What were they thinking?!
- No Flash
- No multitasking
- No video camera(s)
- No iChat
Yes, I’m extremely disappointed that the “ultimate web device” doesn’t have support for Flash. While I hate Flash as much as the next web developer, it’s far too ubiquitous to ignore. Maybe it’s Adobe’s problem, but I find it hard to believe Apple couldn’t get it to work if they really wanted to.
I’m still getting one.
The other problems are mostly non-issues. I did think a video camera would be pretty slick for a mobile video conference device, but oh well, probably in version 2.0 next year to make me upgrade.
Being able to utilize the iPhone apps I’ve already paid for is a nice bonus, though I’m sure many developers will release new versions for additional money that better utilize the screen space of the iPad.
Interestingly during the keynote this was the feature I was really looking for the most. I don’t give many presentations, but being able to put together a Keynote presentation on a touchscreen device and hook the very portable device up to a display and give the presentation rocks. I hope they make it work with the iPhone remote app as well. Spreadsheets are huge for me too, so I’m pretty excited about being able to have a nice big display for portable spreadsheets.
Multitasking and the OS
The lack of multitasking is actually the biggest downside for me with that big beautiful display, and I suspect it’s a bit of misdirection at this point. There’s a reason it was announced showing off iPhone OS 3.2 and not the major 4.0 update people were expecting. I’m betting that within a few months of a successful launch there will be another announcement presentation for a new and improved iPhone, at which time the more major update to the OS, to 4.0, will be shown off. They’ll save it for then to blow everyone away with the multitasking features that are supported on both the iPad and the new iPhone. When this hits, hopefully an iChat app will follow, but if not, there will always be the AIM app or other equivalents.
In the end, I think the iPad looks like a pretty slick little device. Hopefully if it proves as popular as expected, it will help catapult the state of Flash and video on the web to the HTML5 future, it’s definitely something I’ll be moving up my research and testing list now. As with the iPhone, I’m confident most of the limitations will be addressed going forward, the latest iPhones (hardware + software) may not seem as revolutionary compared to the first one as it did to devices before it, but they are significantly more advanced than the initial release. So too will be the iPad.
So yes, I’ll be getting one. I think it may serve nicely as a third display for running something like TweetDeck during the day, will be nice to have lying around for access to the web in a better format than my phone, and most importantly for the web developer in me, to keep an eye on the sites I manage and ensure they work as best they can on the device for my clients and their customers.