Yes, everything that can be said about the iPad has been said, except what I’m going to say (which is hopefully different than what others have said – maybe):
- I input less on this thing. There is no keyboard. I explore less. I find myself bookmarking pages that I like perusing because I don’t see myself doing anything highly interactive on it. By taking the keyboard away, I’m pressed towards a passive posture (I’m not insinuating this is bad, it just is).
- You can’t multitask. This is a good thing. Without being poked and prodded by juggling five things at a time (which usually includes some sort of chat client), we’re giving our brains a chance to dive deeper into the experience in front of us.
- I have one question for content creators, publishers and even some of the application designers out there: why did you wait for the iPad to clean up your shitty designs? USA Today. Time magazine. New York Times. Even some of the apps that have Web interfaces got an upgrade. Why not make them great on the Web?
- You can’t resize the Web browser. By imposing this constraint, it frees up designers to think more about composition and art direction. There are two modes – horizontal and vertical. It’s a hat tip to paper. You can’t resize paper.
- Historically, devices became more magical by getting smaller. From a big cassette player to the Sony Walkman to the iPod shuffle. Imagine if the iPad came first. Imagine if rumors started flying around of a “miniature iPad that could fit into your pocket.” It would run all of your existing apps (scaled down) and it would let you make phone calls.
- I don’t think anyone will do long form reading on it. The Kindle is small, light and feels more like paper. I don’t think people want light emanating from a book they’re trying to read. I could be wrong here.
- I think the introduction of $5 magazines-as-apps that look like Web pages without all the garbage is preposterous.
- There’s something irksome about the way this thing shuns the Web – not just in terms of Web browsing, but in terms of how it overwhelming imposes its own patterns and paradigms that only render things more cumbersome. Maybe this is where we’re headed: vertical lock-in from device to cloud. That would suck.
These are my impressions after a couple of days. What’s fun about a device like this is that I can honestly say I don’t know what my impressions will be in a week or a month or 3 months. For all its strengths and faults, it is different, and it’s forcing us to ask new questions about design, technology and how we want things to work. That’s always a good thing.