I managed to borrow an iPad from a colleague last night. Just for work related research you understand.
So here were my first impressions:
- Of course the Guardian eyewitness app is beautiful and I'm really not just saying that
- Its much easier to read with on a train than a laptop, the touchscreen means that you are no longer 'all elbows' with the person sitting next to you. Even if the iPad changes dramatically over the next few versions, touch screen interfaces are here to stay and just make sense when you start using them on a larger device.
- Pictures and video look great, games are even better.
- I wasn't so impressed with all the page turning animation in the books app, it seems unnecessary to pretend that this device is made of paper. Its really easy to read text in long form though I've never tried using a kindle or e-book to be able to compare the experience.
- It feels a lot more sharable than a 'mobile device' I always feel like I am handing someone my wallet if I give them my phone for something, its just very personal. Not so with the iPad which I can see as something that you could share with family and friends.
Then I handed the iPad over to my 4 1/2 year old son. He picked it up instantly and within seconds he had found the labyrinth game that he liked and was moving everything around the screen. Then straight onto Youtube and asking me to find him dinosaur videos. There is no barrier to using this type of device at all, like needing to type the right letters or use a mouse. That makes it perfect for younger children or maybe older people that have never learned to use a computer.
Even though I was very impressed I still don't think I'll be buying one for a while yet. It's really nice, just too expensive for me for what it does and I'll wait to see if the price comes down. I can get away with doing most of the things I need to do on myiPhone for now.