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At The Next Web, whilst we’re as excited as the next blog, we admit to be fretting a little bit about the forthcoming launch.
Yes, there are a few things beginning to give us sleepless nights about the iPad… let’s just say there are one or two things that we’re not exactly looking forward to. Well five things really…
1. Applying the Screen Protector.
Mobile phones aren’t cheap. Smart phones are dearer. We’re all keen to protect our gadgets and whether we insure them or not we’ll often invest in a screen protector.
Now, with the best will in the world, trying to get the screen protector on an iPhone without trapping a couple of motes of dust or air-bubbles underneath is nigh on impossible. For those geeks with CDO about their gadgets, this can be a real nightmare. (For those of you wondering what CDO is, well it’s a bit like OCD except with the letters in alphabetical order… just like they should be!)
Imagine then, if you will, trying to apply a clingy, statically charged, gossamer thin wafer of transparent plastic steadily and evenly to the comparatively huge screen of the iPad. I’m wincing already at the prospect of hours spent slowly rolling a soft cloth from screen edge to screen edge trying to coax unsightly and ugly bubbles from the middle of my new, bright and beautiful shiny display… Oh dear.
The great thing about Apple products is the early availability of form factor specs to third party organisations ahead of launch. This means that someone, somewhere in the world is already trying to solve this problem ahead of time.
If you are that company… get in touch with The Next Web because we want to know about it.
2. Getting mugged.
Not many people get mugged for their copy of the latest Dean Koontz when travelling on the subway do they?
Occasionally though, people do get menaced for their mobile phones or their iPods.
So what happens when you happily paging through the latest electronic edition of WiReD on your iPad and the local roughneck takes a fancy to it. It doesn’t really bear thinking about, but for many people, carrying an iPad out and about in public will be like spraying Please Mug Me on the back of your jacket.
Carrying your iPad in some sort of protective case is likely to be the sensible choice for most people. It’ll be interesting to see just how camouflaged these cases will need to be for people to try to make their iPads ‘disappear’ at will.
Maybe someone is creating a case which makes it look like your actually reading a real copy of WiReD… actually, a real copy of WiReD will probably do the trick… now there’s an idea.
Either way, someone, somewhere will be worrying about this little problem right now… if it’s you, let us know!
3. Dropping It.
It’s just going to happen isn’t it? It’s only a matter of time.
How many of us own a mobile phone which hasn’t got a little dink or a scratch somewhere from that time when it fell out of a pocket or off the edge of the desk?
They tend to look pristine on the day they come out of the box and then they accrete an ever thicker patina of smudges, grime and scratches until Upgrade Day looms they are consigned to a drawer somewhere to gather a further layer… this time of dust.
So just how long are we going to be able to keep our gleaming iPads shiny and happy without them hitting the deck and rewarding us with whatever the iPad equivalent of the Blue Screen Of Death will be?
It doesn’t bear thinking about does it? That said, it’ll be interesting to see how many people are prepared to fork out for insurance for an iPad when they might take the risk of doing without for a smaller, cheaper phone or gadget.
The Ipad is probably no less fragile than a laptop or netbook, but there is something psychologically reassuring about being able to close up your MacBook and feeling that it is in some way protected.
On the iPad, it’s all that exposed shiny screen that is just begging to be cracked, scratched or otherwise defaced.
Oh no! Maybe I should just leave it at home in a protective cabinet.
4. Blogging On It.
Now this is a real worry!
When I’m blogging I set up my laptop like a military dashboard with tabs open for live RSS news feeds, Socialcast backchannel conversations with colleagues, the WordPress blogging engine, The Next Web sites, other new sources, Skype, GTalk, Buzz… it’s an all singing and dancing effort and everyone at The Next Web has their own favourite configuration.
Now I can just about recreate this battle-blogging config on the move using a netbook and a mifi… but will I be able to recreate a setup as good if not better on the iPad? I don’t know. Even if I can, just how responsive and accurate is that on screen keyboard going to be? Yes, yes I know I can get an external keyboard… I know why don’t I gaffer-tape it to the iPad and arrange it on my knee? We could call it a kneetop computer or something.
Oh, I don’t know… I’m worrying again. All I know is, I don’t fancy lugging a laptop and an iPad around, but neither will I want to leave my shiny new toy at home.
I really hope someone is worrying about this in advance of the iPad’s launch. This time I’m hoping it’s Apple.
5. Upgrade Envy!
Now this is a real biggie.
Despite the fact that Apple’s tendency to suppress software functionality and hold back on hardware improvements in order to secure a healthy pipeline of new sales and upgrades is well documented, many of us still rush out to buy their latest offerings.
Of course, the iPad is no different… or is it? This time, from clues garnered from patents registed by Apple and from various releases of the Software Developer Kit, everyone seems pretty certain that there are plans for the iPad to incorporate at least one camera into the build at some stage in its evolution. In fact most people are stunned that there isn’t a camera is iPad release 1, so how frustrating is it going to be in, say, Spring 2011, flouncing around with your Version 1 iPad and sitting next to someone with a Version 2 with a camaera and all the latest bells and whistles?
In-built obsolesence is a fact of life in tech, but when you’re only ever a contract-length away from an upgrade deal on a mobile phone, there is always at elast some light at the end of the tunnel. When you’ve shelled out several hundred bucks for a top-end iPad only for it to be superceded in a matter of months… that will be a substantially more bitter pill to swallow.
Speaking of pills, I’m getting all anxious again. I might need a tablet and a lie down.