After yesterday’s announcement and revealing of the new Apple product, the iPad, the twitterverse was abuzz to the point of near meltdown. And while the Apple fanboys will no doubt jump in line 24 hours before the product is for sale, here are five solid reasons NOT to waste your time on the iPad:
1. You STILL can’t run more than one app at a time.
Unbelievable. Are you kidding me? A $500-$900 product and I can’t run TweetDeck while I listen to Pandora or write a blog? This issue alone is reason to not spend the money on an iPad.
2. No camera for video, photos, or Skype.
This device was destined to be a killer Skype tool. Imagine having this 3G enabled device on road trips, in coffee shops, in waiting rooms, at the park… wherever you might be, and dialing up your mom, cousin, son, friend, or grandparent across town, state, or country. This is the closest thing we’ve seen to interactive television screens that people were trying to hype me up about in the mid 90s.
The lack of a camera just screams “we need a predictable upgrade for iPad 2.0″. To which I reply, “Fine, then I’ll wait to purchase one.”
3. No Flash capability
For some unfathomable reason, Apple appears to be boycotting Adobe. Okay, that’s not true. It’s not unfathomable. The real issue here is that an iPad with Flash capability would empower users to hop online and play Flash powered games instead of only playing the games they downloaded from iTunes Store or the App Store. This protective stance, however, also eliminates Flash powered maps (DFW International parking lots, for example), online video (Hulu.com), and thousands of websites who sadly are still run entirely on Flash.
It’s a limiting factor that won’t affect everyone, but it’s a definite failure on Apple’s part.
4. Limited Storage Capacity
Are they serious when they expect me to believe that they couldn’t figure out a way to make the iPad more than 64GB? This is obviously a 1.0 strategy to give room for many years of storage capacity upgrades.
I did the math, and if I were to upload my iTunes to the iPad, I’d have enough storage space remaining for maybe 20 movies. Maybe. That’s not a whole heck of a lot. I could whiz through 20 movies pretty quickly and then have to resync my iPad all the time. Pass. Give me 150GB minimum. Then we can talk.
Having said that, I realize that, at least according to Apple’s pricing schedule, the low storage capacity plays a significant role in keeping total cost low. You couldn’t enter a device like this at $499 unless you were only offering minimum storage (16GB, to be exact). Still, I’d rather have the option.
5. Lack of ports / SD card slot calls for bizarre looking adapters
I’ve heard since yesterday that there are indeed some additional memory storage alternatives, but nothing so simple as an SD card. Oh no. You have to get one of these bulky adapter extensions that plugs into the power port at the bottom and really turn the sleek iPad into an awkward looking device. It’s counter-intuitive to design the iPad for sleekness and then make your adapters and extensions bulky and awkward.
Should You Buy an iPad?
All in all, it’s still an attractive device. No doubt, Apple is leading the pack in UI. But stop and think a minute. Unless you have ungodly amounts of money to throw at gadgets on a whim, consider the path of the beloved iPhone for a minute. Does anyone besides me still own a 1st generation iPhone? Most of them have been passed down to relatives or sold on Craigslist to people who couldn’t afford the price point until the phones were several years used.
And how many people STILL wish their iPhone allowed them to run multiple apps simultaneously? Android phones do it now.
My point is this: wait. Do the un-American thing and be patient. If money is tight and whatever gadget you buy has to last 3-4 years, wait until the 3rd generation iPad is released. You’ll see significant improvements. Several of these issues mentioned above will likely be solved by then. And the price point will likely drop as it has with the iPhone over time.
Take it for what it’s worth. I know some of you will rush out to buy one anyway.