Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Insanely, Fantastically, Brilliantly Amazing

One thing about the January 27th launch of the Apple iPad clashing with President Obama's first State of the Union address was that they both focused on Jobs.

And check out the awesome enthusiasm Steve Jobs and his team have for their new baby in this video!

A lot of hype and hyped-up criticism have accompanied the launch of the iPad. Nothing new there. Apple attracted lots of criticism with the launch of the iPod in 2001 (total sales: 220 million) and the iPhone in 2007 (total sales: 34 million). They centered on a perceived lack of functionality. So it's not surprising to hear gripes that iPad doesn't support HDMI or Flash graphics, or have a built-in camera.

The critics have missed the point. The iPad is not a netbook or scaled-down laptop. In fact, it is only a distant relative to the traditional PC or Mac. Instead, its lineage is the DVD player, the VCR, the television set, the radio, the newspaper, the telephone, the telegraph. It is not a workhorse loaded up with functions and hardware. It is a platform for story-telling, interactive, personal and immediate.

The story of human technology is the relentless advance in the direction of greater utility, connectivity, immediacy, affordability and flexibility. The iPad represents a quantum leap in that direction.

We want to communicate with each other, cheaply and easily. We want information where and when we need it. We want to be entertained and to entertain ourselves. We want to get closer to the people and the things we love. The iPad promises to do that. Technology that fails to serve that purpose is just a gadget, suitable for little more than collecting dust.

There's an interesting blog post in the NY Times predicting that the iPad will become an irresistible toy for children because kids will love the tactile nature of the device (they love to jab at things!), 'painting' software allows for mess-free splatter, it’s an ideal distraction for car trips, and the screen offers endless story opportunities. I couldn't agree more, but the author could go even further: They are pretty compelling reasons for adults to get their hands on an iPad, too.