Two weeks ago I received my new iPad. I don’t think I have put it down since. It is just too cool and interesting to ignore. I bring it to the office, to every bar I go to, to bed, I hold it while I watch television and yes, I take it to the mens room too.
The iPad is more than just a computer. It is more than a gadget to access the web. It is also an eBook reader, movie watching device and gaming machine. And therein lies a challenge. The challenge is to hold the iPad and see it as more than everyhting it CAN do. Or better see it for less than everything it can do.
Let me explain: the iPad is a great eBook reader. Yeah, you hear people complain that reading of a bright screen is not very comfortable. I declare bullshit on that. Reading from a backlit screen is great. I do it every hour of my waking day and have been doing it for years. Sure, those early CRT screen burned a hole in the back of your head and have me frequent headaches. But the current crop LCDs is great.
On the iPad you dim the screen a bit, recline in your barcalaunger and I can assure you that you could read for hours without feeling any discomfort.
The challenge is ignoring everything else the iPad has to offer. Using a standard book is pretty easy. No distractions there. You could scribble in the sidelines or throw it at someone but that is about it.
An iPad however is different. New email flows in your inbox automatically. Twitterific is demanding your attention (tweet, tweet!) and the “new and Upcoming” section of the App Store just might have a VERY cool new app waiting for you. Then there is Wired.com, CNN.com and about a 1000+ other blogs and websites that you might as well check while you are at it.
The iPad is not a bad iBook reader because of its screen.
It is a bad iBook readers because there are so many other things it can do so well.
The challenge isn’t finding a purpose for this new technology but finding the strength to focus on one feature.