The iPad and Jesus have a lot of things in common- both took a long time arriving, and then were mistreated by the populace. That’s pretty much where the comparison ends, as though there has been a lot of hyperbole regarding the iPad’s claim to be king of the tablet world, I remain unconvinced that it has any real selling points.
Sure, it’s a super stylish 9.7 inch screen, with access to the vibrant Apple app store, but does it truly deserve its worldwide adulation? Whilst some might gaze longingly at its sleek contours, I can’t help but feel we’ve been misled. Look beyond the shiny veneer and you’ll find a whole host of issues that Apple have carefully omitted to mention.
1. Forget about Flash
Steve Jobs suggest that the iPad bridges the gap between computer and phone, dismissing the idea of netbooks with a self satisfied smirk. Netbooks however are much cheaper than the iPad, and allow you to play flash video. This then turns what’s supposed to be an enriching multimedia experience into something with severe limitations, as this will also affect flash based websites and graphic interlays when browsing. This limits you to what you can do whilst on the web- so why bother using this device? What an enriching experience web browsing will be with no access to sites. Big FAIL Apple.
2. It’s an eReader that doesn’t use eInk
Many, many devices don’t use eInk- laptops, toasters, and MP3 players, but none of these profess to be eBooks. Apple has said that their device will spearhead a new generation of eReaders but I beg to differ. Sure their screen is uber bright and attractive to look at, and colours will look fantastic, but I stopped reading illustrated novels at 8 years old. They’re giving us a comprehensive iBookstore where you can download classic novels for free and buy new releases, but you’ll still be reading them on an LED screen. LED technology is great for displaying high contrast images, but can be tiring when stared at for a long time, so it will make the reading experience rather painful and protracted. It also has a built in accelerometer- imagine how frustrating that would be when you read at an angle (as many are wont to do). I think this will be a great way to view magazines and newspapers, but books? I think not. And have you considered the size of the thing? It’s big and heavy, hardly optimal for reading on the go.
3. It’s JUST a giant iPod Touch
Now I love the iPod Touch, I think it does a great job of playing music, letting me browse the web, and giving me access to the huge app store. I don’t however feel that I need to supersize this device, as a) it won’t be very particularly pocket friendly, and b) if I was going to upgrade my iPod Touch it would be to an iPhone, not a giant tablet. Seriously, what could lugging around this 1.6 pound device add to my life? I want internet on the go, I’ll use a netbook, if I want a phone I’ll use one. So why does this device exist? Ummm, I can’t really think of a reason.
4. Miss out on Multi-Tasking
The one major flaw of the iPhone is that it doesn’t allow apps to run simultaneously. Sure you can get push email, but it would be nice if you could have an array of apps open on the go. Whilst we might put up with this for a small device, it’s incredibly inconvenient for a larger product, as you’d like to download items whilst browsing the web, and not being able to multitask is a major flaw.
5. The memory isn’t expandable
Say you can’t afford to pay full whack for the 64GB version and opt for 16GB. That’s OK, you’ll just buy an upgrade at some point or add content via USB or SD card. Nope. The memory is fixed and there are no extra ports, which means all data has to be sent wirelessly or through linking to a computer- forget about just slotting in and SD card to view images or files.
6. There is no camera
Like, seriously. No SKYPE video calls, no TwitPics, need I say more?
And when can you expect to get this in the UK?
The WiFi version will be available in March and the 3G version in April. Pricing hasn’t been given in sterling yet, but we’ve translated the USA prices for you here, and hopefully they’ll be relatively similar.