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Apple iPad

posted 13 Mar 2010, 12:20 by Atharva Inamdar   [ updated 13 Mar 2010, 12:21 ]

 27th January was the day Apple introduced the world to its eagerly awaited tablet/slate. Despite many predictions of the device being named iTablet, Apple came up with iPad.

This article isn't about really a review of iPad but more about expectations from Apple and some afterthoughts about iPad. 

First of all, I had expected it to be around 10inches screen size which was pretty close. As expected, multi-touch is present was the usual iPod Touch functions. This brings me to an important point. To a certain extent, this is an oversized iPod Touch. Let me explain. The asthetics are the same as the iPod Touch/iPhone, black bezel with a home button in centre bottom. Now on first impression, the UI is exactly the same. 4 icons on the dock, and a grid style home screen with 4 columns. I hope this is configurable as having only 4 dock items seems to be leaving a lot of empty space on the screen. Hopefully, users can add more items and more columns. It seems to be using the same OS as the iPod Touch. 

Connectivity wise, they have two versions to sell, one with 3G and one without. Both versions have Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 which was expected as standard. but why not make 3G standard? there are issues with the network coverage on AT&T in the US and maybe thats the reason. Also its a new type of SIM in use here. something called the microSIM. 

So what exactly is different with this tablet that other tablets can't do. First of all its a full colour screen with a fairly high resolution of 1024x786. This is strange now, without a half HD screen, it claims to play HD movies. Is it just me or is that clain falsified by Apple themselves? However, there is a positive side to this device, its battery life. If any good as claimed, it will last UPTO 10 hours of use. Whether that be surfing the web, reading eBooks, listening to music or using the applications. I assume this is possible dude to a highly power efficient processor. Apple have used their own A4 chip in this. Apple's acquisition of P.A. Semi has paid off. However, rather than A4 being a new design from P.A. Semi, its a modified ARM processor. It is said its a ARM7 processor but there's no confirmation.

One of my biggest disappointments, and I'm sure for others too, is the lack of multitasking. Sure, more apps run in the background such as mail and SMS where, PUSH notifications are used but it is still not possible to run two or more applications simultaneously. Sure it can run iWork but if I need to note something from the web, would I really, shut down Safari, open iWork then jot down from memory? What if I need to do this often when I'm on the move? 

Another snag is that it only has the iPod connector, not even a display port. Now I understand, that being a modified iPhone OS, it doesn't have support for USB mass storage or display Port but I think Apple should have invested some time in adding this. For a tablet platform these are important especially if it is expected that some of the users will be doing some sort of word processing.

So whats the fuss about iBooks? We all know how closed the iPhone OS is. there's no access to the file system. This is the biggest reason why publisher's have opted to sign up to Apple iBooks because there is very little chance that users will be able to copy books. Other platforms such as the Kindle and other eReaders it is possible to copy the books in ePub format. Although the iPad uses epub file format, the file is actually not accessible by the user. 

I feel that iPad is another platform for Apple to sell its various applications and generate revenue. iTunes, iWork, and now iBooks all contribute to their content distribution service and the iPad adds another device which is compatible with these services. This is a launchpad for iBooks more than anything.