Many people see the iPad as a BIG iPod touch, something that is used to view content on. Though it does have a microphone, unlike the iPhone is does not have a camera.
There is though one aspect of the iPad that Apple have announced that I think some people have missed and that will be the availability of iPad versions of the iWork applications. Apple will at the same time as they release the iPad, release iPad versions of their presentation software, Keynote, wordprocessing software, Pages and spreadsheet software, Numbers.
There are also rumours that Microsoft may be working on a version of Office for the iPad.
So what does this all mean?
Well is turns the iPad from a mainly content consumption device to a device that can allow the user to both consume and create content.
So what you may say, I have a laptop that does just that!
Well it’s pretty certain that the iPad is no laptop, even Steve Jobs in his iPad announcement says that the iPad sits between the iPhone and a laptop.
However I don’t see the iPad replacing my laptop all the time, but in some circumstances I can see it replacing it some of the time.
For example in meetings, the iPad is going to be more useful than a laptop for checking information, using Pages to make notes, etc…
Likewise in conferences (where there are in some sessions no tables), the iPad (with the long battery life) will make it easier to engage in the back channel, makes notes, check URLs, share thoughts and impressions, and all the other conference stuff that at the moment most people do with a notepad and a pencil.
For learners an iPad may be a better device to bring to lessons, with easy access to e-books (and these may be getting more engaging and interactive), internet access, web tools; the ability to also create notes using Pages, or enter notes using tools like Evernote more easily than on an iPod touch or iPhone, I can certainly see many learners preferring the lightweight feel of the iPad, over a heavier laptop. Then again they might want to buy a netbook!
I don’t use spreadsheets much so I don’t see much of a use for Numbers. However I do give a lot of presentations and having Keynote on the iPad makes a lot of sense to me.
I’ve always thought that Apple should have made a Keynote Presentation App for the iPhone; you would create your presentation on the Mac, sync to the iPhone and then on the iPhone would be a little App that allowed you to both view the App on the iPhone screen, or using the AV cable you can get, show the presentation through a projector or TV. One of the issues though with that is Apps can’t use the AV cable! I guess an Apple App could, but maybe not.
If Keynote on the iPad can use the AV Cable and hopefully then other applications will also be able to use the AV out.
Of course the Keynote App for the iPad allows you to create presentations, and I really do like using Keynote as my primary presentation tool.
Overall I think Keynote and Pages for the iPad, have turned the iPad into for me from a “maybe” purchase to a “more than likely” purchase.