Apple iPad In My Eye?

My wife just asked if I was going to get one of those tablet things that Apple came out with today. She said so in that "you know if you say yes, you'll never hear the end of it---and if you say no, I'll simply spare your life" sort of voice. My answer though was "no" and it's not because of the wife-wrath. However, I did say, I WILL get the 2nd generation of the device when it comes out. But why not get the 1st gen version?

The 1st-gen versions are great but they're never quite what want. Apple is simply testing the market with the device. They know that it could still fail. The first gen versions test the waters to see if they should be coming out with a second version. I think the iPad will last, however, it will go through significant changes in the next version.

Also, it's still missing several features which, I believe, would make the device even better and a perfect bridge between the iPhone and the MacBooks. First, it's missing a forward facing camera. In fact it's missing a camera all together! If you wanted to take it on the road wouldn't you want to snap a high resolution image on that sweet looking tablet? Or if you're sitting on your couch, it would be great to just bring up Skype or some other app and do immediate video chat. You can do that on the Macs, why not on the iPad? It's the perfect device for that.

It's also still missing Flash! STILL!! I'm not sure what Apple has against Flash, or if they're looking toward the future of possibly people developing in HTML 5. But Flash is still heavily used throughout the web. In fact, even Steve Jobs' demo of the iPad today show the New York Times website with a big fast missing Flash plugin. Nothing's worse then doing a demo where things don't work that you're trying to show off. If Apple truly says that it's the best device to browse the Web on then you have to have Flash capability.

Also, the one thing missing from the iPhone is wirelessly syncing with iTunes. Here's what I want with this. I want my MacBook, my iPhone, and my iPad to be able to wirelessly sync music, photos, videos, podcasts, and more to any of my devices that I wish. OR, instead of copying the files, I want to have the devices download the files from the devices to a centralized storage device in my house (or in the cloud...ehem, LaLa) so that all of my devices can pull the content. Then I want the option to download certain music to any device I have to take with me on the road.

That's just for starters. If I can get at least the first two things that would be nice. A plus up for the third option. I'm hoping, hoping, that the 2nd gen device will have these features. Plus, it'll have double the hard drive space, many of the bugs worked out, hopefully the added GPS piece as well (which the new device does not have), and plenty of more game titles, books, and apps developed for the larger screen. The upscaling of app games is a nice feature to fill the screen, but any designer will tell you that no matter how well you upscaled it's NEVER the same as natively being at that resolution. It'll always be a close second...but never first.

What do you think? Will you get the device or wait for a future generation one?

Note: This post is of my own opinion and is not endorsed or represented by any government organization.

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Profile Photo Joe Flood

I'll get one as a second computer. I have an iMac and a really old PowerBook that I use when I travel or go to a coffee shop. The iPad would be the perfect replacement for it. I can watch movies, play games, read email, surf the web and even read books. Also, the iPad will have iWork on it and has an external keyboard so I could actually do work on it too. It does everything my soon to die G4 PowerBook does and more.

You're right about avoiding 1st gen tech products but I don't think I'm going to be able to resist this one.

On a side note, I have friends who work in education and there's a ton of interest from faculty and students in the iPad.

Profile Photo Steve Ressler

I agree. Much like the iPod and iPhone which were not very good deals in the first generation. Pretty expensive and lacking key features that were solved in the 2nd one...To me it should have built in and free wi-fi (or data plan)...

Profile Photo Scott Horvath

@Steve: Although I think the 250MB/month $14.99 plan isn't too bad. Comcast had (still has?) that 250 MB/month data usage cap on subscribers to their plans. I watch a lot of video, browswing, always on email, twitter, etc and I never got close to the 250MB cap...and that was on Comcast. Plus, no contract with the iPad. That's nice as well. So some of the options are a good deal, I think. Still though the hardware doesn't have what it really should have. So, I'm still not compelled to buy it. Give it to me for $100 and I'll take it now. Otherwise, I'll wait for the next version.

Profile Photo Kim Holt

Haha, good one! But I hope everyone realizes this is not groundbreaking new technology, right?? Apple can sell just about anything by putting an "i" in front of it!

Profile Photo Sandy Ressler

I think it's going to be a killer product. It's not a phone replacement...there's a perfectly good camera on your phone. I find it fascinating at the features left out. It's easy to design a product just adding in more and more features but figuring out what to leave out...ayeeee thars the rub!

So what do we get...connectivity anywhere (via WiFi or 3G). Hires, responsive screen ...ebooks, movies, music, games...all in a magazine sized package...it's a win. I don't imagine creating presentations on this...but I sure do imagine giving the presentations with it. The lack of hardware GPS isn't actually that big a deal, I had the old iphone with software based GPS and it was "good enough".

Some of the issues you raise are quite correct, lack of wireless syncing and lack of support for Flash is just nonsense. However both are easily fixed via software updates, they are not a hardware issue. I'll probably be a sucker and go for the 1st gen version obviously 2nd gen will be much better. So I'll be happy to take pre-orders for a used 1st gen iPad 😉

Profile Photo Andrea Baker

I never by anything first generation. Sony burned me on the Playstation with that. I always give it about 6months to a year. I consider myself bleeding edge, but not at the expense of my pocketbook.

Profile Photo Neil Eynon

Like other commenters, I generally never buy first generation. However, I felt I missed out on the ipod touch by waiting and as I look back, even those first gens were good quality. I'm going to take the risk. Yes, I agree it's lacking camera, flash functionality and a better sync method. But I'm going to buy for the ebooks/ereader functionality primarily and everything else second. With all my other ipods, I have found a second hand market with a good resale value - so, I'm confident that this first generation ipad will hold it's value and I'll be right in line with the second generation with whatever they add to it.

Profile Photo Lisa Pierson

I think that the iPad is very good start, like Scott stated, it's missing a few things, but heck if you need all the bells and whistles, get a mac book! Really a camera. I'm more dismayed at the lack for SD card capability to have expanded storage on the fly and productivity software like a dumb down version of Pages and Numbers.