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I find that people of differing generations have different expectations of the iPad. Some expect the Star Trek experience of a powerful computing tool that they can fit into their palm. Still others expect it to be an expensive toy.
When I purchased my iPad, I had no expectations of it being a productivity tool. We are still several years away from manufacturers being able to reduce powerful components down to that size. Nor did I look at it as something that was finally going to draw me into gaming.
But I did see the iPad as what I call a ‘lifestyle device.’ Something that you give the kids in the back of the minivan to play with, as opposed to coloring books or magnetic checkers, among other things.
My thoughts are that this is a new generation of computing for the current and next generation. The generation who cut its teeth on typewriters is not going to be able to adapt easily touchscreen keyboards as they were raised on typewriters. A wholly different tactile experience. That’s why Apple eventually adds up adding click noises to devices.
However, generations raised on texting will transfer to such a concept with much more ease.They don’t carry the baggage of a time before everything was digital and practically instantaneous.
As for it being a productivity device, I’m honestly a bit miffed that Apple rewrote iWorks. It sends out the wrong signal. As I send a few sentences ago, the technology is not currently able to keep pace with people’s imaginations or desires. It sets up expectations that cannot be currently met.
As for being an entertainment device, the iPad hits a little closer to the mark. New concepts in gaming, video streaming, carrying a whole library (not to mention a sizable media collection) around in a 1.5 pound device is phenomenal! (BTW, those of you who complain that 1.5 pounds is too heavy, save your money. Don’t buy an iPad, buy a membership to Bally’s.)
I bought my iPad with one idea in mind - to make the daily grind a bit easier. I can check my email without squinting at my iPhone. I can surf. I can watch streaming Netflix while my car is being repaired. I can read a book, newspaper or magazine when my time should free up. And when I’m charging it, it sits on the nightstand as a picture frame.
If you ask me, that’s a hell of a lot of bang for your buck!
One day, yes, you will be able to do heavier lifting with a tablet device. But for now, do a little work and have a lot of fun. Enjoy!
-- Frank Petrie