With the launch of the iPad yesterday I’ve read a little bit on it, not a whole lot as it really doesn’t interest me that much. However, at my previous employer I did a lot of work on disaster response applications. These applications were designed to run locally out in the field and when an internet connection was available (usually via a tether to their blackberry if signal was available) to then replicate to the company servers. While in the field the techs used a tablet PC running Windows with Lotus Notes to enter their data. We tried using a laptop but it just didn’t meet the requirements as they were difficult to tote around and use without dropping. The tablets fit the bill perfectly.
Enter the iPad. From my understanding, which may be wrong, this is just an overgrown iPod Touch running the same OS as the iPod touch, in other words, locked down tight by Apple. I guess it could still fit the bill with a custom app but I assume (and it’s a pretty big assumption) you would need to be connected to the internet in some form or fashion in order to use this application as I’m not sure if these apps are able to run locally and then replicate their data. This provides a road block to using this thing, at least from a disaster response point of view, for any business type roles. Also, how many IT shops are willing to leave their security up to Apple, as I assume there won’t be much you can do about customizing it’s functionality/security settings. So for business I would say the iPad just won’t fit the bill, and from my experience a business use of some type is the only thing a tablet is good for.
Now, for home use…. I can see a fairly good argument for purchasing an iPad. It’s bigger than an iPod and smaller than a laptop and the iPod apps are mostly geared for an individual, but you still have to go through the iTunes store to install them. Also the price is good which is another plus for personal use but I still just see it as a toy more or less. Also, being bigger it’ll probably be easier to see the text on the thing, especially easier to see and read than the iPod.
Me personally, I really don’t see a purpose for me purchasing an iPad as it just doesn’t seem to fill a void that my other gadgets of some sort don’t fill. Maybe I’m missing something but that’s the way I see it…