Apple’s iPad – Imagining what it CAN do

Posted: January 29, 2010 in Apple, iPad, iPhone, PCTablet, Tablet
Tags: , , ,

Since the January 27th announcement of Apple’s new iPad, I’ve encountered what appears to be a great deal of negativity and skepticism regarding the tablet.  As is now becoming fairly customary with Apple’s announcements, there appears to be a focus on all of the things the new device can not do:  Flash, take pictures, multi-task, eInk, the list goes on and on.  I’m not going to ignore the fact that this initial release is not the perfect, ideal tablet I’ve been dreaming of with every feature I might have wanted, but I also think many people are missing the point to some degree.  They are focusing on a list of specifications, or lack thereof.  They haven’t even looked at the video demo of the iPad in action, or thought about how the device might be fun and useful in their everyday lives, because they are too busy being disappointed, pointing out all the flaws and missteps. 

Then there’s another set of folk, who I think are more just skeptics, they just don’t see where the usage “space” of such a device might be in their lives, or how it could fit in since they already have a nice desktop, laptop and iPod Touch.  So this blog post is mostly for that group.  Now obviously I can’t claim to know exactly how the new device works, but I’ve had years of experiences with other tablets, as well as the iPhone, and therefore I have a distinct sense of how I think I might use it one day.  So without further ado, here’s an imagined “day in the life” scenario with the iPad:

Morning.  iPad alarm wakes me up with some nice classical music I downloaded the night before.  I get up and pull it out of its dock and take it to the breakfast table.  I stand it up in the case and read the LA Times while eating my breakfast.  Flick to the next page, entertainment section – oh, I see that HBO’s Ice and Fire show is premiering tonight; zoom in to check the time.  Hit the Home button and hit U-Verse app, a quick search and I set the DVR to record the series.  Well, heck, now I feel like actually watching some TV.  Hit the Infrared Remote app (this requires an additional attachment), and the TV is now playing the morning news.  Commercial comes on, I change the channel to MTV, and a  new Lady Gaga video is playing and gets stuck in my head –  so I hit the iTunes store and download her latest album.  After finishing breakfast, I check my calendar – yuck, my section meeting is at 9 and a vendor is coming in at 2.  I still have a package to drop off at Fedex so I better get moving.  Open Maps, check for the closest Fedex station, a couple zoom-ins and I’m on my way.

On the drive.  Switch on Bluetooth and stream the new songs I downloaded to the car stereo, not bad so far.  At a stoplight, check the map one more time to make sure I know where I’m going.   Drop the package off and then head to work.

Work.  At my desk, I flip through the presentation I’m going to make at the section meeting.  A couple of things are off and I’m not sure on a few numbers.  So I show it to my colleague on the tablet and he point out a few typos, which I change on the fly.  I call up an eBook reference to check the last of a few questionable equations, switch to the calculator to check my numbers.  Looks good enough.  At the meeting, I use the VGA adapter to put my presentation up on the projector screen, and flip through it as I go through.  All goes well.  Back at my desk, it’s lunch break so I relax with a quick game of Need for Speed.  I remember there was something on my desktop I wanted to finish so I jump into Logmein, move a few files around and get a round of file encodes started in Handbrake.  Update my calendar throughout the day, taking notes as needed on the pad.  At the vendor meeting which we do in the lobby due to security reasons,  the vendor has an idea for a new mechanical housing he’s trying to describe, but I just can’t visualize it – I hit Brushes and let him draw the concept out for me since there’s no white board around.  Ah ha!  I like it, so he’s going to put a quote together.  I save the drawing he made and email it to him right there as a reference.  Back at my desk, I finish out the day in the lab, importing my data into a spreadsheet from the PC directly into Numbers, which I’ll look at later if I get a chance.

Back home.  Laker game is on but I want to get in some exercise.  So I change clothes, get on the treadmill.  Hit Remote to access my main iTunes library and start playing some background music through the Airport-enabled speakers.  Touch the 2010 Treadmill playlist, Shuffle and Play.  Then hit Slingplayer and get the TV game up on the screen while doing the treadmill.   Exercise isn’t too bad like this 🙂  Half-time comes, so I access my home server and pull up an old episode of Buffy that I just converted.  Man I love that show. 

Dinner-time.  iPad is sitting on the table again, this time with the latest Wired magazine up.  Flipping through while eating some pizza, I soon get in trouble when my partner asks if I’m ever going to put “that thing” away.  So I hit Photos and set it to screen-saver mode, and it’s immediately a nice picture frame, just off to the side.

Evening.  I cuddle up in my favorite recliner and do a little more browsing, check a few forums and other sites.  Move to email and flip through quickly to see if any need responses.  Watch a Youtube video that a friend has recommended, then play a round of Words with Friends.  Back to email, I see another friend has recommended a new 3D RPG, so I move to the App store and download it.  Sweet! 

Night time.  Sitting in bed I read a couple more chapters of the latest George RR Martin novel.  There’s a couple of characters I don’t remember so I call up the previous book and re-read a few passages.  But then I realize some of the plot still doesn’t make sense so I bring up Wikipedia and read the details.  Wait a sec – who’s going to play the mom again?  Hit IMDB and check that out.  Back to the book, finish out another chapter.  Finally put the device back in Alarm mode in its dock and turn out the lights.

  1. Tony says:

    Great descriptions, and the fact that it’s all feasible made it even better while also allowing the iPads role to be further defined. Really enjoyed this!

    • rittchard says:

      Thanks for the comment! One thing I thought of later – also using the wireless camera feed app (don’t know the name off the top of my head) to monitor the home, particularly if you have multiple cameras going this would be sweet. Basically I’m envisioning the iPad as not just an awesome media device, but also as a kind of command central hub control for the entire home.

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