Boy was I wrong on the iPad

By Mike on 10:35 am

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Occasionally I like to look back on some of the old blog posts I've written. I came across my scathing first impressions of the original iPad. Needless to say, I didn't like it. Though in my defense, I wasn't the only one.  I chided it as a giant iPod Touch. After all "nobody in their right mind is going to buy a neutered tablet, and nobody is going to buy a super sized iPhone."

The laundry list of things I wanted in an Apple tablet are laughable. 

Full Mac OS X
When the iPad came out, I hated the fact that it ran iOS. In fairness, iOS 3.2 was not exactly ideal. However, putting a desktop OS onto the iPad would have been an abject failure. Look at what Microsoft attempted to do with Windows 7 tablets. Now they're finally releasing their own tablet OS.

Desktop operating systems are just not designed to be used with a touch screen. Would it have increased the functionality ten fold as I originally claimed? Well, my iPad gets used far more than my laptop does so that argument speaks for itself.

Intel Atom Processor
At the time, the Atom was faster than the A4. It also consumed more power and would have required a bigger battery. My main argument behind it was porting x86 applications over to the tablet space. Which in hindsight was stupid. Ever try running a modern non-linear video editor or Photoshop on an Atom or Brazos? They barely run Windows. x86 applications just aren't tuned for mobile. Aside from that, Atom's built in GPU is useless. It can't handle proper HD video decoding. Nobody would want an iPad that couldn't even do video.

External connectivity
This is one thing I was right on and is still a lingering problem to this day. The iPad does not support external storage. However, a wide range of surprising peripherals have come out. Even ones that turn your iDevice into point of sale units, and medical scanners. That and the camera kit was capable of far more than it was advertised. You could run USB keyboards and external microphones through it, or hack the iPad for external storage.

Adobe and Apple have yet to reconcile their differences. Almost three years later and there's still no Flash on the iPad. Not that it's a big deal. It's implementation on Android tablets was a disaster. Flash just isn't great at hardware acceleration. Nowhere near as good as HTML5 is. It requires more system resources, so is struggles a lot with HD content. Since then only a few holdout sites are incompatible with the iPad. Guess they didn't get the memo that Flash is dead. Long live HTML5!

Better software
The demanded that the iPad get iChat, iLife, and it's own office suite. They did come. iWork was released at launch, chat apps came shortly there after. In fact everything I wanted is pretty much available on the iPad now. Even a professional grade non-linear video editor, Pinnacle Studio. Photoshop, it's there. As Apple relaxed their submission policy, better and more functional apps came. It's gotten to the point where the iPad can replace a laptop. It even has that iSight camera I wanted, two of them.

The iPad wasn't a solution for a problem that didn't exist. It was a solution for a problem you didn't know you had. Now we all work, read, surf, and play on tablets. So I guess it did revolutionize the way we consume media. So much for a dumb idea.

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