Saturday, April 3, 2010

Life's Too Short: I'm Getting an iPad Right Away

I waited for a year to get an iPhone, and I lost out on a year's worth of opportunities to use one as a result. I have one now and I still marvel at it almost every time I touch it. I expect to have a similar experience with the iPad - so I'm not going to wait. I want a full touchscreen, app-rich experience now.

The iPad may be better for content consumption than creation, but I'm not ashamed to say I like to consume content with a good portion of my time. (Thanks for reading this blog I write on for a living, by the way, content consumers!) The experience may be better in a year, but I'm willing to pay for 70% of the ideal functionality today instead of getting nothing for a year. Here's what I'm excited to use it for.

This post is part of a pro/con series written with ReadWriteWeb's Mike Melanson. Click here to read his counter-point article iPad Schmipad: Who Needs Another Device?

I just flew across the country twice in two days. I had a great time reading content I saved on Instapaper on my phone and paying a couple of games of a great little baseball app. Both of those are going to be way cooler on a full iPad screen. Gaming is going to be incredible - and there's going to be a whole lot of games.

I look forward to using Tweetdeck on the iPad, the big touch screen is going to be great for the multi-column display of groups of Tweets.

Mind mapping on the iPad is going to be great: dragging around nodes of related thoughts, visualizing interconnected concepts. Outlining ideas, dragging items from section to section and then emailing the outlines to computer in OPML format. Give me multitasking soon so I can listen to Pandora while doing that and I'll be even more excited.

Do I look forward to seeing newspapers and magazines compete for my attention with their iPad apps? Oh yes, I sure do. My new favorite hyper-local news website Everyblock Portland is going to feel like such a futuristic news rag on a tablet that I might ask my dog to bring it to me in his mouth some mornings while I drink coffee.

Is it perfect? No, the iPad obviously has serious shortcomings. The fact that it can't be tweaked and hacked is a serious (if expected) disappointment. If it was my only computer, I'd probably turn into a slovenly, uncreative shell of a human being (except for the web access). But it's not going to be my only computer. It's just going to be another awesome computer in my house.

And I'm not going to wait to have the kinds of experiences I'll be able to have with an iPad. Life's too short, I'm getting an iPad sooner than later.

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