Like most products Apple introduces these days, I had an initial strong desire to own an iPad. I hate the name (like most of the rest of the world), but love the way it looks and the way Apple talks about it. As a fairly avid reader, I am excited to try Apple’s take on the e-book front (I have never been a huge fan of the Kindle – especially since you can’t download books here in Qatar). And of course I am looking forward to the huge range of web applications that are likely to be developed for it.
The positive aspects and numerous shortcoming of the iPad have been chronicled to death at this point. The most useful, quick recap for me was on the Huffington Post. The lack of multi-tasking seems to be the biggest failure to me, but people should keep in mind Apple is not trying to make this your new PC. I am not that stressed about it not having a camera (it would be a bit awkward to snap a photo with something that size, no?) and we are all pretty used to the battery issues of Apple products.
I’m am not sure the iPad will be a truly life changing device and frankly I expect version 2 to be better (so yes, I may wait to buy one), but with the touch screen interface growing, web designers and developers true need to think about how their site will work and function in this format – it may very well become the preferred format for people. Things like easy navigation will become increasingly important and designers should keep in mind that the iPad doesn’t work with flash (the New York Times did a nice article on how HTML5 may replace flash as the preferred choice). This also has the potential to make the need for an “app” more fundamental. The website simply may not be enough anymore.
End of day, the iPad seems like a cool tool for the consumption of digital content – books, newspapers, magazines, movies, etc – and I could certainly see it catching on. It has the potential to connect more people in a simple way. Web developers and designers take note!