beautiful thing.