Now that Krish has preempted me with his amazing ipad review, I finally needed to get this in. On that note, here is the review of the magical device. If you followed my blog upto April of last year, you already know that I quite accurately predicted the advent of this device and it’s characteristics and its name. I pre ordered the iPad and received it the day it was launched and the world would never be same again …..
When Steve Jobs introduced the device, he said that this was a magical device. And he got a lot of flak for his hyperbolism. But he was right (Here I am, protecting him again :)). If you know Clarke’s third law of prediction – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.. I would thus argue that the iPad is a sufficiently advanced piece of tech to be almost magical.
Back in Jan, 2010, I would have been called too too futuristic or crazy, if I would have told you that there would be a small tablet like device on which you can watch movies, listen to songs, browse the web, do all your email and get all your calendars, read all the newspapers ( which have embedded slide shows and videos) , watch TV, create sketches, create and show presentations, do excel and word, play interactive games and listen to nursery rhymes for my kid and read rich multimedia books and magazines, remotely control your TV, Mac, PC or remotely control a flying barracuda helicopter or your car…….
But that device did come into being and as I have used it over the period of last 8 months, I have been astonished again and again with its magic. The device is so versatile and I have utilized it for so many things that I can’t list out all of it. But, here is a rundown of the major things that I use it for:
- Read my morning newspaper on it (There are apps for USA Today, NYT, WSJ, NDTV and a ton more)
- Carry all my office documents on it. Yes, as my colleagues will tell you, I have gone virtually paper free. For a while I was keeping count, and I saved 6500 pages of printouts in the first 2 months of it’s use.
- Create and give presentations on it. The Keynote app is very decent and the iPad connects to a projector for big screen presentations.
- Take all my notes on it. You can maintain a notebook (I use an excellent app called Penultimate) and the document management app ( Goodreader) let’s you write on documents.
- Get my mail and calendar – it’s hooked up to my work email as well as gmail/ yahoo/ hotmail.
- Watch Movies n TV on it. You have Youtube, iTunes, Netflix and Hulu Plus on it. What else do you need?
- Listen to radio (Pandora, last.fm, NPR, hutke radio etc.)
- There is bunch of interactive, learning kids apps n books that Krish simply loves.
- There are very nice games on it. My personal favorites are FIFA, NFS, Avatar, Warchess, Angry Birds, Scrabble and Tiger Woods. But there are bunch more, probably a few thousand more….
- There are many apps that lets you remotely control other devices. The remote app let’s me control my apple tv, then there is vnc for my iMac n rdp for my PC.
- Read books n comics on it !!!!! This is just an amazing device for reading comic books.
- Write blogs, like the one I am writing right now.
And I could go on and on and on. There are > 50,000 apps just for the ipad and growing by few thousands every day . The possibilities are endless.
So, what’s unique about this device? I will admit that there were other devices out there before this which could do some of the things that this does. But this is truly the first one which could do so many things and could do it so well and is so portable, almost like a book. True to The Apple spirit, this device is true PERSONAL technology accessory. The interface / software is simply gorgeous and a pleasure to use. Also, the fact that you could easily take it anywhere with you means that you are freed from the shackles of the desk.
The ipad is so ahead of it’s times, that other companies will not be coming out with a viable competing product even after an year since its launch and in today’s tech world, that is an eon. And as per this report, in all probability, we won’t see any comparable product for sometime to come.
We have had tablets before. But there was never a one that was packaged so right in terms of content, form and price. The iPad has started a new generation of devices that will soon flood the market. In due course, there might be viable alternatives, but this is where it all started, with a little bit of magic….