Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting an iPad for Dad, Part 2

So, I have to fess up. I wound up getting an iPad for me after a few days. The reason was simple: the 10–12 hour battery life plus the ability to get editing and web work done. Not tied to the laptop anymore.

However, since getting Dad's iPad and then mine, the story has also become more complicated:

  • Some people are experiencing wifi problems. This thing is simply not worth it without a wifi connection. Its whole value derives from serving as a network device.
  • Some apps are well connected to the cloud (i.e., seamlessly integrated with Internet-based services) and some aren't. Productivity apps like Apple's iWork suite are particularly deficient in this regard.
  • There are platform wars breaking out. While Apple's snub of Adobe flash is getting a lot of attention, the more significant issue is between Apple and Google. Put simply, Apple does devices but not the cloud; google does the cloud but not devices; they can't figure out how to divide up the producer surplus across users who want to do both.

This last point, though worrisome to many (including myself), really just serves to point up the ground breaking nature of devices like the iPad. There's enough at stake now for leading rivals to throw aside the obvious benefits of working together and go to war.

The iPad heralds an era of light weight, network-centric devices that fulfill the promise of mobile productivity many are questing after.