We are tired. Yes. We have waited months for this revolutionary device. But does it deliver? Does it live up to the hype which surrounds it? Can it be as revolutionary a device as the iPod or the iPhone?
Steve Jobs finally pulled off the curtain from the most hyped device in the past few months. He even succeeded in preventing a leak of the name of this device. No, it’s not called iSlate as many reports suggested. Instead, it’s the Apple iPad, as very few suggested. So what is it after all? Is it just an oversized iPhone? Or a smaller Macbook? Steve Jobs promised the people gathered in San Francisco “We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical product today.”
We bring to you the Apple iPad - Tablet Computing, The Apple Way.
Even the most ardent Apple hater will agree on one fact - style comes with Apple. You have seen it in the iPod. You have seen it in the iPhone. The iPad does not deviate from the Apple tradition and proves itself to be a stunning piece of art. It just looks as large as an A4 sheet. It’s just half-an-inch thick. It has a 9.7-inch capacitive touch screen IPS LCD display.
This part of the device has made many a minds curious. What hardware will Apple possible come of with to make it faster than the iPhone but not be as power hungry as the MacBook? The answer was a custom 1 GHz Apple ‘A4’ chip developed by P.A. Semi. The device can be held in both the portrait and landscape mode, though Portrait mode seems to be the ‘Primary’ display mode. It has a built-in accelerometer to change the software’s orientation accordingly. It weighs just 1.5 pounds and can run up to 10 hours on a single battery charge. Much like the iPhone 3GS, it also has an inbuilt digital compass. It has support for Wi-Fi 802.11n. As the rumors suggested it also has an inbuilt microphone with speakers. It has a 30 pin Dock connector. It will be made available with Flash memory capacity of 16GB, 32 GB and 64GB.
Software is another area where Apple has known to excel. It has won accolades for the Mac OSX and for the iPhone OS. Apple can’t go much wrong with this device as it seems to run on a hybrid of these two winning operating systems. It has retained the signature OSX Dock from its bigger cousin and the Applications interface from the younger one. To summarize the OS, it is an evolved version of the iPhones OS 3.0 which some features of the Mac OSX thrown in. You follow the same ‘swiping your finger to unlock the phone’ procedure like the iPhone. The Safari Web Browser is just an oversized version of Safari Mobile and just has a larger title bar to its credit. The keyboard, though, is not intended to be used by your thumbs. It has to be used like a full physical keyboard and if Steve Jobs is to be believed the keyboard is a “dream to type on.”
We all have at least once wished to have as much variety on our smart phone as the Apple App. Store offers. Apple is aware of their advantage and has used it wisely in the Apple iPad. Although the Apple iPad already contains the extensive Apple App Store, it has also released an updated iPhone Software Developer Kit for Developers which allows them to target the larger screen for their applications. The current iPhone apps give the user two options to run the application - The user can either run an app on the original size with black borders, or the iPad can double the pixels to run it fullscreen. Steve Jobs also claimed that it will be the “Best browsing experience you ever had.” He demoed Facebook on the iPad which looked stunning. The device also showed its gaming capability and Gameloft was invited to demo N.O.V.A , a sci-fi first person shooter. Electronic Arts also displayed Need for Speed: Shift which was found to be quite appealing to some present there.
Next was New York Times iPod App. It looked like a complete sci-fi newspaper which allowed you to resize fonts, browse through photos and even watch videos. It also revealed the new Kindle killer App. which has been named iBooks. The iPad comes with a pre-installed version of iBooks which also allows the user to buy e-books online. It supports the ePub format and the online store currently has five big names. Steve Jobs confirmed that they were in talks with many others.
Expectations vs Reality
We didn't have a really defined set of expectations from the Apple Tablet. One of the reasons may be the fact that we knew so little about it. But surely after the stir settles down, we would find ourself a tad disappointed. For starters, Apple could have packed a more powerful processor on a device this big. One thing that we really missed was a completely new interface. We had been hoping for it- A custom made OS for the tablet and we were served with a hybrid. It also doesn't do much for 3D touch gaming. We saw some choppiness on a few games they demoed. Another factor which weighs downs its value is the absence of a camera. No video conferencing. Business Class Customers-Eliminated.
Apple has also delivered on many accounts. We have got a beautiful and crisp display on our hands. The Tablet performed quite fast in the demonstrations. The Tablet has also integrated 3G support in it making it an even better device for communication. The iPad looks very sleek and sexy as a gadget and may just sell for its uber cool design.
A major blunder that Apple seems to have committed is the absence of a Kickstand . So, we are not allowed to watch movies like we see on a netbook. Instead, we hold it in our hands or watch it keeping the iPad flat on the table.It has failed to add the much needed multi tasking support. We can jail break it and do stuff but why has Apple not cared to add such an important feature? Also, Apple has seriously missed the target with the absence of Flash Support. Steve Jobs has called it the "Best Browsing Experience." Without Flash, it may be but it can not really stand in front of the flash supporting devices.
Apple has faltered in many areas and performed quite well in others. We have to wait and see if the pros overpower the cons or it's the other way round.
The Apple iPad is certainly a very unique product, vis-à-vis the the current market. About it being revolutionary; it’s too early to tell, but it is certainly evolutionary, taking its DNA from the iPhone, mixing it up with a larger screen to birth a new device.