Saturday was the day of the much-awaited iPad session at Macworld. The huge room was packed to capacity in hopes of catching a glimpse of it. The excitement was palpable. Unfortunately, the star never made an appearance. Probably off filming in some exotic location, I guess.
What we did see were what appeared to be cardboard mockups of the device in the hands of noted tech experts. The experience was sort of like seeing one of those standup cardboard figures of Angelia Jolie or Brad Pitt…not quite the experience you had hoped for.
Each of the people on the stage actually had their hands on the real thing. There were probably surrounded by hordes of Apple security guards in some lead-lined bunker, ¼ mile underground at the time.
The discussion began with comments about the physical experience of the iPad. For the most part, the consensus was the experience of having it in your hands was a pleasurable experience. As someone commented, “It felt right.” The impression was that it was a high quality product worth the price tag. There was also a discussion about the black bezel and why apple included it. The conclusion— you have to put your fingers somewhere.
A major part of the presentation concerned using the iPad as a book reader and its effect on the publishing industry. They felt it was an adequate reader but that if you’re looking for the best experience, Kindle was the way to go… if you want a single use device. Matter of fact, several commented that the book reading app needed work.
There was considerable discussion about the potential for success of the iPad and what does the future hold for the device. I came away with the impression that several of the panelists where more interested in future versions than as it stands in its present form.
There seems to be more unanswered questions about the iPad. “How do you print from it?” “What’s all the empty real-estate on the screen going to be used for in the future? Not surprisingly, another was, “Why no multitasking?