iPad Makes Me a Sad Panda
After months (if not years) of anticipation Apple finally unveiled the iPad on Wednesday, and in doing so dropped a big steamy deuce all over Yerba Buena Center. If this had been release 2 years ago it would have been awesome. So what happened in the meantime?
Well, speculation mostly, but the iPhone design that this basically cops has become increasingly stale as well. And that’s to say nothing of what the competition’s up to. Whereas the iPhone felt light years ahead of everyone else (sorry LG Prada), the iPad really does just look like a giant iPhone, which is f**king ridiculous. That’s why it’s a big, huge…
Why it sucks:
- The name. iPad. Lots of feminine product jokes going around but to me it’s just state and flat. What’s so exciting about a pad?
- That Bezel is f**king ABSURD. I know you have to have somewhere to hold it, but come on.
- No Flash. No flash means no flash games. No Hulu. No embedded videos that you enjoy watching on your favorite blogs.
- That homescreen. Are they joking? Are they trying to get people to call it a giant iPod touch (which they DEFINITELY are)? Look how strangely spaced out the icons are, and how small they are. Talk about not taking advantage of your screen real estate.
- No file management. Want to share files with your friends? Sorry. Want to set up a share folder so you can just shoot files back and forth between your main computer and your tablet? Nope. You’ll only be able to transfer file types that iTunes recognizes and allows. What about comics or books people have downloaded or purchased outside iTunes? Will these even be supported?
- No multitasking. Say you’re playing a game and hear the email chime. You’ll have to exit, launch email, read email, exit email, launch game. Watching a movie and want to IM with a friend or read some email while you do it? Can’t.
- AT&T for the 3G carrier. Dude. How much more bogged down can their network get? It already sucks. I’m counting down the days until I can out. The only surprise was (to my mind) a somewhat reasonable data plan.
- One port. No USB. No memory cards. No VGA or HDMI out. You have to buy an adapter (which I’m sure Apple will gladly sell you) to hook ANYTHING up to your iPad. Elegant solution there.
The real problem is that Apple hasn’t shown a lot of innovation lately. The iPhone was revolutionary, no doubt. What an exciting Apple event. It’s like the iPhone did so much more than anything else out at the time that the shortcomings were easily overlooked. So what’s Apple done since then? Uh, nothing really. They added features to the phone over the course of 3 generations that were obvious and easily accomplished the first time out–3G, copy and paste, the app store. The design got tweaked for the 2nd Gen, which was nice. 3rd Gen had ZERO cosmetic changes. Huge bummer. And now the iPad, which looks just like a big iPhone (although sexily thin) and doesn’t really do much else.
Here’s what I’d really want to see and what I’m hoping someone else pulls off (The HP Slate, The MSI Tablet, etc):
- Easy pairing and file sharing. When I get close to another iPad, say within a foot, there should be an option to link with this other iPad, and then files can be flicked from one screen to the other, like a large extended display. The second iPad can then choose to save the files or just toss them. Likewise, there should be an Explorer/Finder utility to easily search for networked and other shared drives. Folders should be easily created and moved. This is supposed to be a step up from a smart phone, remember?
- Less bezel, please. It doesn’t need to be as large as it is. It really ruins the looks of the device.
- 16:9 screen.
- Full OS. Feel free to make changes to the look and UI, but please let there be a full OS on this thing. If netbooks can do it and get 7+ hours of battery life, then take the next step and maintain battery life while revolutionizing the form factor.
- The internet JUST like it is on my computer. This means any browser I want. Flash support. Etc. If it slows down my computer I’ll deal with the consequences.
2 things I really want but aren’t happening any time soon:
- No bezel. I’m not sure how you’d deal with erroneous presses on the touch surface, but a device with no bezels and as thin as the iPad would be too sexy for me to pass up. Even if it had the EXACT same functionality as the iPad.
- Wacom technology built it. Switch from multi-touch interface to pressure-sensitive pen-input so you can use your tablet as a fully-functional drawing tablet.
I’m really hoping someone like Microsoft takes advantage of Apple’s huge disappointment and hops into the hardware game. They’ve been pushing their Surface for so long I wonder if they realize they were just making giant tablets. Shrink that down and make it mobile. Windows 7 supposedly has some good multi-touch tech baked right in. Take advantage. One of the only MP3 players that’s caught my eye lately is the Zune HD. It’s the perfect anti-iPod. Get that design team to whip up a tablet stat. I’ll gladly jump back into Windows if they can get all the features people are asking for into a tablet with good battery life. Just make this: