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Quick iPad Thoughts From a Travel Journalist

Still not sure how I feel about writing iPad, but whatever, it’s just a name. Here’s a few observations from my end. Nothing revolutionary — there is already way to much published about the darn thing — but nevertheless:

  • In no way is this the savior of media. It’s a cool idea, cool concept, has some cool features, but $500 bucks for a device that can’t be dropped, smashed, chewed on (folks with animals and toddlers) and spilled on. (Think morning coffee and the NYT’s and a sudden bark from the dog and you jump up just to tip if over…….)
  • When working on applications with text make sure to ask the developer to devise an action to have the text fit directly to the screen. Playing with NYT’s columns was cumbersome (note: this was the online version) and at times frustrating to size the font just right. If there was a way to tap or execute a series of taps to autofill that would be sweet.
  • Photos look fantastic. I might just buy one of these for the next wedding I shoot. Download the photos en route to the reception and let people see them at the tables. (Need to figure out the spilling and theft deal), but it’ll make more than one head spin.
  • It’s a great portfolio device. Going on a trip through NY to shop your work with editors? Bring this, it’s a goldmine in this application.
  • Word processing on first glance was a bit cumbersome. Without a mouse and apple key to activate keyboard shortcuts, it’s going to take some time to nail down. Probably just a few weeks, or days, or days, whatever, but it’s not looking to be something you’ll want to use to produce fine edits on a longish piece.
  • It’s definitely a game changer. The fourth screen. The slate that does everything. But it’s a long way off I think. Price deduction, third party apps, third party accessories and price deduction are the keys I think. Family of four? You’re out 2k. Ouch.
  • Forget anything travel oriented with this and produce education applications. This is a goldmine for students. Think K-12 with a college set happening afterwords. First group to nail a killer app for J-schools is going to make a bundle. (That is if said J-schools have deans who understand that Apple is not a fruit)
  • It’s heavyish. I need to workout.

Overall: This thing didn’t exist six months ago. The iPhone is only three years old. iPods at first were shunned. Apple is onto something here. The early adopters will create a cool and sexy hipster vibe that will flood the creative New York world with iPad toting artists just ready to show off their work. Those who can afford one will boast about it’s awesome game-changing power and create those like me who don’t need one into thinking it’s keeping me back. If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve in app design and understanding how content can be repurposed it’s a solid investment, but as I thought when I was playing with one: It’s not about creating content for one device in our field. It’s about telling a compelling story. If the story is there, the device will follow.

  1. Cristin
    April 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    “It’s heavyish. I need to workout.”

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