iPad Demystified

iPad

iPad

On 27th Jan, Mr Steve Jobs of Apple Computer inc unveiled the Apple iPad.
If you think that what i just wrote is mumbo-jumbo , then this is the right post for you. If you understood it, even then this is the right post 🙂
I am sure you must all be aware of the iPod and the iPhone if not the macbooks that Apple manufactures. Well, iPad is the latest entry to their offerings – and it is touted to fill the gap between using an iPhone and the macbook. This post is my first impression on what I percieve the iPad to be. Instead of going on about the device itself – which most websites have a very comprehensive list of – I am going to take this as a FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions).
Q : Where can I buy the iPad in India ?
A : Currently it is not available. It has been announced that it will be available in 60 days worldwide – that is around April. Will it be available immidiately in India ? No idea. Usually it does take a few weeks for stuff to be available in India after launch in USA.
Q: What will it cost ?
A: There are 6 different models to choose from and it will depend on you what you want to get – whether you want with 3G or not. for the 64GB non-3g model the price disclosed is $799 which at today’s conversion comes out to be approx Rs 36,900.
Compared this to a netbook like Samsung N128 – which costs 17k, this is quite an expensive device.
Q. Is it a laptop ?
A: No. Its a different category of device , which just has one screen. You do not open it up like a laptop.
Also, unlike a laptop, you cannot just install any software – but have to go with what is available on the device or use the appstore.
Q. I am planning on getting a laptop. Will this device work for me ?
A: No. This device is very limited in functionality. There is no CD/DVD drive. There is no flash card reader. There is no camera. So, if you want to transfer your music collection or your videos or your photographs , you will need to use a PC or a laptop to connect and transfer to this device.
Think of the iPad as a iPod XXXL.
Its just an iPod with a large screen. In fact , the current iPod applications will mostly run on it too.
Q. What are its drawbacks ?
A. There are many drawbacks. In no particular order :
There is no multitasking.
What this means is that you cannot have 2 applications running at the same time. For instance , lets say you are browsing a webpage and referring to it for making a document. In a usual scenario you can press ‘alt+tab’ to go between them. In the iPad – it is not possible. As soon as you get out of the web browser , it closes – so next time it will be loading back again.
There is no video camera.
This is a big drawback. All the netbooks that are available have a webcam with which you can do video chatting. You will not be able to do any such thing with this.
There is no flash support.
Most of the websites use flash. e.g. if you play farmville – it is using flash. There is no support for flash in iPad nor is there any way to install it too.
Many people think that Apple is deliberately not allowing flash onto the device and also related devices like iPod and iPhone as then their AppStore will not be getting many applications.
You are locked into iTunes and apple
This means that you will need to use the iTunes software to transfer any data to the phone.
You cannot just drag and drop your music or documents into the device. At this point it is not even clear if you will be able to read your PDF documents on the device – and if that is not available – then this device is severely crippled.
Q: Can it run word ? I do a lot of document work.
A: No. Microsoft word is not supported. Out of the box you will really not get any way to write any big documents. However you can purchase for about $10 applications from the appstore which will allow you to create documents. They will still not be compatible with MS Word though.
Q: How do I install software in it ?
A: You will need iTunes. Frankly, I think that iTunes is the crappiest bit of software available – but thats my opinion. You will have to use the iTunes to download applications from the AppStore and install it. Unfortunately, the iTunes Store – which is used to purchase and download songs – is not available in India. This is pretty bad IMO.
Since iTunes can run only on a PC or the apple mac computers – you will necessarily need to have a PC/laptop/mac to effectively use it.
Some of the apps can be downloaded and installed over WiFi – but if it works the same way as the iPhone / iPod does – and since it has an enhanced version of the iPod OS, the bigger applications will need to be installed using the PC and not wirelessly.
Q: Do you recommend me to buy it ?
A: There are various answers to that.
I do not recommend it right now, unless you have a lot of money , and you are itching to get a new device. At $499 starting price – its a damn cheap device – and inspite of limited functionality, it will do many of the things you would want to do like browse the web, check email etc. Also , since its a new user experience the snob value is very high. So, if you like new tech – yeah go ahead – but don’t say I did not warn you.
In all probability its best to wait for the next iterations of the software and the device . At least till it has a good video camera functionality. Without it , I do not see any point in buying it.

On 27th Jan, Mr Steve Jobs of Apple Computer inc unveiled the Apple iPad.

If you think that what i just wrote is mumbo-jumbo , then this is the right post for you. If you understood it, even then this is the right post 🙂

I am sure you must all be aware of the iPod and the iPhone if not the macbooks that Apple manufactures. Well, iPad is the latest entry to their offerings – and it is touted to fill the gap between using an iPhone and the macbook. This post is my first impression on what I percieve the iPad to be. Instead of going on about the device itself – which most websites have a very comprehensive list of – I am going to take this as a FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions).

Q : Where can I buy the iPad in India ?

A : Currently it is not available. It has been announced that it will be available in 60 days worldwide – that is around April. Will it be available immidiately in India ? No idea. Usually it does take a few weeks for stuff to be available in India after launch in USA.

Q: What will it cost ?

A: There are 6 different models to choose from and it will depend on you what you want to get – whether you want with 3G or not. for the 64GB non-3g model the price disclosed is $799 which at today’s conversion comes out to be approx Rs 36,900.

Compared this to a netbook like Samsung N128 – which costs 17k, this is quite an expensive device.

Q. Is it a laptop ?

A: No. Its a different category of device , which just has one screen. You do not open it up like a laptop.

Also, unlike a laptop, you cannot just install any software – but have to go with what is available on the device or use the appstore.

Q. I am planning on getting a laptop. Will this device work for me ?

A: No. This device is very limited in functionality. There is no CD/DVD drive. There is no flash card reader. There is no camera. So, if you want to transfer your music collection or your videos or your photographs , you will need to use a PC or a laptop to connect and transfer to this device.

Think of the iPad as a iPod XXXL.

Its just an iPod with a large screen. In fact , the current iPod applications will mostly run on it too.

Q. What are its drawbacks ?

A. There are many drawbacks. In no particular order :

  • There is no multitasking.
    • What this means is that you cannot have 2 applications running at the same time. For instance , lets say you are browsing a webpage and referring to it for making a document. In a usual scenario you can press ‘alt+tab’ to go between them. In the iPad – it is not possible. As soon as you get out of the web browser , it closes – so next time it will be loading back again.
  • There is no video camera.
    • This is a big drawback. All the netbooks that are available have a webcam with which you can do video chatting. You will not be able to do any such thing with this.
  • There is no flash support.
    • Most of the websites use flash. e.g. if you play farmville – it is using flash. There is no support for flash in iPad nor is there any way to install it too.
    • Many people think that Apple is deliberately not allowing flash onto the device and also related devices like iPod and iPhone as then their AppStore will not be getting many applications.
  • You are locked into iTunes and apple
    • This means that you will need to use the iTunes software to transfer any data to the phone.
    • You cannot just drag and drop your music or documents into the device. At this point it is not even clear if you will be able to read your PDF documents on the device – and if that is not available – then this device is severely crippled.

Q: Can it run word ? I do a lot of document work.

A: No. Microsoft word is not supported. Out of the box you will really not get any way to write any big documents. However you can purchase for about $10 applications from the appstore which will allow you to create documents. They may still not be compatible with MS Word though (not 100% sure of this point – can someone clarify?)

Q: How do I install software in it ?

A: You will need iTunes. Frankly, I think that iTunes is the crappiest bit of software available – but thats my opinion. You will have to use the iTunes to download applications from the AppStore and install it. Unfortunately, the iTunes Store – which is used to purchase and download songs – is not available in India. This is pretty bad IMO.

Since iTunes can run only on a PC or the apple mac computers – you will necessarily need to have a PC/laptop/mac to effectively use it.

Some of the apps can be downloaded and installed over WiFi – but if it works the same way as the iPhone / iPod does – and since it has an enhanced version of the iPod OS, the bigger applications will need to be installed using the PC and not wirelessly.

Q: Do you recommend me to buy it ?

A: There are various answers to that.

I do not recommend it right now, unless you have a lot of money , and you are itching to get a new device. At $499 starting price – its a damn cheap device – and inspite of limited functionality, it will do many of the things you would want to do like browse the web, check email etc. Also , since its a new user experience the snob value is very high. So, if you like new tech – yeah go ahead – but don’t say I did not warn you.

In all probability its best to wait for the next iterations of the software and the device . At least till it has a good video camera functionality. Without it , I do not see any point in buying it.

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~ by nomad on January 30, 2010.

7 Responses to “iPad Demystified”

  1. Notion INK is about to launch Adam.

    http://www.notionink.in/adamoverview.php

    It’s way better than the iPad & runs android OS & made in India 🙂

  2. @Alem yes I am aware of the Notion Ink Adam, and I am eagerly awaiting its release.

    On its own its a great device, but better than iPad ? Technically the specs looks great, but the usefulness of any technology is how the masses take to it – and that is where the iPad will rule.

    I think that the Adam and the iPad are going to co-exist. What the Adam needs is an evangelist like Steve is to the iPad. If you remember a few years back when the iPod was launched, Creative Nomad was way better feature for feature, but the iPod is the winner. And I predict the same for the iPad – other technologically great products will be there, but iPad will rule them.

  3. Definitely, nothing can beat the iPad, it’s a great device. Adam fills in the loop holes for the iPad multitasking, USB etc.. Its less expensive than the iPad..

    What makes the iPhone, IPod successful are the apps which were user created, same thing with the iPad. Apple will sell millions of them, everybody would buy one (including me) but that doesn’t make it better.

  4. There are 3 parts of the puzzle of why the iPhone/iPod is great.
    1. Its got a damn easy to use UI. Is it the technologically best ? No. But it is the most useable UI of any device so far. Nokia phones used to be easy, but they kept adding features, without really doing much of the design of the user experience. Thats why their high end phones are taking such a beating.
    2. Its got a great app store. Not just the apps, but the store is an easy experience to use. Browse through the net or through the phone and you can get apps ( free or otherwise) which just work on the device.
    3. Its got a distortion field in terms of Steve Jobs. If Apple had managed to create an iPhone or an iPod without Steve, it would not have been so successful.

    We usually have a habit ( probably from all the science classes) of just seeing one aspect of a thing without looking at all the interacting aspects and thats where we go wrong.

    I’ve used the android UI – its good. but not better than the iPhone. Yeah, you feel the need for multi tasking – but that is just a fraction of the public who really want to be power users. Most are just happy with the psuedo multi tasking ( e.g. you can browse and listen to music) . Apple knew the segment they were targeting. Does Adam know which segment they are targeting or are they trying to appease everyone. In the later case, they will just end up being an have been.

    I don’t know if Notion Ink has an evangelist – but they really need to get someone who can do it for them.

  5. Пусть будет по-вашему. Делайте, как хотите….

    This post is my first impression on what I percieve the iPad to be…..

  6. Прошу прощения, что я Вас прерываю, есть предложение пойти по другому пути….

    I am sure you must all be aware of the iPod and the iPhone if not the macbooks that Apple manufactures…..

  7. Вы попали в самую точку. Мне кажется это очень отличная мысль. Полностью с Вами соглашусь….

    This post is my first impression on what I percieve the iPad to be…..

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