My response to ’8 Things That Suck About the iPad’ – on Gizmodo
Well the iPad has been unveiled, and the people awaiting with baited breath for the last consumer device you will ever need to buy, have been left wanting and are now going mental on the forums – I’ve been a little taken aback as to how people have responded.
The biggest obstical was the hype. I’ve seen hype before but this was hype upon hype it was never going to meet every single lunatic requirement asked of it. I was prepared for it and the now naysayers should have been too
Let’s break it down…
Name: iPad – get over it. It’s short, friendly, and descriptive. iSlate sounds too aggressive, Tablet a little to generic and give no sense of use..
Design: I know Johnathan Ive is about proportions and this is no different, the size of the homescreen button couldn’t have been reduced as that would have had people up in arms, upset the balance / proportions of the device and looked out of place in the range. It’s even a good from an ergonomic sense, you are going to be grasping this in your hand by the edge for long periods of time. The large bezel puts all focus on the screen and supporting hand out of the way.
Multitasking: Ok, alright you got me here, it would be nice but really a deal breaker? The millions of people with iPhone’s seem to cope.
Cameras: You want to hold this up like a giant camera to snap something? No. Front facing for video conference? Well they put it on every cell phone and nobody really video calls. I could see a small percentage of users make use of it for a small amount of time. A lot of people are calling for it as a given, even saying they wouldn’t use it but it should just be there so they get their moneys-worth, if it doesn’t need to be there it’s just going to add to clutter in the U.I.
Touch Keyboard: It’s appropriate for the amount of typing you are expected to be doing on the device – no one complains that you can’t write a play on a mobile phone. You’re not meant to write a book on the iPad, just light typing and for that it serves the purpose. It’s better than a mobile, not quite as good as a keyboard – hell the slide in Jobs keynote showed were it’s positioned.
I can sympathise with some of the arguments for touch typing, but if you did that, you wouldn’t be looking at the gorgeous screen.
OS: Some were demanding full OS X or nothing. It would have had to become a more of a Mac Air type product to avoid cannibalising sales of MacBooks, and then cries of ‘too expensive!’ and ‘4 hour battery life! wtf?!’, would have rung out across the blogsphere.
Tablets have been tried many many times before – but we aren’t all using them already? Because using a full OS with no regard for the hardware or the users new limitations and strengths just doesn’t work. It’s not about what you put in, but what you omit can have just as big a bearing on the experience.
Final Summary: Despite the negative outpourings that have followed the launch. We will probably looking back on this in a few years as the point where the Tablet computing hit mainstream. As a casual browser and media consumer for the household it ticks all the boxes and it does it effortlessly.