Tech Toy of the Month: Apple iPad

iPad.pngFor the last several months, there have been many rumors floating that claimed Apple was going to release a tablet computer. The rumors created an extremely strong anticipation among not only technology professionals, but also the general public. What was the Apple tablet computer going to do and how would it change the computing marketplace? Luckily, the Apple iPad tablet computer was introduced today so I can now write some factual information on this heavily anticipated Apple product.

To start, I won’t go over the details of what the iPad can do. For that, simply take a look at Apple’s iPad web site. It has all the information on the features and benefits of the product that somebody could want. What I will do instead is give an overview of what I think the average person needs to know.

There have been tablet computers made before so what makes the iPad different? Most previous tablet computers ran the Windows operating system. These devices never really sold well because most users found them difficult to use. The main reason for this was that the Windows operating system was designed for a keyboard and mouse, not a touch or pen interface. Therefore most users found tablet PCs awkward to use.

The Apple iPad has been designed from the ground up as a touchscreen device and therefore will be much easier to use. Because the interface is based upon the iPhone and iPod Touch, anyone who has used one of these devices will already know exactly how to use the iPad.

At this time, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the iPad is more like an iPhone than a laptop. Primarily, it is an excellent way to browse the web, check e-mail, view photos, read e-books, watch videos, use iTunes, along with some other digital media functions. For many people that is just about everything they want to do with a computer, so they can stop there and be very happy with the iPad. For people who want more, the iPad can also run most iPhone/iPod Touch apps as well as future apps designed specifically for the iPad (such as Apple’s word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software). This will make it an incredibly functional and powerful computing device. However, the iPad is still not a general-purpose computer as Mac and Windows users are accustomed to. Again, many people won’t care as the iPad will do everything they want it to, but it is important to understand the distinction.

Overall, I think the iPad will change the landscape of the computer marketplace so it will be a good idea to become familiar with the device and understand how it can be used in both home and business. If you’d like to know more about the iPad or any other technology topic, feel free to contact me.