At 10 am yesterday I was glued to my MacBook Pro, watching Engadget's live-blog feed from the Apple event where the long-awaited iPad tablet was announced.
I fell in love immediately. Or, was it just a passing lust?
Today I'm trying to figure out whether iPad and me are going to have a long-term relationship, or whether my instant attraction to her was a passing thing.
Ms. iPad is unavailable at the moment. Reportedly it's going to be a couple of months before I could bring her home and start feeling her up (the iPad is like an iPod Touch or iPhone on steroids -- similarly controlled by a touch screen rather than keyboard or mouse).
The iPad is indisputably sexy and beautiful.
Over the past 24 hours I've read enough instant reviews and watched enough videos of the iPad to know that she's my type, along with my iPod Touch, iPhone, and MacBook laptop (ooh, I could be on the edge of an Apple foursome!).
But here's the thing: the iPad is fairly pricey, $449 to $829, not counting possible add-ons and a potential cellular agreement. I need her to be more than a pretty plaything.
I have an iPhone with all kinds of apps. I have a 13 inch MacBook with all kinds of programs (plus a CD/DVD drive, USB ports, and other stuff the iPad lacks). So why do I need -- as contrasted with lust for -- a 10 inch iPad that basically is an iPhone/MacBook hybrid?
Watching the iPad rollout yesterday, at first I was wowed by how photos, emails, web sites, maps, and such could be manipulated on this snazzy touchscreen tablet. It even has iWork. Wow!
Except, after a little reflection, un-wow. I already have Pages and the other iWork applications. I already have iPhoto. I'm happy with how Mail works on my MacBook. My iPhone has GPS and I don't feel like forking out for another spendy cellular data plan.
So what's going to make me buy an iPad after I get the word that it's available for purchase?
One thing: a great, or at least very good, e-reader (or e-book) application.
I returned a Kindle 2 about a year ago after deciding that I wasn't ready to take the plunge into reading books on a screen. Then I looked long and hard at the Nook when it was released, but wasn't really turned on by it.
The iPad's iBooks app looks promising, but I've got some questions about it. Notably, and this may sound picky but it is super important to me, can you easily highlight and ideally also annotate a passage in a book?
This first impression of iBooks disturbs me:
A limitation definitely dictated by the ePUB standard is the lack of facilities to highlight or annotate passages of text in a book. Despite much lobbying, the ePUB standards group hasn’t defined how annotations etc should be held within a book. The iPad with iBooks will be severely limited within the educational and academic arenas without the ability to highlight and annotate.
Yeah, no kidding.
Also within the non-fiction book-reading arena, where I am a daily player. As noted before, I'm addicted to highlighting. I was counting on Apple to recognize that a touchscreen would be well-suited to drag a finger across highlighting.
If something like this isn't available on the iPad, Apple probably has lost me. (Are you listening, Apple sales department? You've still got time to request software changes.)
As I see it, the basic problem with the iPad is that it isn't a must-have like the iPhone was for millions of people. There is no amazing oh my God! new killer application that makes me say "I've absolutely got to get an iPad."
If it is a markedly better e-book reader than the competition in this area, I'll happily get out my VISA card. But the jury is still out on this iPad application. I'm eager to learn more about iBooks.
i absolutely agree with you... as we all love it but it just seems a bit pointless... imean there are laptops and iphones and gaming consoles... where are we going to need this?
ow and your comment "(the iPad is like an iPod Touch or iPhone on steroids..."... that is so hilarious and oidcourse so true.
Posted by: ari | January 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM
totally agree about being able to hi-lite and add notes to the book. I'd even like to add audio clips to a passage. I ought to be able to set up a note taking session, and have all the hi-lites and notes associated to that session. The ability to do that is the only thing that would get me to open my wallet.
Posted by: Dave | January 29, 2010 at 05:00 PM
Same issues for PDF files!
Posted by: Lorie | January 29, 2010 at 06:56 PM
Sigh...the more I read about the iPad, the more I think it isn't worth buying in its current form. Maybe the next incarnation/version, though. Read some first impressions from the Engadget crew and weep (if you, like me, thought the iPad was going to be a "must have" like the iPhone was for so many people).
Plus, the general consensus is that dedicated ebook readers like the Kindle are much easier on the eyes, and have much longer battery life. It is indeed kind of wearing to stare at a LCD screen, such as I'm doing on my MacBook, for a long time. And the screen is tough to read in sunlight or with a light glaring behind you.
So now I'm hoping that Amazon will respond to the iPad challenge by coming out with a new and improved Kindle soon. It's been almost a year since the Kindle DX was released. Seemingly a Kindle 3 should be close to being announced.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | January 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM
I would much more prefer to read a book then to read it off a screen. I can't see myself go for an E-book anywhere in the near future.
Posted by: Fast Up Front | February 20, 2010 at 12:47 PM
Yes, iam totally agree with you.
Iam fans of ebook reader.
iBook will be useless without highlight, bookmark, annotate, and pdf support.
Posted by: ShanYuen | March 09, 2010 at 09:57 PM
You need to contact the enginners who produced it, not the sales team. All we do is take orders for what other's have designed. Sheesh!
Posted by: VP_Piggy | March 13, 2010 at 06:12 AM
The bookmark feature actually does highlight text" but sadly there is no annotation that I can find.
Posted by: Shawn Gilliand | April 11, 2010 at 08:00 AM
I would love to get an iPad, if only I could afford one at the moment. The lack of PDF highlighting and annotation is extremely disappointing.
Posted by: Ed | April 15, 2010 at 02:26 PM
Oh, and stylus support would be really nice.
Posted by: Ed | April 15, 2010 at 02:29 PM
Your problems with highlighting with the iPAD are OVER thanks to the kindle app specifically designed for the iPAD. With the Kindle app loaded onto your iPAD you have a larger selection of books including texts as well as the capability of bookmarking, highlighting in color and appending notes to any given area of the book. The iPAD with the Kindle app is awesome.
Posted by: AEWWED | April 21, 2010 at 07:34 AM
AEWWED, I'm pleased with your enthusiasm for the Kindle app + iPad. This fits with some other discussion (and a poll) about Kindle v. iPad that I read this morning:
It's sounding like reading books on the iPad with the Kindle app is a better experience than with iBooks.
Posted by: Brian Hines | April 21, 2010 at 10:34 AM
Thanks for such a nice blog post....i was searching for something like that.
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