The iPad: A 2.5 Year Old and Me

I had to post this video simply because it brings to mind so many ideas of the future to me. What we have is the 2.5 year old daughter of Laughing Squid writer Todd Lapin using an iPad for the first time… and completely understanding how to use it. In my mind I can’t imagine a better way of defining whether a device is successful. The idea that a toddler, who most definitely has already mastered an iPhone, can then in turn already know how to use an iPad is pretty phenomenal in my opinion.

I still haven’t currently bought an iPad, though I’ve had several chances to try them out, a lot of my co-workers at MySpace have them. What I’ve come to realize is that the iPad is a device meant mainly for consumption, much like a television or even a radio. The emphasis on that sentence is mainly, because obviously Apple has given you options like Words and Numbers for you to be able to create on it, but I feel like those are secondary programs, and I think Apple feels that way as well, since you have to buy them from the App Store.

I think the main point of this to device is to browse the web, watch movies, listen to music and play games… consumption. In turn, trying to create on a device like this is an entirely different, and I believe, a somewhat difficult experience, at least out of the gate so far. I equate this to my personal needs, mostly. I would love to be able to do all of my blogging from this magical device, but unfortunately, I think it would be quite difficult to edit and crop photos and then upload them to my server. Then to actually write out posts (without the aid of a physical keyboard) would also be difficult, or at the very least, not as easy as it would be “normally”.

All that being said, I think as long as you know what you’re getting into, that it’s more like a television, not your laptop, then you should be good. Will I be getting an iPad? Yes, I think will be. Will I also be purchasing a laptop to work from? Absolutely. But my thoughts drift to the future of a generation of kids who won’t be using mice to navigate a screen, where the world is at their fingertips. You know where this is leading us, right? Straight into something out of Minority Report.

When Steven Spielberg made Minority Report he hired a team of futurists to create a realistic vision of the future based upon current technologies and the paths they’re heading down.The computer system that Tom Cruise uses in the movie is entirely gestural, working on a large, ethereal screen where he moved around large chunks of information. There are already prototypes of these kinds of systems floating around, but they really have no foot in reality quite yet. But I feel like the iPad is a step in that direction, though eventually even having a touch screen will begin to feel outdated.

I know a lot of you aren’t big fans of Apple and like to cluster me in the pile of fanboys, but I think that’s a biased opinion. In my opinion, Apple is the only computer company in the world truly innovating in every way. Sure, there are companies all over the world creating similar devices, but why aren’t people lining up around the block for their products? And please don’t say that Apple has good marketing, that’s a weak excuse. Advertising and marketing is a part of business, and if you can’t keep up in that way then how the hell are you ever going to sell anything?

Final thing, if you agree or disagree with me and want to leave a comment, just be sure to be coherent and respectful. I’d rather have a conversation then have to delete people.


April 8, 2010