No gadget column worth its salt can go by without a hat-tip to the iPad, and since all the panty-liner jokes have already been done to death on Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and WastingTime.com, we can now concentrate on the serious tech side of Steve Job’s latest gadget, nicknamed the print-killer. Among other things.
What the iPod did to music, the iPad will do to newspapers, ask any futurist. (After you’ve asked them how you get to be a futurist, of course – that’s the most important first question to put to any futurist you happen to meet.)
Just as the iPhone generated dozens of breathless iPhone-stalking websites and blogs, so the iPad spawned a whole gaggle of specialty blogs within hours of its release.
Time to whisper: – it’s ok if you don’t know what it is yet. Me neither. I don’t have one. Nor will I be one of those idiots lining up overnight at the Apple store waiting for the first batch to arrive on our shores. (Not when I have a relative who works on the docks, anyway.. ahem.)
So, I’ve made a few phonecalls (disguising my voice of course) – and now I have the answers to the questions that you lot were too cool to ask anyone.
Q. What is the iPad?
A. It’s a portable screen you put stuff on that you can read.
Q. Why all the fuss then?
A. I’m not totally sure really. It also plays movies and games and stuff and it’s bigger than an iPhone but smaller than a laptop. It’s about A4 size, so you can look at photos and actually see them, unlike on a mobile phone.
The iPad runs iPhone apps, including that one where you pretend to pour beer and the one that tells you what song is playing. Oh, and it plays music. It has a touch screen, which is very 2010. And it has that all-important Apple logo.
And because it doesn’t have a phone and it isn’t a computer and it’s much much bigger than an iPod, you’ll still need all of those things.
Yep, I think once again Apple have managed to create an absolutely crucial gadget that no-one knew they needed – and now, even though it remains tantalisingly unavailable, we already think we cannot do without. Go Jobsy, you marketing genii, you!
Bottom line: Oh, just go and get one, everyone else is.
How much : From US $499 to US $829 depending on gigabytes and 3G-ness