Thoughts on the iPad
Sooo, for once I'm going to blog about current news :-)
Like almost every geek out there, I've been rather disappointed by the iPad. However, as many others have said, the iPhone had already revolutionized the way we think of computer user interface. It was obvious that it couldn't have been a MacOS tablet. They had to adapt MacOS X to a tablet with multi-touch interface, and that is... iPhone OS.
This comment from a reddit thread sums it up quite nicely : "Why isn't it a COMPUTER? We wanted a fucking tablet computer, not an oversized iphone - Because they're not selling to you". Yeah, this isn't a geek tool. Although I have a feeling that, just like with the iPhone, many geeks will want one too.
Now it seems one of the main gripes against it is the lack of Flash. I really don't understand why. As a chat on the topic with other friends proved to me this morning, Flash has two main uses nowadays : video, and games. Videos are on iTunes. YouTube is a native app. Other video sites already have iPhone (or more generically "mobile") versions, like Dailymotion. And as for games... well that's the first 3rd-party product which were shown during the presentation. And it would make sense that those people writing those fun little Flash games would be more than happy to sell them on the App Store.
Regarding Flash being used as a UI on website, now how are you going to translate that to the iPad's UI ? The whole thing is designed to be used with your fingers as pointing devices, scrolling, etc... and by visiting a web site, you'd find yourself stuck with a UI made for a mouse&keyboard interface. How convenient.
And yes, of course, there's the obvious reason that Apple (Jobs) is a control freak and doesn't want anyone else to interfere with the Experience they provide to the user, that Flash is a resource hog, etc... I personally won't miss it.
What I do miss, though, is multitasking, and it would have been really cool to have a video camera in there. And for the whole thing to be a tad more open regarding app installation, but that calls for the same answer as above : Apple's not selling this to me. I might get one eventually (will wait for v2), but I won't use it as a computer.
Edit : Two posts which I found seeing beyond the feature list check :
This one by Fraser Speirs (btw, thanks for your FlickrExport Aperture plugin ;-) ), and the other by John Gruber.