Arment Dietrich

Will I Buy an iPad Saturday?

By: Arment Dietrich | April 2, 2010 | 

apple ipadThe iPad is finally making its launch tomorrow after about as much hype as only Apple can bring. So will you be in line to buy it? Is yours waiting to be mailed? Me? A week ago I would have said no, but now?

Several months ago, in typical Apple fashion, there was a leak (I am sure it was a complete mistake, uhhhhh). Apple was going to be announcing the launch of the iPad. Like all celebrity gossip magazines, it happened to be true (I think the Enquirer is more accurate than the NYT, but that is just me). I would like to thank Apple for giving me at least 20 jokes in regards to the naming of it.

My first thought was, I have a MacBook Pro Laptop, I have a desktop, and an iPhone, what on earth would I want with an oversized iPhone which I assumed its main use would be coming down Mount Sinai with one in either hand right after I parted the Red Sea.

Then I learned that it will not have the ability to read Adobe Flash. This is a gigantic turn off for me. Think of all of those Web sites that use Flash in some capacity, they will be littered with blank boxes. Apple, whose entire lifetime was designed to make the Internet beautiful, is now making the Internet full of broken boxes. I mean, even Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) can do that. The alternative is HTML5. The new player in things animation. The only problem is that it is not fully browser supported, which means a lot of developers won’t learn it yet. I mean we are still dealing with people on IE6 even IE8 which has limited support and a lot of hacks.

So, I am annoyed with Apple’s decision not to allow Flash, even though it could in a heart beat. My initial reaction was to completely boycott it until they did, although that is doubtful. Not that I am a huge Flash lover, just annoyed more or less.

Then, this week I started looking at the new applications. I think it is neat that you can read books on it like the Kindle, not sure the screen will be as reader friendly, but that was a bonus. Then, a few days ago around the rumor mill, it was said that Netflix created an app that will allow you to stream movies directly on it. Okay, getting better. Not currently a Pandora subscriber, but after seeing the screenshots of the new app and interface for the iPad I went hmmmmm.

I wasn’t completely sold, but now I was at least open to it. Then I started to think of my job and how my complete lack of organization has cost me tens of thousands of hours in my lifetime of searching for something. I started to think how cool it would be to have it in place of a legal pad, to keep all of my notes with me on all of my clients that I visit. I rarely take my laptop. I also thought of how I could formulate thoughts and have a toy on the train ride home. Then, I remember, ooooops no stylus. I am sure some 3rd party something will come out with one in a month or two, but just not the same.

In conclusion, I am not sold on the iPad yet, but if they make these changes below, where do I enter my credit card number……….

1. Flash Support (seriously Apple, your ego is writing checks well okay you can cash them)
2. Expandable memory. It could EASILY have an extra memory flash slot. I know, I know, Apple wants me to spend more money.
3. Two things at once. To really use it for work, I want to be able to have an email open as well as a notepad, browser or other device. Not practical to have to open and close things. apparently this version can’t walk and chew gum.
4. A stylus. As a designer, I sketch stuff all over the place and lose 80% of them. It would be amazing to have a true stylus where I can sketch and handwrite.

Looks like I will be waiting for version 2, 3 or maybe 4.

  • Gini Dietrich

    Kelly and I were having this conversation last night. I want one, but I agree with you that I’ll likely wait until version two for the flash and the external audiences to create fun things for it. I’m super happy I waited for the iPhone 3GS so I don’t mind waiting six months for the new iPad.

  • Ike

    Actually, if you want to replace all those legal pads and whatnot, this is the device I want:

  • Nick, you are priceless! I love your perspective, and your writing style! I, too, will let others buy one, make waves about what is missing, then benefit from some version down the road that has been polished and perfected.

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  • I am waiting for version 2.0 but currently am using a Lenovo X61 tabletPC and OneNote instead of legal pads. It works great!

    Looking foward to seeing the productivity apps for the iPad and love my iPhone 3GS.

  • Gini – to answer the question you posed in the article title, my answer is “Yes – I bought it online the day it became available.”

    There is no rational excuse for doing so. I’ve no idea if the thing will live up to its hype. (In evidence, I bought not one, but two Newtons – you’re too young to know about the benighted Newton, but feel free to google it.)

    Here’s the position I got to some years back with the help of the sainted Elliot Masie – a position which I hope you will consider: If I go ‘ooooh” when I see it, I buy it.

    Not good economics, but *great* self-medication.

    Basically I view the process like this: I’ve wasted a lot of money, but I put my endorphins through college.

    – Les

  • Gini Darlin’…step away from the technology. Take $30 to Barnes & Noble and buy an assortment of Moleskines. Invest the difference with Plan International–you can sponsor a girl in a developing country for the cost of an iPad! Read more in Half the Sky.

    I love all things Apple. I had a Macintosh IIcx when most of your readers were in kindergarten. Now, I too have a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, an iPod Classic and everyone in my family has a Nano and/or a shuffle. And George Gray, who grew up just up the street from me in Miles City, Montana, is one of the Apple executives working to bring us all this iGoodness.

    But, do we really need one more thing?

    Here’s someone who does…a resident at Hacienda, a long term treatment facility in Phoenix, will benefit greatly from the iPad because he can only use his thumb and index finger. A standard keyboard is difficult for him to maneuver, but the iPad will give him a whole new means to communicate. A private donor has already ordered an iPad for him. I think mine can wait.

  • Steve Jobs, Apple, are about innovation and making history.

    Not about being biggest. But being first. I was a VIP guest of Mr. Jobs at WWDC 2005, where he reinforced his value proposition via one slide saying, “Innovate.”

    I admire greatly the view of tech-journalism-legend Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal. He has already test-driven the iPad and says:

    “What’s missing? If you asked me. I wish it played Flash.”

    “It’s wicked fast.”

    And, wrote Mr. Mossberg:

    “For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop.

    It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.”

    The iPad could revolutionize (rescue) the print media, publishing industry and personal computing. Put another way, how many read a newspaper every day or book? How many of you surf the web for your news and information? I thought so. Me, too.

    And, with admiration to Steve Jobs, allow me to add, “One more thing.” The iPad is the start. Just as iSight and iPod morphed seamlessly into Mac Laptops and the iPhone, so will the iPad evolve. In a short order, it could be so thin that it is a smart “refrigerator magnet,” or multi-media wall display for living and bedrooms.

    Remember, the iPad is not a stand-alone product. Apple innovations have a magical way of fitting together, like pieces of a puzzle. One leading to the next.

    I admit to saying many times since the launch of the Mac in 1984: “How did they do THAT…and why didn’t I think of it, too?!” We’re lucky this moment was captured:

    One thing is very clear from Mr. Mossberg and other iPad testers: When they walked the iPad by people, people NEEDED to TOUCH it…to pass it around and SHARE what they had on the screen. The iPad created, no attracted, social interaction.

    That…that is the stuff of behavioral change, and the potential start of a new consumer-technology revolution. I’m not surprised. Apple — Steve Jobs and his teams — live for moments like this. This is what he/they do.

    He’s a modern-day Edison times two. Enjoy the experience. Books will be written about it.

    Jeff @schwartznow

    P.S. I agree with Gini. I’ll wait for the 2nd version iPad. I will also admit that I want to stand in line at my local retail store in a few hours and get one RIGHT NOW. Apple’s about innovation…about being first. I still have my Apple II. And even the Mac Performa circa 1993 just “gets it.” Why? Apple lives to innovate “it” for users.

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  • Apple won’t allow Flash on these devices because Flash would allow people to write applications that don’t go through the official App Store. If Apple was truly worried about Flash hurting user experience, then it wouldn’t be allowed in OSX either. It’s not a coincidence that they only exclude Flash from App Store devices.

    On the other hand, you COULD jailbreak the iPad and get Flash anyway.

  • Hey guys! I didn’t write this – Nick Harrison did. I have a pretty pink notebook I take everywhere with me. But I still really want an iPad. I’m just going to wait until the second generation.

  • Ike, that is exactly what I need! I want that!

    Lesley, I actually agree with Apple in regards to no flash applications via their APP store. I think the quality of applications would go down if they allowed Flash. Flash isn’t the most stable of environments and because applications are written in C, developers have to put more thought into their applications. If they could be written in Flash, every hack web designer would be filling the APP store with crap. Also Apple keeps more developers on Macs being that you need to develop with the SDK software.

    What I really want is the iPad to be able to use the Flash plug-in for their web browsing. I really think after everything I have read, it may happen soon. Apple is losing a lot of money not having it (up to a 3rd).

    Does everyone remember the first iPod? It is crazy how much those have changed.

  • I admit it. I couldn’t resist. I got one on Saturday. I had high expectations and….I’m absolutely blown away. I’m reminded of when I got my first gen iPhone. My initial thought was, “wow! This is amazing AND there’s so much room for improvement.”. Apple didn’t disappoint there.

    My thoughts 36 hours into my iPad experience are exactly the same. I can already see that I won’t be taking my laptop on every trip anymore and the apps are amazing. The thing is visually stunning and it’s actually useful. I’m sure future generations will provide significant improvements just as the iPhone did.

    For those “waiting” for flash – it may be a long wait. People have been waiting for it since the first iPhone, and not only have several websites started embracing html5 to support the iPhone, there are also several apps that bypass this issue (and provide monetary reward for the app/media developers).

    PS this comment is written from my iPad.

  • This is an interesting article from the NY Times about the iPad

  • Great article Gini, thank you for posting it. Very interesting review. It will def. be years for the web to become adaptable. The percentage of people who can view HTML5 is just too small right now.

    I do like the that you can play movies for so long. That helps with flights etc. The only problem is with the memory at what it is, not sure how well that would work with actually loading HD movies on it.

  • I love this device. Is it a revolution in computing? Only time will tell. For the moment, this is the best video, audio, email, web browsing device I’ve ever seen.

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