Understanding the iPad and how to use it

I have written a few posts lately regarding the Apple iPad.  It is a device that is really intriguing to me.  Partly due to what it is,  and partly due to the reaction it has generated.  The next few months will give us some very valuable insights into how people work, how people think they work and how you may work more efficiently.  I think a lot of people think these ideas are very closely aligned for them whereas I fear that for many they are actually quite far apart.

Some people are praising the iPad,  and some are telling us how horrible they think it is.  It is very interesting to see how vocal the haters are.  The majority of people who hate it seem to hate it for what it doesn’t have or what it doesn’t do.  These include:

  • multitasking
  • camera
  • flash
  • usb port
  • open apps system

Now,  before we go any further,  I must admit I am currently in the ‘liking the iPad’ group.  But we haven’t played with the thing yet so it is only tentative at this stage.

I actually think the iPad is going to be successful precisely because of all the things it doesn’t have.  This is where the idea of how you work and how you think you work come into play.  This device is designed for use on the move.  For most people it is going to be used for things such as:

  • email
  • calendar
  • quick research off web pages
  • passing the time (eg, music,  movies,  games)

These are simple activities and I want to be able to do them as quickly and effortlessly as possible,  while not at my desk.  The key words here are quickly and effortlessly.  For this device to succeed it has to be less effort and intrusion into my workflow than my current means.  It also has to be reliable.  As far as I can tell,  I don’t need any of the features above in order to achieve these tasks.  In fact,  it should be all of the characteristics described because it lacks all of those.

Ultimately I don’t care about what it does and doesn’t have.  I do care about what it allows me to do and how it allows me to do it.  As far as I can tell,  this device is going to allow me to effortlessly access more information while not tied to my desk.  Time and experience will tell but I think a lot of people are missing the point on what this device will be able to do and how you will incorporate it into your workflow.  I’m also excited to see what creative apps people come up with to complement this device.  Something I am particularly looking forward to is new ways to control my Keynote presentations via the device.

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