What’s missing in the pricey iPad might make you “iSad”

Concept: Video chat will not be possible on the cameraless Apple iPad

With about two weeks before the Apple iPad is in our hands, one feels like a Nasa scientist waiting for the Apollo rocket to take off. It’s a nail biting and nervous moment for everyone at Apple, waiting for the iPad to either soar into the stratosphere or crash and burn.

If you’ve been following our series of features on the iPad (If you haven’t then you should catch up) you would know that the iPad has been under a host of controversy and bad press from rivals and application developers alike.

Whereas the iPad is cleverly being marketed as a unique device superior in software and hardware when compared to rival products. Media has not blocked it from being compared to e-readers, tablet pc’s and notebooks. That is quite a derogatory comparison to say the least.

Before we get down to the iPad’s disappointing aspects let’s focus on what makes the iPad a unique blend of Apple innovation and modern computing technology, and not just an oversized iPhone.   It does have a smartphone similar instant ‘on’ feature, a blazing fast processor, a multi-touch screen and most impressively, a gigantic, gluttonous library of over 150,000 applications. This may make it the tablet of choice for business and non-business people slicing into the notebook market as well, but some crucial things are lacking which would be otherwise commony features many business users are used to having.

What the iPad is missing: it does not have expandable memory. You cannot expand a 16 GB iPad to the larger 64 GB or even the middle tier 32 GB.  The lack of a USB port has to be it’s biggest design boo-boo. It is inexcusable to not have a USB port in this day and age on any device.  A device like the Addonics could allow for easy access to thumbdrives and network printers, but that would only be an at home solution, not something we could access anywhere and everywhere.

The lack of a camera is quite tragic! A device that sits on your lap and faces you head on, with a wireless network connection too.  How could this not have a camera?

The operating system that powers the iPad is not up to task in the multi-tasking department. Some applications can utilize the operating systems’ multi-tasking features, some cannot. Talk about blatant discrimination! It’s no wonder developers feel hot and bothered about developing applications for the iPad.

You’re also lumped with Apple’s Safari browser. It’s an amazing browser don’t get me wrong, but Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are quite respectable contenders, and Safari is not always at the top of everyones list.  And what are the majority of web based tools built with? Well you get the swf.

Apple iPad with multiple views


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2 Comments

  1. coby says:

    The iPad, like the iPhone, could be so much more than it is. I get that Apple is trying to corner the media consumption and technology recreation market, but with a little business consideration, these devices could take business to the next level.

    Consider a tablet (I will refrain from using the iPad as the example because its inherent flaws and closed application delivery and support model) used in a direct or in-home sales scenario. It could replace sales collateral, paper-based contracts, and customer support and education collateral while instantly interfacing with supply-chain, accounting, and CRM infrastructures to yield a real-time sales and service experience that is not only far more efficient, but far more cost-effective.

    It kills me when Apple fan boys (read students and out-of-work designers) rail against the professional set because Apple products consistently fail to deliver real-world, useful functionality. There’s more to life than organizing your fucking photos!

  2. Otto says:

    I am anxiously waiting for the iPad also. I havnt pre ordered one, but will probably get one soon after the 3G models are released. You, like most of the critics are focusing on lack of camera, multi tasking, USB port and lack of memory expandability (you seem to have forgotten about lack of Flash). I’ve had mobile devices since the first Palm Pilots, Newtons, etc. I’ve had all sorts of accessories and software packages that tried to make these Mini Me’s into full-fledged computers. After all this time I’ve come to realize I hardly ever used any of them. I dont want a mobile device (and we’re not talking laptops here) for anything other than web browsing, email and media delivery. As far as I can tell the iPad delivers all that. For me, the camera issue is completely bogus. I’ve got cameras on my iMac and have never used it to talk to anyone. Maybe its cause I’m an old fart. Maybe this is something that will get added in iPad 2.0. Who knows? I know I dont care about it.
    To date, tablet computers have failed magnificently because the manufacturers have tried to make “real work” devices out of them. I dont think we will see any form of computer that can be used for writing documents or building spreadsheets that does not have an actual keyboard. And why the iPad may succeed is the fact that it does not pretend to be a “real work” machine. Or maybe it will flop. Apple has $40B in cash and not every idea the’ve put to market was a success (Newton, apple tv, Macbook Air). That doesnt mean these things were worthless. I loved my Newton. It was pretty cool for its day. But the handwriting recognition didnt work for me, it did not interface with other computers (PCs) very well and it was just too big and clunky to cart around. I recently bought an Apple TV on Craigslist for $75 just to see what it was good for. I love it! Its a great way to stream all my media goodies from my mac to the main TV. I still doubt I’d pay $200+ for one, but then again I also have on-demand cable and Netflix available through my PS3.
    The bottom line for all this rambling is that the whole media industry (print books, newspapers magazines, Music, Film and TV) are in complete free fall as far as their future goes. Maybe the iPad is the beginning of one new path. Maybe not.

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