The iPad Split Personality

While the iPad has been available in the US for a couple of months, it has been available in Canada only since Friday, May 27. In that short time frame the responses have been varied.

The Apple fanboys love it, the Apple haters hate it.

Ignoring those with the automatic reactions, the responses have been well summed up by a split personality review by David Pogue of the NY Times. David thought it would be hated by technical people because it was a closed system that would not let you tinker, and loved by the regular folks because you do not need to tinker.

After only a few days of hands on time, it have come to a different conclusion.

I think the device is loved by people who do not see the iPad as 'smaller something', or a 'larger something else', rather as a new way to 'do something'.

It is not a smaller notebook or a larger iPod Touch. It is a mediocre presentations device based on my first use of the iPad to make a Keynote presentation to the Macintosh User Group of Ottawa. It was completely unable to connect to a projection system to show movies because of the lack of copy protection measures in the VGA connection kit. 

The physical size makes it tough to carry around in your pocket like you would a cell phone or iPod, so you are basically required to carry a brief case or purse depending your preferences.

When the iPad gets the most positive reception is when people realize that this is the first device that makes surfing the web or play games available to a group that would never use a computer of phone for either of these. My hands on time for the device have been limited by everyone else in the family who wants to use. So far the usage has been mostly for games, even from my 75 year old mother in law who has never played computer games.

As the developers open up new uses, many more people will find new ways to do things, they never 'needed' to do before.