(Continued from the previous part…)
Application is off the limit.
Is iPad a Kindle killer? Or is it just a bloated version of iPod Touch? I think the answer to both questions are "right, but not just that." Except for taking photos and making phone calls, looks like iPad is designed to do EVERYTHING that can be done with a moderate display size. Reading, watching, playing, surfing, and writing.
Traditionally, one-stop-shopping type gadgets promised to deliver all and failed to accomplish one. iPad might actually succeed, not because it successfully addresses today's applications but it places itself as "do whatever you want with me" device.
An egoless device that serves us, not them.
iPad does not restrict users with clunky keyboard, forced button placements, and small screen as its predecessors did. Software interface and touch-based interactions frees users and developers from hardware barriers. It is a big, plain canvas waiting to be painted. (Painting applications?)
It is, contrary to what we think of Steve Jobs, egoless. Apple has introduced cool devices that tell (or force) us how to use them, such as iPod. This time, the true potential is up to the users. I guess Apple wants to see a positive surprise too, like when they found out many iPod Touch users were playing games with it.
(I can think of Google Wave as another attempt to create an "ultimate" tool that serves us. But unlike Apple, Google couldn't come up with a usage in the context of our existing applications. Maybe Google is too wired for doing single task, such as search or email.)
The ultimate time killer
What happens when a device is open to interpretation, small enough to carry around, feels good when holding it, and provides great interaction? We start filling it with our favorite activities. That means killing our times.
Apple prepared iPad with loads of applications based on existing contexts: iTunes and iBooks and so on. But those are gimmicks for the geeks and fanboys who are not good at thinking in future terms but very good at criticizing a new gadget based on existing usages. Apple had to take care of them (otherwise the iPad won't have a successful launch), but the true potential lies in what happens from now.
I imagine people carrying an iPad like they do with their iPhones now and engage in whatever activities on the street, at work, at school, at home. Instead of just reading texts and surfing the web, we will be designing, writing, and even moving our bodies in concert with iPad.
Verdict: I will buy one when it will be introduced to…Taiwan. (Magic Mouse, originally introduced in October 2009, became available here in December 2009) Damn Apple, I hope this time you pay some respect to the home country of the manufacturing company you cannot live without.