Magical and revolutionary ?


No and yes.

I’ve had my iPad for 9 days so far.

It’s good in bed.

Excellent in bed…and on my lap…and as a social gaming device with the whole family watching (and touching the screen) as we complete a level of Bejewelled or Plants vs Zombies together. That’s different from my iPhone, desktop, laptop or netbook. I can put it on the window sill to watch TED talks as I cook, and the speaker is loud enough to be heard easily – unlike my iPhone .

It is this form factor that makes it feel like a different class of device. I agree that most of the time it feels like a big-arsed iPhone.. . or rather it makes my iPhone suddenly feel too small and inadequate for the touch interface and viewing movies or browsing the web. To me it is more of an “at home” device than an out and about device, although I have paid Telstra $30 for 1GB of data for the next month. My main motivation for this was to use the Google Maps ap for navigating in the car – I’m not great at squinting at the iPhone screen as I miss yet another turnoff…

There have been criticisms that the iPad is more a consumption device than a creation device ( The iPad? Well, it’s not exactly the Apple of my eye ). It doesn’t multitask, it is hard to use the keyboard, has no direct audio or video input …. but….but…

This is the first generation of the iPad, the one made to suck in the early adopters, make us part with too much cash, the version with the cut-down features so that there is somewhere to go in the next generation iPad.

Two applications give me an idea of the potential of this as a creation tool. They are much better on the iPad than their equivalents on PC. They make me suspend my judgment about the iPad as a creation device – at least until we have had 6 months or so of people creating aps for the gesture and touch based interface.

iMockups is a wireframing application, used to create mockups of websites. If you’ve ever resorted to using paper cutouts of furniture to move them around on a floor plan to work out how to furnish a room, then you have an idea what it is like to use iMockups.  Being able to flick a data entry box to one side of the page, or pull on the edge of a header to make bigger, or use a gesture to capture all elements and move them all up a smidge makes it all so easy. I was using post-it notes on an A3 bit of paper to layout the new webpage for our library, but this is even better. I did the one below in just a couple of hours while sitting on the sofa watching tele at the same time… easy peasy … are we revolutionary yet???

The other application that I have used to paw my device, in ways I am unused to, is Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I found out about this when someone in my Twitter stream (Kim? Joyce?) pushed out a link to these notes taken during a conference session:

Byan Alexander's Keynote Uploaded to Flickr on May 8, 2010 by Rachel Smith

I have been fiddling about with it in a rather desultory way, but I have managed to produce digital drawings much better than I have with any other kind of setup. I don’t think I could do what Rachel did quite yet, but I also think that with a bit of practice it would not be far away.    I don’t think I would reach the level of the demonstration video , although using the symmetry option I was able to draw quite a funky human face like in the demo.:

Post 6 of the 30 posts in 30 days challenge.

4 thoughts on “Magical and revolutionary ?

  1. I love the look of autodesk sketchbook. I like the idea of creating visualisations on the fly at conferences etc….

    Tempting :o)

  2. I agree with you on the consumption/creation argument when it comes to iPads. I’m holding off on purchasing one until there are more applications that make it easier to produce content. Is it great for reading? Yes? But is it great for commenting, responding, or writing? Not quite so, no.

    Having said that, the iPad will have some incredibly neat uses in the future (the apps you mentioned show this) – it’s just a matter of time.

    fwiw, I like your 30/30 blogging challenge. It’s something more people should take up.

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