Opinion: iPad is a revolutionary device seeking its killer app
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Opinion: iPad is a revolutionary device seeking its killer app

Well, I've had my iPad a week now and I am still struggling with the billion dollar question: what do I do with it? I have an iPad, iPhone and a MacBook Pro, so which device do I use for which tasks? There is redundancy in many functions, such as email, among my multiple devices.

The same general question came up when the laptop replaced the desktop commuter for most of us. As laptops became more powerful and sported larger screens, the convenience of being able to fold it in half and carry with you became the preferred computer form for many people. Laptops now outsell desktops. (An aside: I wish MacBooks more water resistant due to the risks of the mobile world.) Wireless Wi-Fi, powerful new chips and a meaningful battery life made that happen. You know Steve Jobs and the crew at Apple are thinking the same thing. But what does the iPad replace?

I have been carrying my new iPad with me these days and find that it's really nice for checking email and checking my favorite web sites on the go. Of course, the iPhone really does that job, as well, even using the pokey ATT network.  I have begun to use the iPad to display my Faux Art for customers instead of toting my enormous portfolio along. I swipe through iPhoto files and the picture quality does quite well (see http://www.gregmills.info). I will claim my iPad as a business expense for that purpose alone.  

It feels like the iPad needs something like a holster or belt clip as it is too big to fit in your pocket. And if it did, I would worry about sitting on it. Laying it down is a theft hazard as you know it would disappear in a heart beat if you turn your back. Of course, carrying a laptop also is a risky idea. iPhones get lost or stolen, but you can find them in your pocket, making them a little more secure.

I have both an iPhone and iPad on the charger next to my bed and often make a decision as to which one to use to check to see what the email is that just came in....  

Don't get me wrong, I think the iPad is way cool, I am just trying to figure out how it fits into my life. I do think the device most apt to get replaced is the laptop. When the touch interface matures I think laptops are on their way out. The iPad is the future of consumer computers. Can it fully replace the laptop? I think Apple is going to bet the farm on that one.

-- Greg Mills

Greg Mills does faux wall art (http://www.gregmills.info/GregMills.info/Home.html) and runs Cottage Industry Solar Shops (http://www.cottageindustrysolar.com/cottageindustrysolar/Home.html).


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