The New Fangled Apple iPad: The Internet’s Best Worst-Kept Secret
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The Apple iPad was released yesterday (Tuesday 27th January 2010). It was a monumental day for information technology, because the completion and the strategy surrounding the Oracle acquisition of Sun was announced and web-casted, and also that JavaOne 2010 was confirmed. JavaOne is to be co-located with Oracle OpenWorld in September.
Here are my personal impressions on new Apple iPad:
- The product is aimed at a niche part of market that is really small right here right now. If I had one now and used on the train tonight, people might call it the Wanker-Pad and, obviously, I would be similarly classed by association! If you can remember the yuppies of the late 1980’s with their contrite Motorola brick phones then the general public might consider the iPad a little bit too posh and too soon. (So, yes it will become a butt of jokes in the short-term. However, in the longer term, Apple is right to be first mover on this technology and show that it can deliver a credible consumer product. The nearest product that appeared physically close enough in design and size to iPad is the Hewlett Packard prototypical tablet /slate, which I saw on the BBC Technology pages [ Microsoft and HP show off “slate” PC [ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8444672.stm ])
- With a bigger device and more processing power, I have no idea, as to why Apple still continues to lock down the runtime. It simply, at this juncture, does not want another virtual machine running on the system (be it JVM byte codes, Flash or even the Common Language Runtime). So I believe this fact is quite disappointing for developers and enterprise who want to target different device profile. However, just because Apple forbids a virtual machine or interpreter on its own proprietary devices does open the door for competition to come from other providers, namely: Android and other device makers. If Oracle/ Sun can port the JavaFX runtime to Android then we might see a game changer.
- The custom hardware clearly illustrates that Apple has thrown everything it has learn from its previous iPod, Mac and iPhone devices. The memory is reasonably enough, the new CPU, the multi-touch screen and most importantly the initial prices in the USA are definitive positives.
- Because Apple chose to build their own hardware, with a custom A4
CPU chip, think the first customer ship performance is very smart. It
will ensures that Apple stays ahead of the game.
- I love the thinness of their profile at just a shade wider than the iPhone 3GS.
- I love the fact that it has instant support the Apple App Store and applications that developers have already written. (This means that tide rises for the other Application Stores and surely signals the death knell of Portal / Web aggregation suites, which are not part of vertical media sector).
- I think the iPad battery life is great for a long flight the Caribbean. You will need a stand and also a keyboard, and indeed, Apple does offer a stand and wireless keyboard as tempting additional cost. Herein lies the flaw in that particular cream ointment.
- If you need a keyboard to do programming, then why not just get a laptop.
- I ruminated earlier in the day and my conclusion is that there a possibly of a new device that bridges the functions of iPad and the MacBook Air. This would be combination of Apple’s slate and the very trendy Air design.
- Some of the bloggers, movers and shakers in the industry, before yesterday’s announcement, had already noticed that Apple registered a patent, in the USA, on a morphing tactile keyboard, the keyboard that is supposed to form itself out the screen. I believe again that if this [currently science fiction] technology actually does exist in the laboratory, then it in will come down to consumer in future iPad tablet generation.
- I believe this Apple tablet finally, unfortunately, has sealed the lid on Nokia Communication‘s demise sometime in this new decade, as it is the biggest player in mobile phone market place globally. With the Apple iPad (and other competitor’s iSlates) arriving in 60 days or so, more and more consumer (prosumers) will move to a smart phone / semi-portable / media watching /book reading device in the middle of this decade. I say that N97 probably is the last big thing that will come down the line from Nokia that tech blogger will be salivating for in any future hype or promotion. The new N900 is not in the way beautiful when one compares it to the functionally and ground breaking design of the iPad. The designers at Nokia have lost their way since the N95 featured in the British Apprentice series three years and their new designs look even more lame in comparison.
Finally, I will not be buying one, because I am hard core developer. I need a full size keyboard when a develop code. It is just unthinkable that virtual keyboard can replace a real one. The iPad does not allow the developer like me to deploy to Java or even JavaFX to it.
Peter Pilgrim writes for the ACCU UK Magazines, CVu and Overload.