iPad

iPass on the Apple iPad: It's no netbook killer

Vincent Danen's anticipation turned to disappointment at the iPad unveiling. Here are his reasons why the Apple iPad fails to impress.

I have to admit, when speculation first came up about Apple coming out with a netbook killer, I was excited. When that speculation turned to a tablet, and then the more recent rumours of it being a giant-sized iPod Touch, the excitement wore off -- so much so, that when the iPad was unveiled, all it got from me was a mild grunt.

Looking at it, the iPad is clearly one heck of a device. It's light-weight, slim, boasts great battery life, and has fantastic multitouch capabilities, but that's where the benefits start to run dry for me. What I've been looking forward to is a way to run OS X on a netbook, a mini-MacBook if you will. A glorified iPod Touch is a rather boring proposition in comparison.

Don't get me wrong; I can see the appeal. There are certain groups of people that will love this thing. Students, for one, could make great use of this. My mother would like it (it's low-tech enough for her), and my eight-year-old daughter would love it. People who like reading ebooks (iBooks?) will love it.

Too locked-down, too little choice

The iPad is definitely a Kindle killer, but it's no netbook killer. There is plenty going for it, if you accept the restrictions and don't mind the completely locked-down environment it provides.

Further, Apple is aiming to set a very dangerous precedent with this device.

Calling this a personal computer is like calling a toaster an oven. Yeah, it can warm things up, but it's very restrictive and there are only certain types of food you can prepare with it. That's what the iPad is: a restrictive device that lets you do certain things in a certain way. Apple will tell you that, of course, that's the best way -- regardless of whether you agree or not. It certainly restricts choice.

Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of apps for the iPad on the App Store, and yes, you can choose as many dictionaries or games as you like -- if -- they are available on the App Store. How do they get on the App Store? Through a draconian approval process where Apple gets the last say. The App Store has some great apps; I love my iPhone, and I can do some fantastic things on it. But it, and the apps I can put on it, are no replacement for my computer. The idea of being restricted to this Apple-approving process of applications on my phone is one thing. I can live with that, because it's an on-the-go device, a phone, a PDA.

But the iPad is supposed to be the missing link between the iPhone and a laptop. Instead, it's a glorified iPhone, without the phone. Only applications Apple has approved can run on it. You have little control and limited choice.

Apple controls this one from top to bottom: hardware and software. The difference here is that on the iPad, unlike OS X on Apple hardware, Apple controls all the software. They may not write it all, but they certainly make the decision as to whether or not it will be made available because they control the only vehicle of delivery: the App Store.

It should have been a netbook

With a true netbook running OS X, you have freedom. Sure, not full, open source freedom like you would running Linux or FreeBSD, but you can pretty much do whatever you like with it. Want to run a server, or three different office suites at the same time, compile software, or even write your own? Easily done.

A plethora of open source software is available for the picking and, perhaps most importantly, Apple does not control what you can do, or what you can install, on the computer. If OS X is your thing, there is a lot of choice to be had.

With the iPad, on the other hand, if you wanted the same freedom you get on OS X, you would have to jailbreak it (as with the iPhone), and even then you get nowhere near the choices and freedoms you would on an actual computer. This is exactly what makes this kind of "computer" so scary. Apple gets to dictate to you exactly the experience you should have with it and you get to pay for the privilege!

No thanks, iPad. iPass. I want a netbook with a real keyboard, with real applications, real multitasking, and real choice. You could throw the multitouch in there as well and have a definite netbook killer. The iPad, as far as I'm concerned, is an iPod for the visually impaired.

Related: See Molly's Rant, "The Apple iPad: It's just ahead of its time" at CNET News.

About

Vincent Danen works on the Red Hat Security Response Team and lives in Canada. He has been writing about and developing on Linux for over 10 years and is a veteran Mac user.

68 comments
djjdevos
djjdevos

I think that the bottom line is their bottom line. If they made a killer netbook it would take to many sales from all their other higher priced lines of computers (and I love them all - yes an Apple fan). I'm convinced that they definitely wanted to carve a new category that they hope people will want in addition to their "real computers" - not "real" enough to replace it.

afhavemann
afhavemann

Wife wanted an Ipad so we went to the Apple store for a look. She loved it, and started asking questions of the salesgirl. The following exchange is quite accurate. Wife: "I like it, it looks really good but I have a question, where do I plug in my camera card?" Salesgirl: "Uh, well, actually you can't, you have to do that with a computer" Wife: "I don't have a computer, that's why I want this" Salesgirl: "Umm, well, maybe your husband can figure it out because it doesn't have a camera card slot" Wife: "Wait a minute, I want to put my camera card in so I can show my pictures to my family and friends. The ipad looks like just the thing to do it, and you tell me that it can't. Why would someone build such a thing then cripple it so?" Salesgirl: "Well, that's just the way it's designed" Wife: "They didn't want me looking at my own pictures? OK then, so I can't use it for pictures. But I do want to use it in class for note taking and such so show me how to type and organize my school notes" Salesgirl shows her the screen keyboard. Wife: "OK, that works good but how do I organize and group my files by subject and content?" Salesgirl: "Uh, well you can't, it just kind of keeps them in a list" Wife: " A list? I might have a thousand notes by year, well maybe I can figure out a way later, show me how to print" Salesgirl: "Uh, Umm, well you can't print anything from an ipad. Maybe you can email it to yourself then use a computer to print later. Maybe you could use a school computer" Wife: " you mean I have to find somewhere I can get onto the Internet with the ipad, then email my notes to myself, then find a computer somewhere that I can use to get to my email, just so I can print?" Salesgirl: "Well, yes" Wife: "What were they thinking?, was anybody in charge when they designed this?" Wife: "No pictures, can't organize or print; they really screwed up, it's just another boys toy" And you know what?, she's right.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... and it looks like the iPad is [i]not[/i] a pass. It is now three weeks after they hit store shelves, and Apple is having trouble keeping up with demand. And it appears that the netbook is suffering for it.

cettech
cettech

I can't believe how often people compare a device with an LED screen to an e-paper device like the Kindle specifically for reading. The Kindle and other e-paper devices are more like reading from real paper. You can read from a Kindle in sunlight, but the same can't be said for LED screens. LED screens are harder on the eyes and consume far more power than the negligible amount that e-paper does. Lastly, when you compare prices ($259 for Kindle, $499 for iPad), I don't see the basis for the "Kindle-killer" statement. Oh, and the $499 for the iPad doesn't even include 3G like the Kindle does. Will some people opt to read from the iPad versus the Kindle? Yes, but that doesn't mean it will be a significant amount. They are different devices that are for different consumers.

reinardtb
reinardtb

This entire Hippy, free love mentality of things being open and free really belong there, in the 60's and 70's. Its a generation and thought process that brought us broken relationships, drug addiction and oh yes AIDS. Some positives were to be found, fight against war, good music etc, but the negatives will affect us much longer than the positives. It's also the mentality that brought us Windows...the industry standard for a set of hardware components that while popular, don't work brilliantly. The point of Apple controlling things is to make sure things work. If you don't want that, buy something else and moan about that, not something that works!

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

It seems the author here expected something far different from what Apple is releasing--some sort of full-powered computer in a tablet format, apparently. The problem is, that format has already failed so many times that I can't believe people still claim to want it. After over 10 years of attempts by Microsoft, you'd think they'd give up. First off, a tablet needs to have a touch-native OS, not a hacked-over version of a desktop OS that merely replaces the mouse with touch. The only really legitimate tablets in productive use have had to use custom-designed software to make it perform as a tablet and not just a keyboard-less laptop. HP has had to put custom touch software on top of Windows to make it more touch-friendly, and it's still limited to pretty much HP's own software, the touch tricks not really recognized by other applications. Until the OS is as touch-native as was seen on ST:TNG, it's no different than what we've had for fifteen years. Ok, so this tablet device isn't a full-powered computer; Steve Jobs never claimed it was. It isn't intended to do everything a desktop/laptop computer does, and honestly neither can a netbook, unless you want to go back to 1995. On the other hand, as a mobility device the iPad can and probably will be far superior to a netbook. For one thing, you simply don't have to put it down to use it, you can be fully functional while walking from office to office; classroom to classroom; bedroom to living room. In other words, it's what a tablet was intended to be. Most of the pundits against the iPad claim that it's nothing but a glorified iPod Touch. I can't say they're totally wrong, but I have to point out that a lot of people have said the iPod touch is too small for what they want to do on it. The App Store has over 140,000 different applications, admittedly a lot of junk apps, but also apps to help photographers, writers, artists, truckers, accountants, doctors etc... In other words, productivity apps, and a lot of them. Giving them a bigger display will make them that much easier to use. On top of these, Apple is offering tablet versions of its iWork apps, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. I use Pages and Keynote frequently, both as an author and as the editor of an international service club newsletter. They would give me the ability to create or modify these newsletters on the fly and email the corrected missive to the club members. Granted, a netbook could do the same, but would it be as easy? Then we add the ebook reader, not a tiny 2"x3" screen reading tiny text, but page by page reading like a real book--in a device that's far more than the Kindle XL for only a fraction higher price. The iBookStore looks like it will be a solid competitor to Amazon's own system, and I hope easier to search through, since Amazon's 'targeted' recommendations rarely interest me. On top of this, periodicals like magazines and newspapers will be at least somewhat more readable than on a Kindle or other e-Ink device simply due to the fact that you can read it any place, any time, day or night. And while the iPad may 'only' have 10 hours of operating time as compared to the Kindle's week or longer, that's still nearly twice the operating time of the average netbook while it has a stand by time of a full 5 days, longer than almost any cell phone or similar product currently on the market. So, Ok, the iPad won't be for everyone. That''s not enough excuse to say it's not for anyone. At least for me it will meet every expectation I had for the device except one--and I expect that addition to be a software upgrade within a year.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

While I agree that, for the most part the iPad will be a lot of fun and games, but I do believe that it will have a place in the business world. I work for a company that has embraced the iPhone for it's ability to run customized applications. We have written an app specifically for our company that allows our sales reps to lookup product availability locally, by district, by region and nationally. They can show rates and photos of the products as well an this all obviously works over the 3G network. The limitation is that we are working with the tiny iPhone screen. I can see the iPad being a HUGE advantage to our salespeople. And, once we get to the second or third generation and we are given a camera then it will be even more flexible. Will we have to wait for that, sure, but even without it the first generation iPad will have a definite place in our business..!!! To see what we've been able to do with just the iPhone? go to the following address: http://www.apple.com/iphone/business/profiles/sunbelt-rentals/ (Caution: This is an "Apple" address so protective gear may be required for those who are Apple-phobes) Imagine the things that this little device will allow folks to do once the right applications have been written? Take inventories, do audits, etc, etc, etc. Then, when we do get a camera imagine how much better those applications will be. I perform safety audits and I can see an application that will not only allow me to document my findings, but one day I'll be able to snap a photo to show examples of problems with a my iPad as I'm filling out the audit form (on the iPad). What a bunch of whiny babies!!! Let me paraphrase what 90+% of the articles and replies I've read hear have to say... "Oh my God? it's, it's, it's an Apple product!!! Don't touch it! Somebody call 911..!!!!" In stead of iBashing something for what it's not, how about thinking creatively and thinking of ways this NEW product may have it's benefits (if thats not too much to ask). I've never read so much crap by unimaginative biased people in a long time (if ever). How bouts getting off your fannies, sucking up your pouty bottom lips and realize this isn't a netbook, it's not a laptop, it's not a phone! it's a NEW category of product.. and think of something useful for a change..!!! Is that too much to ask from a "Mac's in Business" article?

ykkok
ykkok

If you want a thin Mac, get the Air. If you want a very pocketable device, get the iPhone. If you want something cheap, light and opened, get a Netbook. If you want to sit back/lie down in your sofa, with a conrtable device surfing and replying mails, get the iPad. If you want an opened and flexible pad, get the P88. Please Apple, don't make Netbooks. I have 2 netbooks, 2 PCs, 1 HP Tablet, 1 Macbook and an iPhone at home. Guess what? I find that I use my iPhone to do most tasks nowadays. Why? Simple, no boot up, no shut down, straight to the point. Launching and closing apps is a brisks. No need multitasking. I have so many different devices, I can do almost everything. Give me something simple - the iPad.

jazzy5
jazzy5

The first thing I don't like is the price. Sure $499 is not bad, but only 16 GB? Wi-fi is great and better the 3G, but now we are talking over $800. plus $30.00 monthly fee for a bad service from ATT? It cannot run two application at the same time. How great it will be to plug your headphones, hear your tune while reading a e-book, but this cannot be done. Typing in a flat screen is like poking with one finger. You cannot type fast on the screen. You need an accesory keyboad to carry to do a replay to a e-mail. 10" Netbook is so much better than this. What? I can replace the battery? I cannot upgreat the memory or flash drive? Just like IPhone is not part of the corporate world, the IPad would not connect to the company server. There is no point into bringing this big slat to a meeting if there nothing I can share of value except the pictures of my family. I will be sitting in the meeting like a cool idiot.

jevans4949
jevans4949

I only caught a few clips of the launch on the regular news, but it looked to me to be far bigger than the typical netbook - more like the size of a laptop. Something the size of an eReader might catch on. Maybe we have to await the iPad Nano?

jevans4949
jevans4949

Top spec Ipad $829 (on Apple US store), Modbook from $2149

jfuller05
jfuller05

of your wife and the salesperson at Apple so everyone can read it. It'll probably get lost in this old thread. Seriously, this is too good to leave here, create a discussion with this post. :)

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Apple wanted to be a netbook without the book part. Meh, there are some android netbooks on the horizon that are going to eat the iPad for lunch. There is one (I've spaced the name) that switches into ebook mode when you open a book (you know looks like a Kindle screen) and then switches into netbook mode when doing other things. I'll take that.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Time has come, and time has gone... ... and it looks like the Windows 7 is not a pass. You see what we are getting at.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

It means it is a hyped Apple product. It also means that the early adopters will jump ship if it isn't a good product. Get back to me in a year and we'll see how the iPad is really doing.

kenmo
kenmo

Nothing wrong with the mentality, which was about far more than "free love". It's certainly not the mentality that brought us Windows, nothing free or open about that. More like the mentality that brought us Linux, IMHO. And at Apple, the control is as much or more about protecting the cash cows as it is about making things work. What's brilliant about Apple's stuff is great design & execution that they've honed to a fine art, not their draconian attitude of control. But then again, I guess that's why it's so much more satisfying to hack ;-) Sent from my Hackintosh

Chief Bottle Washer
Chief Bottle Washer

Well said, but AIDS surfaced in the late 80's early 90's predominately in the Gay community. Hippies brought back to light VD, syphilis, gonorhea, herpies etc.

dougogd
dougogd

the ipod reminds me of them. People want a touch screen interface that has the functions of a computer. And the ability to use it for what ever the want to without paying to more software to increase its functions. Example of ipad : I want to do this....ok pay this and you can do that....no thanks I don't want to pay for more apps when i can do the same for free on a net book.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"OK, so this tablet device isn't a full-powered computer; Steve Jobs never claimed it was." No problem. Tell all those technology pundits that keep trying to convince the rank-and-file that it is, that it's a netbook / laptop / Windows-based tablet replacement.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

Haven't been able to say it as well myself.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"Imagine the things that this little device will allow folks to do once the right applications have been written? Take inventories, do audits, etc, etc, etc. Then, when we do get a camera imagine how much better those applications will be." Imagination isn't necessary. Tablet devices from other manufacturers have been doing these functions for years. Those other devices also have USB ports so you can connect a camera; 'when we get a camera' is also already here. They also have multitasking operating systems so you can use that camera and have the document open at the same time. Everything you 'imagine' already exists. There's nothing new about this device except the logo. If there's a lack of imagination, it's on Apple's part; they've re-invented the wheel, and not done a particularly good job of it.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

[i]If you want to sit back/lie down in your sofa, with a conrtable device surfing and replying mails, get the iPad. [/i] So I'm expected to pay between $499 and $829 for a device that makes me a couch potato more comfortably? No thanks. Netbooks or good for surfing the net cheaply. Tablets are good for mission specific mobile computing when some sketching or freehand is required. Macbooks and notebooks are great for mobile computing when real hardware is needed. E-Readers are great for reading books as they have tremendous battery life and more importantly, do not hurt your eyes as a notebook or iPad would do for extended sessions. At least give us usb or sd slots with no dongles. I?ve said it before and I?ll say it again, the iPad is a solution in search of a problem. Luckily for Apple, their more hardcore followers will blindly buy anything with an Apple logo even if they don?t need it. This will be enough to make money on the iPad, though I would love to see if it covers their R&D cost. To each his own, but I can?t justify spending that kind of dough on a couch surfing device when I have kids to feed, raise and educate.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Open up your laptop 'til it lies flat. Then tell me the iPad is bigger than it is. Of course, the iPad's advantage is that it's all display--until you need the keyboard.

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

I looked at it and just had to wonder what I would use it for if I had it. It's too big to carry around with you. Can't stick it in a pocket. Now you need a case to carry it in. And then you can't do real computer stuff. Yeah, it's a big iPod Touch. I would take a netbook over this anyday. The netbook may be underpowered, but it's about the same size and has a keyboard.

retrofire
retrofire

This deserves a top level discussion thread. Multitask is coming in OS4 -- but what else is missing? Printing is a enterprise iPad killer. I wanted to replace the executives & salemens laptops with this type of modern looking device, but it can't see my servers, can't print a powerpoint presentation or spreadsheet or email -- and although I turn flash off all the time because of distracting dumb ads, I've got to have full PC capabilities to replace laptops...

lars_honeytoast
lars_honeytoast

Never jump on "what's new" or "the next big thing." Time will do it's part, then we'll see how great it is.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

This argument has been used and shot down at least twice just in this one thread. Tablets of the past? They failed not from the technology, but from the OS installed on it. The iPad changes that paradigm.

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

As previously stated, our organization has developed an application that is primarily iPhone based, but now will ALSO be able to run on the iPad. With the intro of the iPad we will be able to utilize the iPhone technology and EXPAND IT to other aspects of our business due to the usefulness of the iPad format (tablet) in addition to the iPhone. What I was talking about was using a TABLET, not a netbook that really has to be set down to use and not used while being carried around. And yes, I know that if you are somewhat coordinated you could probably carry a netbook around and use it, but it's not the same as using a tablet. And yes, there are tablets around but they won't work with our application (and don't blame Apple for this one, there are tones of non-Apple custom software products out there that limit the hardware choices of the organizations that use them). We chose the iPhone because it's a good solution for our business needs, and the iPad will work seamlessly with our currently established system. That's something we couldn't do with any other current tablet technology. Are there "limits" because we use Apple products? Sure, but that's something we understood going in and it's working for our company. I KNOW OTHER DEVICES HAVE USB, CAMERAS, ETC..!!! Nobody has said there aren't other devices that have those things. Jeeze. The point is that there IS a place in business for the iPad. Will it fit everyone's needs, nope. Probably won't fit MOST people's needs, but even if it fit's SOME business needs it will probably be successful in business, which will make it appealing to many due to it's dual purpose (personal and business) potential. Just because there are other solutions that work, doesn't mean the iPad wont work in business too. That's why there are Chevy's and Fords, and so on, and so on..

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I spent less than that on the TV. Instead of buying additional devices to surf from the sofa, I spent $250 for a good chair and positioned my desk where I could see the tube while using my existing desktop.

kenmo
kenmo

...like why others use & like something :-) As long as a device meets your needs and you're happy with it, great. If you don't like a product, don't buy it... there's no need or use to criticize others because they like what you don't. I think there's a place for all the above things being touted and bashed. None of them is perfect and none of them suits everyone. As for Mr. Danen's article, while he raises some valid points, doesn't do the device justice IMHO. I just spent the day working with one, and it was an enjoyable experience. It wouldn't replace a computer for me but as a personal entertainment device it's quite unique. As a bonus, it's so easy to use, I could give one of these to my computerphobic mother and she'd be loving it by the end of the day. And BTW, Vince, if you're willing to do a little hacking, put an Apple sticker on your netbook (to satisfy Apple's EULA, read it carefully) and install OSX on it... there are many great guides out there. But you probably already knew this... must not be seen as advocating that sort of stuff :-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I would think you'd already know that Windows hasn't had DOS underpinnings since the NT version. WMe was the last version based on DOS.

Chief Bottle Washer
Chief Bottle Washer

Of all the BS spouted from the very same people who rely on the Windows (DOS underpinned) OS - WTF? You write custom apps for your Windows environment so you can accomplish a specific task. Is this correct? If so, then you are proving that you don't want to learn something in order to perform your proper function?which is to adapt and stay current in an ever changing environment of IT support. Quit your whining and grow up.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I suspect few of those retail available apps will fit the requirements of those who need custom apps. A lot of those apps just make it easier to use other, existing utilities on the iPhone format and interface; many of them just substitute for web pages that can't be easily read on a small screen. If there was enough demand for those custom apps written for older tablet to go retail, they would have done so. They have in some niche markets like health care and point of sale apps.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You've perfectly explained why current tablet PCs have failed.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Stuff in the app store is closer to retail, 'one size fits all'. Some of it may have started as custom for someone else, but by the time something's up for sale it's pretty generic. I can bake you a custom pizza to your specs, but once I start cranking it out frozen in the grocery, it's not customized for anyone else.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

The custom apps I speak of for existing tablets have a single purpose, to be used in the company and environment that required it. The so-called custom apps you say are in the app store are for anyone to use [i]unless[/i] they were written for a specific client or user. That's a huge difference.

roberts
roberts

About 5-6 times I've seen people criticize tablets of the past because they had to have so-called "custom apps" written for it. Just what the heck do you call the Apple store huh? It's a collection of custom apps written specifically for that OS. It's the same thing.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm using the word 'tablet' to describe devices I've been purchasing under that name for several years. Devices that can be used as conventional laptops, but with displays that can pivot around to lay flat over the keyboard and be controlled with a stylus-driven touch interface. Devices that have long had a virtual keyboard that can be hidden if desired. Devices that have long had handwriting recognition built into the OS, although with questionable accuracy. Some have had scroll and zoom gestures for a while, admittedly activated by the stylus instead of a fingertip. Devices with operating systems capable of running more than one app at a time. Examples include the Toshiba Portege Mxx0 series, or the Dell Latitude XT: http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/laptop-model.jsp?family=Portege&model=M750&lid=M750 http://www.dell.com/tablet?s=biz&cs=555 I have no working definition for a 'slate', a term I've heard but have avoided addressing. Some people are adamant the iPad isn't a computer. So far the interface on those older tablets hasn't prevented us from developing apps for our needs, mostly because our needs have been met with off-the-shelf software. In most cases they've been met by a combination of the interface and Office. As currently configured, I don't think the iPad will fail OR make significant in-roads. I think it will compete with other, existing tablets for the same niche applications (unless that's considered failure). Of course, if they introduce hardware features comparable to existing tablets, I'll revise my opinion. Right now any improvements we'd gain here from the interface would be outweighed by the missing USB ports and the single app limitation; we've got scan guns connected to all of our tablets, and they may run Excel and our MRP client at the same time. We've got custom Windows CE apps that run on Intermec handheld computer / scanners, but everything they do is barcode driven. Almost all inventory apps are, and the iPad won't compete in that market without scanning capability.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

As I said in an earlier response, what you have doesn't qualify as a tablet, merely a laptop without a keyboard. The existing interface may not have prevented you from developing apps for your needs, but there are very few touch-sensitive apps out there for the Windows environment. If there were, you'd see a lot more tablets in use beyond those flip-screen hybrids. In all honesty, you need to have a true touch-sensitive environment in the OS that makes the touch use natural and intuitive. The closest I've seen advertised to the public is the HP Touchsmart series, which has a touch interface placed over the Windows OS... and only useful in HP-only software. Wait. We'll see over the course of the next two years who is right. If you are, the iPad should fail within the first 12 to 18 months. If I'm right, the iPad will have made significant inroads into the enterprise before 24 months.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Good technology, but the inability to get an AT&T signal here, along with the original lack of Exchange compatibility, influenced our choice of corporate smart phone. Even if AT&T could get a signal in here now, we wouldn't consider switching until the recently signed contract with Verizon expires. The iPad lacks too many features for us to consider replacing our existing tablets anytime soon. The unit may improve to the point we would consider it as an acceptable replacement for our current tablet vendors, but I doubt we're going to rewrite our existing Windows apps for another OS. Say, here's an ignorant question: with no stylus, how do you put a signature on a document? Copy and paste a scanned image?

BBaldwin803
BBaldwin803

Actually, I think a better statement would be "All the hoopla about this device is like the nonsense of the hoopla when the iPhone was announced". And look what a fiasco that turned into. Wait a minute, someone just spoke into my earpiece.. What, it's one of the most successful phones to date? Ooops.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

In those situations where we've found existing tablets to be appropriate, the users have had no problems functioning with styluses. The touch interface has the obvious advantage of no stylus to lose, but the existing interface hasn't prevented us from developing or purchasing apps to use it effectively. The touch interface may (or may not) prove to be more effective, but I submit it won't cause a revolution in apps for this class of machine. If I'm proven wrong, no problem; we'll go out and buy some. Right now all the hoopla about this device is like the nonsense on the sports pages about high school students signing with colleges, or the attention given to next month's NFL draft. I don't care about potential; I don't see that much difference over what's already out there. Show me proven performance, and it's too early to do that. Until then, this is just another overhyped draft pick.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

The biggest problem with current tablets is that Windows Tablet Edition is not a true touch-based interface, merely a desktop interface modified to replace the mouse with touch. In almost every case where a tablet is being successfully used, it's due to custom software designed specifically for that purpose and is useless to any other potential client. On the other hand, Apple's tablet is using an already-established touch-based OS that is easily expanded to the new capabilities of the device (I'm speaking of speed and capacity, as well as larger display.) How about using a Ford/Ford comparison, by the way? After all, Henry Ford himself once said, "Sure, you can get it in any color you want--as long as it's black." Look where Ford is now.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm talking about tablets, with virtual keyboards and touch interfaces. Instead of developing your apps for iPhones, you could have developed them for existing tablets running Windows. I'll agree that the touch interface Apple offers is an improvement. Sure, there's a place for it, but it's not a new place. It's a place other devices have been filling for years. Some of the limitations seem to indicate it won't fill those places as well, but that's to be determined. We've got a half-dozen tablets in use in limited applications. I like those users to be able to view the drawings for product compliance, complete their audit sheets, and be able to e-mail them to the customers without having to open and close one app at a time. In a business environment, the single-task limitation strikes me as the biggest killer. This isn't a 'Ford / Chevy' comparison; it's 'Ford / Vespa'. Improvements may be coming to the iPad, but if other systems already offer them, why bother waiting?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The gym membership for my wife and I is in the same range. Water aerobics, baby!

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I spent about the same for a gym membership to get me off that nice couch! I feel much better. Now I own the iDontHaveAbellyAnymore. :)