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The iPad has been flying off the shelves in most Apple stores over the last few weeks but what are people's reasons for buying one? All arguments aside it does look like a nice piece of hardware and is fun play about on but does the iPad have any real practical application?

At this point I would like to point out I don't own an iPad but I have played about on one. If someone has found a practical use for the iPad then feel free to comment below however I spent a good amount of time playing about and struggled to find a situation I would need to use one. After trying out some of the apps made specifically for the device I found they were exactly as I expected. Exactly the same as the iPhone apps. The majority are good but they don't seem to justify the higher prices compared to the iPhone apps. This confused me since the pricing of the iPhone apps seemed to suit the market perfectly. Also the lack of 'lite' versions, to try an app before you buy, forces people to waste money on bad apps.

The screen is just as responsive, if not more, than the iPhone. It's incredibly easy to use, beautiful looking and self explanatory for practically any age group. After playing about on it for a bit I got thinking what practical use would I need the iPad for? I already own the iPhone 3GS and everything the iPad can do so can my iPhone (as well as take pictures and video). The graphics are better but doesn't offer anything to expand the experience apart from a bigger screen. So since I already own the iPhone, and love it, the advantage I would be gaining from buying this would be a bigger screen to do what I can already do on my iPhone. This could seem like a feasible thing to upgrade to when it comes to watching videos but with the screen resolution not matching up with the majority of videos, causing big black bars to appear above and below, it doesn't seem to be worth the money.

The fact that the device doesn't have a camera also seems to be a horrible marketing ploy to get everyone to upgrade when they inevitably release an iPad with a camera. With the new iPhone having a camera on the front and the back there is no real excuse for not having a camera on such a powerful device apart from getting people to upgrade.

I didn't think that not having flash on it would bother me that much since on my iPhone it isn't usually a problem but when you are looking at everything on a bigger screen it does become a lot more obvious. The majority of websites I go on all use flash on their content and by not being able to look at them is big minus. This means I can't use this device as my main web browser because I can't see all the websites I like to visit.

I can't see many people actually doing work on an iPad since a laptop is far better equipped. Also it's a huge hassle getting documents onto the iPad since you have to do it through iTunes which isn't a very user friendly process. Currently the only other process to do it is through Drop Box or by emailing yourself the documents which is an awkward way of working around the problem. The keyboard wasn't that bad but you can only use it for a few seconds at a time because of the lack of actual keys. I found I tend to drift to the right while typing, which I hadn't noticed before, and kept having to correct myself.

Potentially the one good use of the device would be to start reading E-Books since this device's sole purpose was to release the iBook store. The future is going to be reading off devices such as the iPad, and it demonstrates how this can be done well, but the price far exceeds the justification of this single function. It is also nice to point out that the iBook store will also be released for the iPhone this summer.

The pricing to use the devices 3G capabilities is obscene and unless you are travelling all the time seems unnecessary. The size makes it not as portable and for travelling the iPhone is a lot easier to handle with practically the same functions. The iPad does seem to be a device made to use at home or in an office.

Overall the iPad is a good piece of hardware but because it seems like it can so easily be improved then I wouldn't suggest buying one of these first generation devices. It is a device that is trying to do do two things but by attempting both does neither one well. Once another company matches the iPad's screen quality with flash and an open app store it will easily be able to topple Apple's initial dominance on tablet computers. No one has been able to match Apple's touch screen devices yet so it will be interesting to see how long the competition take to catch up. Apple have gone about this device the wrong way and most people now can start to see through their tactics of keeping back features and insulting it's consumers intelligence. It will take more than clever marketing for me to purchase one.

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Tags: apple, ipad, useless

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Comment by Frederik Feldborg on June 6, 2010 at 11:44am
It's not just a Huge Iphone!
Comment by iAlex on June 3, 2010 at 1:55pm
there's really no point in getting one it does nothing good enough about it JUST A HUGE HONKIN IPHONE THATS SHINY
Comment by chillinmango on June 3, 2010 at 2:39am
people would only buy iPad's because its from Apple! and because they think its a perfect gadget when its not! and if they just do a little bit of research online before they buy it, they would understand its not a wise choice to get one (at least the 1st gen)! unless of course if they're using it for Facebook, Youtube streaming, and the simple stuff!

and I know that many didn't know about the flash problem you've mentioned! Honestly I really don't understand why people would buy a large-looking iPhone :) when its not worth buying! well unless you want one to show off and look cool ;)

chillinmango
well said!
Comment by Roger Schuelke on June 2, 2010 at 1:51pm
I looked at the iPad and decided, for the moment, to wait. Not enough screen space. I would estimate that I would like about 20% more space in width and height. The main thing I would use the iPad for is consuming the internet. I read a lot of material on the internet from various places around the house. I would like to be able to occasionally read in bed. I tried a netbook but they are awkward. I suspect that I could get most of what I want from a net book but with less protability.


I don't own an iPhone or equivalent. I basically just need a phone. I don't need to be connected when I am out and around. I suspect that is a big distinction. Those that own iPhones aren't as interested in an iPad because there is not enough difference in functionality to justify the extra cost. That will probably change but that is certainly so now.

For me I am waiting for the knock offs that are cheaper and/or bigger. I think the iPad is a great idea for consuming material on the internet and will be better as it evolves.
Comment by purpix1 on June 2, 2010 at 4:27am
I have yet failed to see how the ipad offers any advantages over a laptop. Sure there may be some slick apps, but are they practical and or useful beyond just being entertaining? I admit I haven't seen an ipad much less used one, but I can't justify the price over function, to bother checking one out. I'll stick with a laptop which offers all the functionality I need. More bang for your buck.
Comment by Gavin Roskamp on June 1, 2010 at 9:33pm
I'm sorry, Bob, but video editing? Seriously? The iPad can NOT do video editing. Tell me how it can do video editing. It has no videocamera or videocamera app, like the iPhone 3GS has, and that isn't even close to video editing. That's video trimming, at best.

And for spills? Ha. It won't stand up to spills. Just ask my old iPod Touch. If iDevices get wet, they instantly fry themselves.
Comment by ionflux on June 1, 2010 at 8:56pm
im tired walking with my hp tablet everybody thinks is the i pad least its upgradeable to 250 gig hd and 4 gig mem not bad cant loose
Comment by Seth David on June 1, 2010 at 8:20pm
When the news broke that the iPad was coming out, my wife immediately asked me if we "needed" one. I said absolutely not. My Droid phone is sufficient for when I'm on the go, and my Laptop works great when I am not. So from my perspective the iPad is really nothing more than a "Great Toy" if I had one. Also word is that the next generation will be still much more sophisticated - instead of just running "Apps" it will run an actual operating system making it much more of a replacement for a Laptop enabling you to do anything and everything that you could otherwise do on your "computer" now. So I am waiting and I am glad I waited. It's just going to keep getting better.
Comment by Justin [Cerebrl] on June 1, 2010 at 7:44pm
This may not be kosher here on your blog, but the best way for me to explain the "purpose" of the iPad is to link to an article I already wrote on this topic. See here: http://tinyurl.com/3x673v6

It is titled "iPad: You're Missing the Point," and I would venture to say that you are. The iPad is not supposed to replace an iPhone or a laptop, but introduce a device for a niche that was not already filled. And that is a device that is for the consumption and interaction with media/data/information. Whether it's consuming the "net," magazines, books, movies, music ... it's all about interaction combined with great portability.

Computers, laptop, desktop or otherwise, are great for creation but limited for portability and convenience. Whether it is writing a novel, drawing up an icon or logo or editing video, that is the purpose for which a computer is designed. An iPhone is all about communication, texting, IM'ing, sending short emails all with extreme portability.

Yes, you can surf the "net" on the iPhone, but are you really getting enough out of that tiny screen? Are you really able to enjoy a movie? Are you really able to read a book, magazine or anything else on an iPhone?

All your answers may be yes, but let's use this as an example: I could drive from Austin to San Antonio (about 75 miles) on a scooter. It would actually give me great gas milage, but is it effective for that type of transport? No, unless you are a masochist. That is the relationship an iPhone and iPad have. The iPhone is great at short, small and fast messaging (calls, text, IM's ... ), but for the more serious consumption, reading, watching ... it's painful. If a have a task that takes more than just a couple of minutes, the iPhone ends up frustrating me with its cumbersome single screen UI's.

In short, the iPad fills the need for when you don't need a computer, but the iPhone is just too small or too limited in the human-device interaction arena. And your perspective on the fact the iPad is just a bigger screen is mostly correct, but your conclusion, IMHO, is disingenuous. The larger screen is everything, and it doesn't mean that everything (fonts, photos ... ) is just bigger. It means there is more real estate for interaction.

Instead of just single screen UI's that replace one another, it allows developers to create divisions of UI's (sidebars, dual sections et cetera) extending functionality that would be impossible on the iPhone. This means the user can more fully interact with information, data and entertainment. I mean, come on, if size didn't matter, then why are you most likely using a 17+ inch monitor. Why not use the 9-inch, 512x342 pixel display of the first Mac computer, I am sure those 9 inch monitors are much cheaper.

Well, this comment ended up being a lot longer than I originally anticipated, but you asked for my purpose, and there you have it. Love or hate it, I stand by it. Take care.

Justin [Cerebrl]
Comment by Karen on June 1, 2010 at 7:20pm
Hi Tim, totally agree with you. I've been bugging my Hubby to let me buy an iPad but it really doesn't make sense to do so unless its got a camera. At the moment its just a very expensive e-reader that's capable of doing one process at a time, even the apps are more expensive than my iPhone. I'm going to wait and see wait and see what the 2G iPad has and hope that the price is lowered somewhat as netbooks are cheaper than an iPad and can do more but I don't want Windows.

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