Yesterday afternoon I tuned in with the thousands of fanbois and girls to listen to God, (I mean Steve Jobs) introduce Apples newest creation: The iPad.
After my initial non-amusement with the name and product features I couldn’t stop thinking that this product was not made for me – a power user. The iPad is geared towards media consumers – which is who we design for – which is why designers should pay attention.
Not For Me…
I have a MacBook Pro, Netbook, and an iPhone already – so why would I want to carry around another device. I purchased a laptop to get rid of my desktop, and an iPhone to replace my smart phone and ipod touch. I’m not a kindle user so this device really does nothing for me… For the mac user that is already ultra connected the iPad has no real use but I still think that this is an important device to pay attention to.
Drawing and Sketching
Photo via Gizmodo
Ok – so I lied. Maybe designers will have some uses for this device. I’m curious about the iPads sketching capabilities. I’ve noticed that the iPhone and iPod touch screens are much more responsive and quick to touch than any other touch screen device ive ever used *cough droid cough*. This makes me think that the iPad would be good for sketching and drawing.
I’m also curious if the iPad could handle Photoshop or Illustrator – or if Apple would even allow Adobe apps on their hallowed device. Could the processor handle that? I can see designers sketching out quick ideas for layouts, logos, product designs etc. I would also think that some sort of stylus would be helpful for these types of apps. What do you think? Would you use the iPad to sketch?
Most importantly I think the iPad will cause designers to continue focusing on designing for mobile and digital content. If the iPad is adopted by enough people it could cause a considerable boost for the newspaper/magazine/print industry and create a new demand for digital magazines. This will bring in new challanges of designing visually interesting layouts that also include interactivity that lie beyond typical web design. This format might also bring new and more targeted advertising opportunities that are specific to this delivery channel.
Apps for the iPad – Whats to come
I have no doubt that in the hands of all those able and crazy creative developers out there the apps for the iPad will make the device even more useful and powerful. Just think how often you use 3rd party apps on your iPhone or iPod touch. My iPhone would basically be worthless to me if it weren’t for all those cool apps. I’m excited to see what is to come in this area.
And Now…The Letdown: Features The iPad Is Lacking
No multi carier data plans?
This is where the device REALLY dissapointed me. Steve Jobs mentioned in the keynote that netbooks were basically crappy laptops – implying that the iPad was much better, but hey Mr. Jobs, my netbook runs photoshop and illustrator pretty decently, runs flash and has a camera. Hrmmmm. Yeah yeah I know this product isn’t for me, but they could have improved on the features that already existed in the iPhone.
At the very least the iPad should have had a camera! Every mac product besides the Mac Mini and iPod Touch have cameras! The iPhone is the most popular camera on Flickr. People love snapping picures and video chatting. I think this is where Apple REALLY missed the mark. Oh and lets not forget about multitasking… not sure why they didn’t include that either. Sigh…
Jailbreaking the iPad
To contradict everything I just said I think the iPad will be pretty sweet once the jailbreak community gets their hands on it. Perhaps they will adapt iPhone apps like Backgrounder to enable multitasking and apps that let you run flash so we don’t miss out on all those awesome non-youtube videos on the interwebs. I think Apple needs to embrace the jailbreak community and the ideas and improvements it brings forward instead of ignoring them.
What do you think of the iPad?
Will you buy one? Or will this product flop? Will it create new opportunities for designers? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!