Thoughts on the iPad

ipad-420x0-wi0bmgmpasvu.jpgNo, I do not (yet) own one of these fabled devices, but rest assure when it crosses the border I will be eagerly snapping one up. And loving it. And hugging it. And calling it George.

*cough* Ahem. *cough*

Anyways, in lieu of purchasing the device, I’ve been totally immersed in the media hot tub that has bubbled and swirled around the iPad since it’s official announcement, everything from color commentary to live demos once various NDAs expired. (And, almost all web-based. What I have seen of traditional media coverage has been weak, uninformative. Thanks to Leo Laporte and his MacBreak Weekly Crew for carrying some excellent content.)

I was so close to buying a Kindle this last Christmas when it finally came to Canada. But the rumors were thick of Apple announcing something, so I decided to wait. If Amazon had gotten it’s act together/made it’s way through the thicket of licensing agreements to bring the device to Canada a year earlier, I would have already owned a Kindle. Happily. But knowing how much I love my iPhone, and how much of a breeze it is having both the Mac and the iPhone, it seemed to make sense to wait to see what kind of device Apple would release.

From what I’ve seen so far, I’m glad I waited.

There’s been a lot of backlash, too, amidst all the coverage. People saying it’s an unnecessary device, a poor-man’s fill-in-the-blank-comparison. Even my brother, who has never seen the iPad but has seen (not owned) a Kindle, is sure that the iPad will be an inferior e-reader product, that nothing can match the e-ink that creates such a page-like experience on the Kindle.

I doubt this. I already use book reading apps on my iPhone, and find them fantastic — just too damn small. I read quickly, even quicker on an electronic device, and find myself thumbing through page after page constantly. Stanza has this delightful reverse-color option for late night reading that is effortless on my eyes.

But more than usability, it occurred to me that once I have an iPad, I will have three devices that have three discrete purposes: Communication, Consumption, and Creation.

Do my iPhone, eventual iPad and MacBook do some of all of these things? Of course. I can consume content on my iPhone, communicate by email on my MacBook, and create on the iPad.

But it will be my iPhone that will be how I communicate with others by telephone, email or text. My iPad will be the default place where I consume information when I browse the web, view downloaded video content, and read electronic books. And my MacBook will be the workhorse when it’s time to put fingers to the keyboard, to write and research and create my own content for others to consume.

I am very, very excited about this.

Now, if only Apple would give us a release date for Canada!


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