Friday, February 19, 2010

Apple iPad - Comments

I was very excited to find a lively debate happening on the comments for my post about the upcoming iPad. I wanted to clear up a few points, because I don't think I made myself clear.

First, I am actually quite excited by the release of this device. I have used iPod Touches for about a year now for student engagement and think it is a great product. One thing that I've had trouble with is the size of the iPod screen, it makes it difficult for students to access if they have sort of fine motor control issues. This is one place that the iPad will excel.

Second, yes I missed the information about support for VGA output for projectors and such. Thanks to sean5155 for this information:
Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable.
Another commenter, D Scintille, talked about the lack of Flash support
Flash is a resource hog. It eats batteries for lunch. I am glad there is no Flash. It will make the web so much faster.
In principal I agree with this statement. Flash is a resource hog, and causes many more problems that I'd like to admit, it limits the usefulness of the iPad. Some sites like Voicethread, Animoto & Glogster are great places for content, but would be unusable on the iPad, unless they have an app. Animoto has one, but as far as I know the other websites do not. Hopefully, this will push the web to more content using HTML5, which allows for videos, storage, and many other things without the need for plugins like Flash, but until that happens the iPad will have some limitations. Even with this limitation I know I would use this device.

Now to the last commenter, constableodo. There's a few points that I'd like to address.

That's what all the tech-heads will be choosing by basing their purchase on a hardware feature set no matter how sparse the downloadable content may be or how unwieldy the interface is.
While admittedly I am a bit of a "tech-head", and love gadgets, I do not buy items on hardware alone. I agree that many devices are hampered by bad browsers or proprietary software. I applaud apple on the iPhone and opening up the entire web, with no changes needed, to a mobile platform. And I know that they will also allow the iPad to access as much of the web as possible. While I've not used an iPad the reports are that it has a very fast processor and that's an important part of a device like this, there are times when the iPhone & iPod Touch just feels like it drags.

There are consumers out there looking for some easy solution to grab content and the iPad offers that solution. One touch content shopping for the low-tech consumer. With thousands of apps and games ready to go on the iPad out of the box, there's no way it will fail.
Actually, I completely agree with this statement. The iPod made the music industry change, the iPad will bring changes to publishing and the availability of books. It will also make content more accessible to more people by bringing Text-To-Speech (Blio), adjustment of size, and interactive content to anyone with an iPad. An iPad in every child's hand as they enter 1st grade would be an amazing learning tool for them to have to their entire school career.

The reason I'm waiting for the 2nd Gen is because of Apple! They do an amazing job of upping the ante with each new generation of product and I think some of the things I want (a webcam) will be available soon. I also think it might be best to make sure there are no major bugs or problems, while this probably not a problem, I think it's prudent. I appreciate and encourage all the comments, please let me know your thoughts!


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