The Apple Australia site says that iPads will be available in late
April May. Well, it’s officially late April. Where’s my iPad!
*Update. iPad orders have been pushed back a month outside of the US. Makes the (potentially) over-priced eBay option look better than ever.*
Funnily enough (that’s a term my mum used to use, i’m not so sure it’s correct grammar “funnily”?) the site also mentions the unbelievable price. What is funny about that statement is that no one has any idea what that unbelievably new price is going to be. No one that can say, anyway.
It’s pretty amazing that there’s such hype in this country about a device that has no fixed release date, very few details about available models, and which nobody knows a thing about the 3G capability, not to mention the fact that all the ruminations about video iChat point to an updated release (no doubt within 6 months).
Still, i’ve got a deposit down and i’m in line for the top of the line model (whatever that happens to be).
I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this device, and i’ve been describing it as “the best computer for your mum”, ever. Of course if your mother is a 30 something technology writer for a National newspaper, that description doesn’t apply. Mine isn’t, and so for my 50 something mother, i think this machine is perfect. Here’s a few points that i’ve had on my mind as a rationale…
- It’s pretty simple (and meant to be)
It does one thing at a time. My mum can only manage about one thing at a time on her macbook pro. But the ability for her to be able to physically do more makes her run into trouble, and get confused watching anyone else use her machine. The lack of multi-tasking (actually there is multitasking in OS4 but it’s not real) is a perfect way for her to be more immersed in what she’s doing, while she’s doing it. Lack of multi-tasking is a feature for my mum.
- Touch is intuitive (duh!)
All you have to do is look at the way that it’s portrayed in walkthrough videos and ads, this device is super simple to use. Everyone has fingers (sorry to the fingerless?) and it’s easy to walk them around a screen and point at things that interest you. Sure there’s gestures and multi-finger functionality but that stuff is mainly optional, and as you get more comfortable with one finger touch, these things will make my mum feel like a power user. The popularity of the iPhone among a very wide demographic has shown that touch is a very natural way to interact.
- It’s a bit fancy
Although an internet luddite, my mum likes to show off a bit. When i set her up with Skype, she showed all of her friends like she invented it. The newness and flashiness of the iPad will make her want to use it around her friends, this meaning that mum and her buddies are online more. Sharing and surfing and watching and creating with friends of all ages can only mean better, more diverse user bases and more eyeballs
- It’s “available at an unbelievable price”
Who knows what this even means for us (Australians), but if it truly is a great price then i think the usual barrier to entry with Apple products could be close to eradicated. It’s a shame that you’ll need a computer to activate it, but any machine will do the trick, and then sit gathering dust while mum plays with her shiny new toy.
- It’s a toaster!
Well it’s not really a toaster is it, but it should be considered an ‘appliance’. It will sit in the lounge room or the kitchen (the bedroom?) not resigned to a special room for ‘corm-pyu-ting’. This is a good thing, with more digital integration in everyday lives, probably less television-time, and more looking at your son’s Flickr photos.
- It makes content more fun
I can see my parents buying newspaper and magazine subscriptions on their iPad, for sure. Dad will find it more compact to grasp an iPad on the toilet as he reads (or probably watches) the sport pages, mum will get richer media for her hollywood gossip, dad’s golf magus will include interviews (probably in higher res than his crappy SD foxtel) and it should all come down the pipe automatically in a way that is way more fun to consume and share not having a convoluted way to seek it out in the first place will be the key.
- My parents might start to understand what my job is
I’ve always been described as the son that “works with computers”. It’ll be nice for them to be a bit closer to integrating with things that i do for a living. They might just start to get it
I love this device even though
i’ve not yet touched it i’ve only spent a short time with it (we’ve got one at work doing the rounds), but I really lament the lack of a front facing camera. I think being able to Skype is one of the things that my mum got most excited about when i set her up with her macbook. This, for me, is almost a deal-breaker. I’m sure it will come and iPhones are already being used as remote bluetooth cams, but the more abstracted that gets the less likely my mum is to do it. It’s a shame, but i’m sure we will see it in the next revision from the looks of all the “iChat” references in the 4.0 software.
I’m still waiting, and i’m waiting with baited breath, Mum doesn’t know it yet but i i’ll be swapping her laptop for an iPad when they’re arrive. I think she’s going to love it, i just hope she shares it with dad.