iPad, first thoughts

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

My first thought about the iPad, triggered by Tim Bray: Nothing Creative.

At the first glance I could not agree more with Tim. There’s nothing revolutionary about this whole iPad thing, it just let’s you “consume the web”.

At the other hand, this looks like the perfect execution of the whole “web tablet” idea which surfaced ten years ago (2000, 2001) and then almost vanished. I think the iPad is the culmination of evolutionary innovation, helped by Moore’s law.

For geeks there’s not much fun, no way to tinker and extend. Then, as soon as you see it as a nice consumer device and have it lying around your coffee table this might be a very nice gadget (at a pretty hefty price).

For me there are also a lot of unanswered questions, like why would I want to have this lying on the coffee table, operating under my identity? Security and privacy anyone? Or is it not meant to share after all?

Finally, why do we (yes, including me) always have such a strong opinion about Apple products? They must be doing something right in marketing (remember: HP launched a very neat tablet, the Slate, only a week ago). Some introspection: why are we disappointed when we get the perfect version of something wished for 10 years ago? Is it because it’s too late and we’re already way beyond with our thoughts?

Update: Mark Pilgrim describes his disappointment about the closed nature of the iPad as Tinkerer’s Sunset – be sure to read this excellent writeup!

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