With many tech blogs and news sites posting endless stream of anything iPad, I want to put my own 2 cents too. 😛
I’ve been thinking about how would I use the iPad. Usually one would buy something for a purpose. Apple is obviously hoping people would try to find a purpose to justify the iPad purchase.
1. An portable internet device for the home. Ever been wanting to view some websites while you’re taking a dump, while watching TV, or while lying on your bed? I’ve been doing it with my iPod Touch/iPhone, but obviously having a device with a larger screen like the iPad would make the experience better. The larger screen is also better to view videos. A netbook is a hassle due to their form factor. The issue with the iPad is how I would get my content on it. Currently, it seems that you have to sync the iPad with iTunes, just like iPods. Well, considering the small storage space on the iPad, this is an issue. Plus I don’t want to have all my videos in iTunes. I already have a Windows Home Server for all my videos. Apple should put the ability to stream content from a networked drive to the iPad. Alas, I don’t think it would be able to do that. Plus for the price, I’ll stick with my iPhone.
2. A camera companion on the go. Let’s say you’re traveling, and want to take tons of pictures while being able to view/back them up. Currently, a cheap solution is to bring a netbook with you. Most netbooks come with an SD slot where you can dump all your pictures to. The iPad with the SD card dongle might be a more portable solution. Problem is, again, the limited storage of the iPad (if you already fill it up with your music/videos, etc). Plus, the photos app is just a basic viewing app. I’m sure there will be many photo editing tools coming to the app store (already plenty for the iPhone), but it would be more seamless if Apple put iPhoto on the iPad.
3. As a backup internet device. As much as I like Comcast, it doesn’t have 100% uptime, and when it’s down, it’s really frustrating being offline. The iPad with 3G plus its prepaid wireless data plans seem to be a nice and cheaper way to have for a backup internet, vs paying $60 a month continuously for 3G data with a USB dongle. The dilemma is, I already have the iPhone (and I’m sure it’s the case for most people that are interested in the iPad). Now if only AT&T allow tethering on the iPhone, even with an additional fee, it will still be cheaper than spending money for the iPad. Alas, AT&T sux, and there’s no hint whether they would allow iPhone tethering in the US, ever. The iPad seems to be an expensive way to solve a simple problem.
So, yeah, it’s hard trying to find a use for the iPad. Now I’m sure once it’s released, there will be apps that change the way we think about it, but at this time, the iPad seems to have a lot of potential, yet at the same time feels too limited.
I’m curious that Apple might release the iPad simply as a training wheel for their future products, for people to get used to having multi-touch on a larger screen. I would imagine future iMacs and/or Macbooks would employ a multi-touch screen. Even better, imagine an iMac/Macbook that has an A4 equipped with iPhone OS built-in for instant-on usage, in addition to the traditional OS X and intel processor. Want to listen to music/check email quickly on your Macbook, instant-on to the iPhone OS. Want to do more stuff like picture/video editing, simply boot up to OS X. Yeah, that would be awesome! Hey, I just did a rumor for upcoming Apple products! I’m guessing Apple will see how successful (and probably how small/cool they can make the A4) the iPad is, and implement it to the iMac/Macbook in a couple of years.