You Think You Know But You Have No Idea: The iPad Edition

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Whether we’re talking about its features (or lack there of) or giggling over its name, the iPad continues to be the talk of the town from Silicon Valley to bumpkin BFE to Silicon Alley.

(More on Techland: 19 Rejected Names For The Apple iPad)

Apple has once again done what no other company has been able to reproduce in the last decade: copious amounts of buzz. Some found the iPad disappointing while others herald it as the next big thing. I couldn’t help but scoff when Steve Jobs took center stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and announced that he would be unveiling a “truly magical and revolutionary product.”

But is it truly magical? Revolutionary? It is, after all, just an enlarged iPod Touch, right? It is and it isn’t depending on who you ask. The camp is clearly divided with a small sect beginning to grow off in the distance. You either love it or hate it based on available intel and rightfully so.

(More on Techland: Hands-on With the Apple iPad)

It is a big iPod Touch with nothing more than a large screen. No camera? No thanks. Customizable wallpapers? F*ck off, Apple. Really, you’re just going to scale existing apps? Get the f*ck outta town. I don’t care about iWorks or the Times repackaged content that I can get for free online for the next year. Yeah, I’ll save my money and wait for the next gen or when the price will drop. Or so it goes.

And then you do have the hardcore Cult of Mac disciples that will go out in droves to purchase Jobs’ latest creation and every iteration thereafter. I’m not entirely sure which camp I fall under ~48 hours later, but the group of dissidents off in the distance might be on to something.

So everyone is bitching and moaning over what the iPad doesn’t do. Is a camera really necessary on a slab of aluminum and glass? Pull your head out of your ass, Internet. Even if the iPad does get a camera in the next revision, it’s only going to be a forward facing camera for video calls. Think about it? LTE will be deployed by 2011. Besides, WTF is going to take pictures with the thing? It’s cumbersome enough to try and take photos of yourself for your Facebook profile pic with the iPhone.

Netbooks are useless and I’ve said this before. Bitch about the on-screen keyboard all you want, but it’s a better solution than the cramped chiclet sized keyboards available on 95 percent of the netbooks available today. You peck on either one. Yes, the dock sucks because it leaves the iPad in portrait mode, but some jackass accessory maker will retrofit some POS stand that let’s you go landscape.

Is it going to save the publishing industry? No. I don’t understand why everyone thought that Steve Jobs and the iPad would save the publishing industry to begin with. Apple is simply providing the industry with a vehicle to deliver their content on yet another device.

But what about battery life? Like Jobs said, 10 hours is enough, so quit your bitching. Point out one device with the capabilities of the iPad that can last longer? Your precious netbooks don’t even come close.

Please STFU calm down about multi-tasking. We all bitch about it on the iPhone and, yet, Apple managed to sell 8.7 million last quarter, which is a 100 percent increase from a year-ago quarter. Is it a flaw? Absolutely. Who doesn’t want to stream Pandora or whatever it is that you kids use while browsing the Web or checking e-mail? Play your own damn music, moron. But it would be nice for Web pages to load in the f’n background.

Flash! Does the iPad support it or not? Nope. Contrary to the fancy iPad video that clearly shows Flash being supported, it’s not going to happen. Flash sucks and Macs are notorious for their inability to play nice with it. My MacBook sounds like it’s about to take off any time I come across a Flash intensive site. Point the finger at both sides.

Are the games going to be any better? If either demo from Gameloft or EA should serve as an indication then we’re screwed. I’m not shaking my iPad in public like that unless it’s going to poop gold. Bottom line. The control scheme for shooters is atrocious enough on the iPhone and I will not stand for it on a device like the iPad.

(More on Techland: iPad’s Gaming Prospects: EA and Gameloft React)

But I can’t argue with the fact that the device isn’t easily portable. And something about an exposed piece of glass that big makes me uneasy. If I happen to get one I’m mostly going to use it at home on the couch or in bed. I’m sure as hell not taking it on the subway. I thought about what it would be like to use on an airplane and then my neck started to cramp up.

Why does everyone feel the need to bitch about the price? It’s dirtfuckingcheap. The data plan alone made me squeal. No contract, people. Doesn’t matter if you have to use it with AT&T. The iPhone doesn’t work on T-Mobile’s 3G network, so why would you expect the iPad to?

No, the iPad isn’t a Kindle killer either. Sweet jeebus, people. Don’t your eyes hurt after looking at computer screen all day? ALL DAY?! The iPad will make for a better comic or magazine reader than it will newspapers or books.

(More on Techland: “You’re Not Going To Read For 10 Hours,” Says Steve Jobs)

Yes, I’m extremely disappointed with the iPad in its current state, but I’m still going to pine over it for the next two months. Why? Because I’m f’n excited to see what the developers can do with that much real estate and, what appears to be, the full potential of Apple’s acquired FingerWorks multi-touch technology. I pooh-poohed the iWork demo, but Schiller did a hell of a lot more than pinching. In the midst of finishing this up, I noticed that Matt over at Gizmodo agrees and points out the “popovers” as well.

This is what will make the iPad successful, people. This is what excites me more than anything else. Like the iPhone, Apple is relying on the hive mind of developers across the globe to make the iPad a success. Apple has made how many apps for the iPhone? Two? We will undoubtedly have to wade through thousands of shit apps before we find those priceless gems but we’ve all come to grips with this over the last two years and will continue to deal with it until Apple does something about it. Assuming they bother to do anything.

So I’m going to let all of you bicker about what the iPad can and can’t do because we honestly have no idea what it can or can’t do yet.

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