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30 Jan, 2010

iPad: what are you going to do with it?

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

So here it is then – the iPad. Will it change your world?

Apple launched its much-hyped, much-anticipated tablet device last night (as if you needed telling). First impressions – that name, is it us or is iPad just a little, well, ‘sanitary’? And, yes, it does look like a giant iPhone, as many have pointed out (and quite a few correctly predicted).

At first sight, it raises more questions than it answers. If I want to watch video on it do I have to hold it the whole time? Won’t that get annnoying or will there be a slew of third party cradles, stands and devices to fit over the back of aeroplane seats to address this? And if I want to type on it, how does that work? One handed? Or do I have to lay it flat? Will it be easy to hold or is it as slippery as an iPhone?

UPDATE: Here are the case (available separately it looks like) and dock which will allow the iPad to stand upright for viewing.

If I want to use the phone am I going to end up looking like Dom Joly?

I don’t know, because I haven’t had a go with one yet and while everyone rushes to instant judgement, the thing to remember about Apple devices is that they always get better. Problems get fixed, new versions work better etc etc

But the biggest question must surely be what is it for? Everything, Apple says, but does that make sense? By trying to do everything will it satisfy no-one?

In fact, the people who will largely determine what it is for and convince people they must have one will be you, dear readers, the people who will design and build content for it. Yes, OK, you can use it to access email and the web, to watch video and listen to music, but what will set the iPad apart will be the ways in which designers figure out how to combine all the rich functionality it offers into compelling new combinations.

The publishing industry has its fingers crossed that the iPad will solve a lot of its problems. That, through it, people will be persuaded to buy what for want of a better word, we could term digital magazines (like this), or books or newspapers. Packages of content that go further than the eBooks available already to combine text, images, video and the ability to link and comment which, crucially, people will pay for as they do with Apps. That will build on developments such as Enhanced Editions and the new digital music format MusicDNA unveiled this week.

So, over to you: what are you going to design for the iPad?

 

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