Before I get into discussing my early views of Apple's new iPad, I want to pass on a couple of updates to my last post regarding Aperture 3 and my statement that it is broken.
First, you should know, I have been contacted by people within Apple and they are actively working at finding a solution. It is still undetermined if it is an isolated situation with an odd ball combination of things within my system.
I have also been receiving help from David Schloss at Maccreate and the Aperture Group.
Between Apple, David and me, we are attempting to run controlled tests trying to pinpoint the breakdown. The test images are producing varying results on assorted systems. And while they're admittedly slow, they're not as slow as the results I'm getting. We are currently testing comparisons with Aperture 2. So, the work continues.
Here is what is important to me. I run all Apple equipment. I run the latest OS and always install updates as they are released. To have Apple personnel escalate their involvement in an attempt to pinpoint the problem speaks volumes about the company. So for that, my hat is off to Apple.
Lastly, to comment on David's blog "One Man's Broken is Another Man's Fine," I see what he's saying, but I still feel my assessment is fair. It matters not that his system works fine, it matters that others don't. If my camera's autofocus doesn't work, the camera is broken. Sure, I could work around it and manually focus, but the fact remains, my camera is broken. So, in a compromise to David's position, let me restate the title as My Aperture 3 is Broken.
And by the way, if you aren't participating in David's Aperture Group at Maccreate.com, you should. There's a wealth of information on the site and plenty of shared knowledge from people who are not only well connected, but who also know what they're talking about.
OK… so, while the Aperture 3 saga continues, my iPad finally arrived. Having received my tracking number, I sat anxiously at the front door panting like a puppy waiting the arrival of the FedEx guy. Tracking indicated 10:30AM… I had to wait until 1PM. It was worth it.
Packaged in typical Apple fashion, the iPad arrived safe and sound. Taking ownership couldn't be any easier. Open the box, remove the static protection shield and turn it on. Like the iPhone, once you turn the device on you are instructed to connect the iPads cord to a USB port on your computer and start iTunes.
Once in iTunes, you follow along, fill out your registration… and BAM!!!! You're on the iPad.
What you have to love about Apple is that every new device they release seems to come with less and less documentation. The iPad takes it to a new level. In an age where even take-out coffee comes with instructions on how to open the sippy-cup and a warning that the cup "contains a hot beverage," it's really refreshing to a.) be trusted that you are not some mental midget that requires a big red arrow pointing you to the on button and b.) have a product so well thought out and designed that it practically runs itself. The iPad really is idiot proof.
Anyway, you gadget freaks are familiar with the drill. I played around all afternoon… downloading apps, adding icons to the desktop, basically pissing on my new digital fire hydrant and making it my own. It's awesome.
If you want to run Linux, the iPad sucks. Trust me, it's not built for the IT department guys. It's a lifestyle product. If you like cool things, if you like things that are fun to own and use… and if you've actually had a real date with a genuinely interesting human being carrying on actual conversations without any reference to COBOL, Perl or Java… and you exchanged contact information that didn't contain any IP addresses, you're going to love the iPad.
It doesn't replace your lap top. It doesn't replace your iPhone. It will replace the stack of magazines next to the bed. Unless you're an IT guy… it won't replace 'those' kinds of magazines cause it doesn't recognize Flash. Whoops… I might have lost some of you there… those I didn't know what I'm referring to.
Yes, iPad doesn't recognize Flash… which ironically, leaves a big white hole in the front of my very own Web site. But, guess what. I'll change the Web site. iPad is that good. And for all the Flash video out there, it only took watching one HD Quicktime video on TED.com and I was sold. In a word, SPECTACULAR.
For me, the way the iPad screen engages you visually is a major game changer. You access things quickly, easily and they are gorgeous. I feel, not only will this and devices like this finally monetize the web, they will also put quality back into the creative market place. Audiences will now want a rich and rewarding experience from content. My New York Times or Sports Illustrated look fabulous again. For all the great publications that have dumb down their quality… not only in content but also in graphics, print quality, and yes, photography, we will now see the bar being raised and the limits being pushed. I truly feel these devices will push publishers to compete for their audiences with quality content and presentations.
This is good news for creative types. Better writing, better video, better photography, better design… and that applies to advertisers too. The box has been turned inside out and everyone is going to have to be thinking outside of it.
It use to be that the photographic truth lied only in the final print. The print was the thing. And while there is still some truth to that, how many of us shoot and do our post processing with the display screen and electronic environment in mind? How much of our work really ends up in traditional print in traditional paper environments? I'm guessing less and less.
On the iPad, photos and high quality video are breathtaking. And the child like whimsy you first experienced sliding a photo across the screen of an iPod is even more fun (and dare I say dramatic) on the iPad. I'm telling you, the possibilities for this thing are endless.
Battery life is better than advertised. Speed is as fast as advertised… which is important because did we really believe the ad anyway? Reading is nice. Surfing the Web feels like it should have always been this way. Oh, and yes… you can multitask. Well, not necessarily multiple windows, but music while you read or surf is a no-brainer. For the rest, the apps open and close so fast, it's like you're only minimizing the window anyway.
So, here are a few minuses. First, I think they could have found someone in China to make a micro fibre slip sleeve for under a buck. Second, how hard would it have been to build in a tiny kick stand? I'm sure future versions will have a camera… but if you think that through, it's going to need to be on a swivel. I can see a huge plus using this thing when using Skype or some future conferencing application. My only other suggestion would have been a bit of nonslip grip on the back edge. It's a touch slippery.
In the end though, the iPad is great. And I'm not just trying to justify the purchase. I had my reason from day one. I'm not going to divulge what it is in this post as I want to experiment first.
If you do buy one, be prepared to find yourself asking "Can I have that back now?"