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The other day I bought an iPad for the house. Yes, I know, when the iPad was first announced, I predicted that few people would want a crippled laptop. Allow me to say I was obviously and totally wrong.

By far, the iPad's most wonderful feature, compared to laptops, is the fact that it turns on instantly. There's no boot-up sequence. That one advantage makes the iPad an entirely different product from a laptop. Once powered on, the iPad doesn't start begging me to update things nor force me to make decisions. It doesn't remind me of all the ways it is protecting me. It doesn't tell me to order printer ink or ask me to fill out a survey. A regular laptop is like your boss: always making you wait before giving you busy-work assignments. The iPad is more like a punctual lover. It's always ready for fun. And if you are tempted to do some work on the iPad, its non-keyboard quickly changes your mind. You wouldn't say a lover is a crippled version of a boss. (Insert your own inappropriate humor here.) So any comparison of an iPad to a laptop simply doesn't work.

Our new iPad's permanent home is in the kitchen. I've discovered that 90% of its usefulness comes from the fact that it's speedy. Yesterday a fox walked by the window, and I was the only witness. Someone asked what type it was, and I was able to point to a picture on the iPad in less than 30 seconds. Some version of that situation happens continuously. Life comes at us in sub-minute chunks, especially in the kitchen. That's a lot of iPad opportunities. I wouldn't have bothered waiting for my laptop to snap out of its energy saving mode.

[Full disclosure: The 30 seconds to locate a fox picture on the Internet does not count the full minute of looking at Megan Fox images that Google was kind enough to offer up at the top of the search.]

Interestingly, I don't recall the instant-on feature being a prominent element of Apple's advertisements for the iPad. Perhaps at this point they could sell laminated turds if they put the Apple logo on them. Obviously whatever Apple is doing is working, marketing-wise.

Another interesting phenomenon of the iPhone and iPad era is that we are being transformed from producers of content into consumers. With my BlackBerry, I probably created as much data as I consumed. It was easy to thumb-type long explanations, directions, and even jokes and observations. With my iPhone, I try to avoid creating any message that are over one sentence long. But I use the iPhone browser to consume information a hundred times more than I did with the BlackBerry. I wonder if this will change people over time, in some subtle way that isn't predictable. What happens when people become trained to think of information and entertainment as something they receive and not something they create? I think this could be a fork in the road for human evolution. Perhaps in a million years, humans will feel no conversational obligation to entertain or provide useful information. That will be the function of the Internet. Someday a scientist will identify the introduction of the iPhone as the point where evolution began to remove conversation from the list of human capabilities. And when the scientist forms this realization, he won't tell his spouse because conversation won't exist. He'll put it on the Internet.

 
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Jul 12, 2010
The iTurd and iArrhea both made me laugh out loud, but Apple's next big thing will be the iPood...
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
" What happens when people become trained to think of information and entertainment as something they receive and not something they create? I think this could be a fork in the road for human evolution". - I think this is exactly what's happened to the culture of music making in the modern era once recorded music came along, and that the results aren't in as yet. Previously pretty much everyone made some music, if only something like one novelty song they could sing at parties. Now there's the feeling that to make music you need to be a special person, and that if the music you do make doesn't measure up to what the pros on the CDs do, you're a failure. My intuition is that you're right on target with the evolutionary consequences possibility. (How's your voice? Did you take up singing?)
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
I don't think we'll see the flood of content creation come to a stop anytime soon. There are still far too many out there who want the world to hear their thoughts and ideas.

Including me, I guess, because here I am adding my own content to the cloud.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
Apple should market the iArrhea. It would run way better than the other crappy models listed below.
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
You must have huge hands. I have miniscule hands and can type fairly easily on my iPhone. It's comfortable to hold when reading or browsing, too.

The only major benefit of the iPad over the iPhone is screen size. Although there are portable keyboards for the iPhone, the small screen would make drafting long documents a real pain.

I use my iPhone more or less non-stop: from the time it wakes me in the morning, until I read a little before bed, it's either in my hand or nearby, giving me the news on my way to work, social networking and e-mails, the Internet in full, books, music, games and photos, video clips, television and even movies, weather and GPS, in short, anything I want that is available digitally, and it fits into my miniscule hand.

Oh yeah and it makes phone calls. Not really seeing the appeal of the iPad.
 
 
+14 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
"What happens when people become trained to think of information and entertainment as something they receive and not something they create?" "I wonder if this will change people over time, in some subtle way that isn't predictable"

Yeah! What would happen if something like TV caught on. What if people even spent their formative years with that as their main source of entertainment? If only there was some way to know...
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
Not everyone has as much problems with the keyboard as Scott.

Further, as of June 7, 2010 the SDK has allowed some 225,000 apps to be created by users with over 5 billion downloads.

As far as the creation of content goes, that must be up there fairly high.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
I want an iPad purely because I want something watchable [video on the road], easily portable [laptops aren't handy; netbooks are too small] and can surf the Web [also on the road]. Anything I want to 'create' I will do at home on my laptop. I won't give up my Blackberry because it fits in my pocket. For me, the iPad is the perfect intermediary between smartphone and desktop. I'm waiting for a second-gen release however...they are NUTS not to include Flash, despite its flaws, and there are a few other obvious features [USB port? camera?] that I'd like to see...
 
 
-4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
Oh, and re the ipad itself: one thing people don't mention is that it's heavy, and awkward to position. It gives me a pain in the shoulder unless I'm reclined in a sofa with my legs up so that my knees provide a suitably angled surface to rest it on. Trying to keep it held up with your spare hand leads to wrist and arm pain pretty soon; leaving it on other things often leads to neck pain looking down at the thing.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
I have this always-on thing. It's called a PC. I don't even have to press a button to turn it on - it's always on, as in, always! It's also got a proper keyboard and acres of screen space across multiple monitors.

It's great. You should try one. My own iPad languishes in disuse.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
"Perhaps at this point they could sell laminated turds if they put the Apple logo on them"

The iCrap, I love it! :-)
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
Instant booting was my favorite feature with my original Palm Pilots. (I think I went thru 3 versions before they lost their path in the wilderness.) Even a warm reset only required a quick stylus calibration and date time confirmation.
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
oh, so the I-pad is back, just a few points

its keyboard is too small for both hands, but too big for just using your thumbs. so anyone that can use a real keyboard properly, will want it to burn in hell.

No Flash player on first releases... ummm... thats an interesting feature to leave off something thats primary usage is for looking at things on the web.

"no right way [up]" as advertised, its thats anything like the iphone, I will have to learn to love watching the blank screen, (cos it wont load the flash player things) upside down, or according to the advert at 90 degrees. Whislt I have learnt to read upside down over the years, (allways good for reading your bosses notes) 90 degrees will take a user upgrade...

Apple suck at user support.

Apple suck at user support. On the list twice coz its that important.

Its actually thin enough for me to loose. thats an interesting feature thats not advertised. I could put it down with a pile of papers, and never find it again. OK so I could tidy my desk a little, but then Id never find the stuff i wasnt looking for but needed.

Its to big to hold in my hands and use continually, but not quite big enough or at the right angle to sit on my lap

I have NEVER typed on something that has the keyboard at the same angle as the screen. as any "hard core" user will tell you, actually typing on the screen is going to become uncomfortable for all but the shortest of sentences.

great it has apps, still cant use it as a lap top though. how am i going to do any serious gaming or get any real utility from it.

Its great at surfing the net, or displaying pictures etc. so its basically a digital photo frame that can download !$%*!$%

personally i will stick with the old laptop thingy. I can use it for the internet AND otherthings like typing in Scotts blog comments.

Apple have again reinvented the wheel and no-one has noticed its square, with a missing side. great!
 
 
+14 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
"You wouldn't say a lover is a crippled version of a boss. (Insert your own inappropriate humor here.) "

Challenge Accepted!

1. They both tell me to do something harder.
2. Neither of them pay me enough.
3. They both complain about my post-deployment support.
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
@awa64 Why would anyone turn off the iPad (I don't know how long it takes to cold boot because I've only done it once, when it came out of the box)? It uses next to no battery life with the screen off, while constantly stays connected to the network so you get instant email and those important Farmville notifications. :)

@edj IMDB already has an iPad app and it does exactly that.

@Scott Love the Dilbert app.
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
The vast majority of people are just consumers of content. If you read studies on participation models (Jakob Nielsen on www.useit.com performs and documents some of these), you would know that a typical participation model involves 90% of people consuming, 9% occassionally contributing, and 1% frequently contributing. On Wikipedia, it's more like 99%, 0.95%, 0.05%. The best participation model ever found (amazon) is more like 70%, 25%, 5% with most of the participation being a one-to-five star rating.

So, in short, the effect of "most people" consuming content and not producing any would be exactly identical to what we have now.
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
"With my BlackBerry, I probably created as much data as I consumed. It was easy to thumb-type long explanations, directions, and even jokes and observations. With my iPhone, I try to avoid creating any message that are over one sentence long. But I use the iPhone browser to consume information a hundred times more than I did with the BlackBerry. I wonder if this will change people over time, in some subtle way that isn't predictable"

What a wimp! You've bragged about your tennis playing for years. You're an athlete. Now, with the iPhone and iPad you say you //can't// type? I'll bet the "subtle way that isn't predictable" is that you'll finally stop begging for our sympathy and figure out that "Hey, I CAN type, after all". (Smiley, winking little puerile emoticon)
 
 
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
When you fully turn off your iPad, as opposed to just putting it to sleep (like you can do with a *gasp* laptop!) it still takes several minutes to boot up.

If you set up your laptop properly, it doesn't start begging you to update things, force you to make decisions, remind you of all the ways it is protecting you, tell you to order printer ink or ask you to fill out a survey. And if you install a bunch of notification-enabled crapware on your iPad, it'll start begging you to water your plants in Farmville, respond to a bunch of tweets, etc.

The iPad is still a crippled laptop. It's just a crippled laptop that's designed to keep idiots from making the mistakes that result in them hating their non-crippled laptops. And that is a genuine selling point over non-crippled laptops.
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
Apple could sell unlaminated turds, sans logo. The lamination and logo turds would be the TurdPro, and Apple customers would line up for the privilege of handing over cash for them.
 
 
Jul 12, 2010
<i>I wonder if this will change people over time, in some subtle way that isn't predictable. What happens when people become trained to think of information and entertainment as something they receive and not something they create?</i>

At that point, we'll have invented TV (the internet being but a brief distraction).
 
 
 
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