If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know that I really like my Sony eReader. Well, I used to really like my Sony eReader. Now that the iPad has been announced I look at my eReader with fond memories and can’t wait for the iPad. My Sony eReader is now dead to me.
The eReader is fine for what it does but it’s a one-trick-pony. I’ve grumbled on more than one occasion that I don’t like seeing book graphics in 16 shades of gray and the slow refresh rate is annoying (but livable). Not being able to zoom graphics is annoying too. The ability to play MP3’s on my eReader is totally worthless (to me at least) since I always have my iPhone with me. I’ve never used it so why pay for it?
I have an accessory that allows my eReader to be read at night that works fairly well. But, it uses regular batteries that wear out in a couple of weeks and it makes using the eReader during the day a pain because it makes the text less readable. The iPad won’t have those problems.
Let’s talk briefly about software. The Library application that comes with the Sony eReader stinks. It’s not a native Mac app, it’s not a native Windows app. It sucks on both platforms. In fact, I hate it so much that unless I buy a book through their store I use an application called Calibre. I hate it too, I just hate it much less because it manages my books much better. iTunes does a great job of managing my music, movies, and podcasts so I can’t imagine that it would suddenly suck at managing my books.
I thought that selling the iPad to my wife was going to be hard but it turned out to the be exact opposite. She wants one in the kitchen. Why? A little background is needed first.
My lovely wife is also a very talented cook. She’s adventurous and is always trying a new recipe or even making one up from several she’s found on the internet. She prints the recipe out and then takes it into the kitchen. Imagine being able to do that from the iPad which she just puts on the counter. If there’s not an iPhone app for a chef (I bet there are several already) there will be a couple of specific ones for the iPad (soon)! And with a nice glass screen, there’s not too much worry about getting the device dirty.
The iPad has one huge advantage for me – the app store. Our family already has 3 iPhones. Don’t make me count up how many apps we’ve downloaded (both free and commercial) but I’d bet that it’s probably close to a hundred. When we get our iPad we’ll already have the software for it. No researching and purchasing new pieces of software that may or may not do what we want – we already have them!
I think the iPad will be awesome for Boomers. How many of you have Boomer friends or relatives that call you for tech support on the Windows or Macintosh computers? Show of hands? Thought so. The iPad is so for them. Do any of your friends and relatives call you on how to use their iPhone or iPod Touch? Didn’t think so. The iPhone is so simple that hardly anyone has issues figuring it out.
Anyone who says the iPad won’t be a huge for business is nuts. I have clients, right now, that could sell an iPad application if we converted their app to work on it. Imagine an HVAC service technician, rather than lugging around a ton of paperwork and a big, clunky laptop, showing up at your house, logging all of his work, including when he arrived, what tests he performed, results, and then showing you the iPad display showing all of this and then billing your credit card directly (though an add-on card reader) and then emailing your the results?
Another example: My doctor is all electronic and the interface to his current tablet stinks – they all hate using it! They spend minutes clicking and doing crazy things in the interface. I can imagine them using an iPad with the keyboard attachment and being more efficient with their time when they use an interface designed around a touch screen rather than an interface meant for a desktop app that’s been forced onto a tablet.
The list goes on but the possibilities are limitless. You think Apple demonstrating the iWork apps on the iPad was a fluke? Nope. Apple thinks this thing is going to sell like hotcakes to business and I happen to think they’re right.
What do you think?