I’m really excited to add the iPad to my technology arsenal. Here are a few reasons why, along with some things that I hope are present in this generation and what I’d like to see in iPad 2.0
Reasons I want one now:
In the past two years, there have been many times that I’ve wanted to travel with just my iPhone, but found the interface just a tad bit too small to handle my on-the-road computing requirements. The larger size of the iPad and support for BlueTooth keyboards means I’ll be able to have the best of both worlds; a larger touch-screen interface with the ability to hook up a keyboard when I need one.
It’s a killer entertainment device. Listen to music, watch movies, or read books and magazines in a great form factor with a 10 hour battery life. Right now I carry an iPod Touch and a Kindle, and with the iPad Apple has unified them into one device. One of my greatest frustrations with my Kindle is the requirement for external lighting, so I’m pleased to have an e-reader I can use in the dark.
I love gaming on my iPhone and don’t use a DS or PSP on the road any more. I’m sure the mobile gaming on the iPad will exceed the iPhone platform. Fun.
Support for content creation via the iWork platform means this device can be used for productivity as well as consumption. I just hope the applications can open and work with Office documents (see below).
A touch interface. Longtime readers of this blog will know that I’ve been a fan of touch interfaces for years and used a Fingerworks touch keyboard as my primary input device at work and in my home office. With this device, we are finally realizing the promise of Apple’s Fingerworks acquisition and the Fingerwork’s stuff was truly innovative.
Support for iTunes University. This is a really good thing and with the iBook support the iPad becomes a great educational device. As a professor and father, this excites me.
It only weighs 1.5 pounds and will fit in every bag I own. That means this device is easy to take on the road on a trip or to the coffee shop.
There are a few features I hope are supported, but haven’t been confirmed yet.
Ability to load iWork, but more importantly Microsoft Office, documents for editing and saving on the device. I’d like to get a Word document via email, open it in Pages, save it in a Word compatible format, and email it back to someone. If I can’t do this on the iPad it will greatly diminish its value as a road warrior device.
Play iTunes in the background. The lack of background apps is a bummer, but I’m really banking on the fact that since this is based on the iPhone OS that I’ll be able to listen to my music and podcasts in the background.
Support video out for my MyVu classes. There are times when I really don’t want to subject the 80 year old Jordanian woman sitting next to me in business class to the latest episode of Dexter. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to use my MyVu glasses with this device as well.
Push notifications: I’m hoping that the devices with the SIM option support the push notifications. This takes the sting out of the lack of background apps, but only a little bit.
Here are some things I’m disappointed with that I hope will be added in future generations of the device:
A web cam. I don’t need a high resolution camera, but I want to iChat/Skype with colleagues and family.
Background applications. There reaches a point when there are no longer any viable excuses for why background applications aren’t allowed on this device and the iPhone. We are at that point now.
Voice input. The combination of touchscreen and verbal commands are the future of mobile interfaces, so the iPad is only half way there.
An always on desktop dock. I want to drop this in a dock at the office and have it cycle through my pictures and my calendar (think a Chumby on steroids).
Integrated mesh networking. If there are other folks on my plane with an iPad I want to be able to play chess against them via some sort of bonjour network discovery mode.
GPS. I’d settle for a bluetooth connection to my iPhone GPS, but I’d love to be able to view GPS enabled maps on the iPad.
[Update – According to this video, Steve Jobs directly confirms that you can write a document in Pages, save it to Word and the then email it. Perfect!]