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Apple has finally announced its highly-anticipated iPad tablet. The device seems to be impressive, but it is far from ideal. The iPad seems to have a lot of limitations that were either conditioned by technology or implemented with a clear intention to address them in the second generation. Let’s see why the iPad is not perfect and how the iPad 2 could change that.

One of the most important shortcomings of Apple iPad is the absence of Adobe Flash support. Just like on the iPhone, one may still enjoy YouTube videos on the iPad, but it will be impossible to play flash games or navigate on web-sites that use flash in the menus. Considering that even some corporate sites use flash too extensively nowadays, this does seem to be a huge drawback for a device designed for the Internet. Perhaps, Adobe and ARM will finally enable flash on the ARM processor of the iPad, or Apple will have to somehow implement it on the next-generation iPad.

Another crucial disadvantage of the Apple iPad is the lack of web-cam. Even the cheapest netbooks are usually equipped with one and the vast majority of modern phones can make video calls. It is rather strange that the device developed for those, who browse the Internet often will not be able to support video conferences of calls. Besides, with no camera, the iPad will also not allow to quickly grab a picture and send it to a blog. It will be quite logical for Apple to incorporate a high-quality web-cam into the iPad 2.

The nonexistence of multi-tasking is a yet another strong disadvantage of the iPad. It makes impossible to leave tasks (instant messenger, a book, a game, etc) in the background to quickly check a web-site and write an email, a rather strange thing for an Internet-centric mobile device. It is unclear why Apple decided not to implement multitasking for the iPad at launch, but it is highly likely that the technology will be available in the iPad 2.

Apple has been selling high-definition 720p (1280x720, progressive scan) videos for quite a while now. As a result, the absence of high-definition screen (1024x768 resolution supported) and high-definition output (up to 576p resolution supported) on the iPad seems to be odd. It was logical for apple to stick to 4:3 aspect ratio since iPad should act like an electronic book reader too. At present there are probably no reasonably priced small screens that support 1280x960 resolution, but in the future similar displays may emerge and find themselves on the second generation iPad.

A very strange thing about the iPad is the lack of support of GSM voice calls. Of course, Apple needs to sell iPhones, hardly anyone will use a 680 gram device as a mobile phone in general and besides, no notebooks or netbooks with WWAN support allow to make voice calls. Nevertheless, the feature might be appreciated by some users and Apple may at least consider it for the iPod 2. Of course, instead of incorporating GSM voice call support, Apple may introduce its own VoIP application, like Skype, that will be always online and will enable voice communications between the users. Since computers, mobile phones and now tablets from Apple have rather large install base, such an application would get a formidable amount of users at day one.

There are other disadvantages Apple iPad has: it comes with mini-SIM card that is only available from AT&T at the moment and this does not allow end-users to choose their network carrier themselves or use the 3G-enabled device outside the U.S. or other countries where it will be sold; it does not have USB ports, unlike netbooks; it does not feature SD card reader to transfer photos or other content; it cannot run software that does not come from Apple App Store; it does not support sharing of electronic books or music files like Barnes & Noble Nook or Microsoft Zune; Apple iPad carries price-tag that is much higher compared to netbooks, digital media players or portable game consoles. However, Apple will hardly address the majority of those issues with the iPad 2 that will be available sometime in 2011.

Almost all devices from Apple lack critical features in their first generation. The second-generation usually addresses the issues and brings in improvements necessary to popularize the gadgets. Time will tell what happens to the iPad.

Tags: Apple, iPad

Discussion

Comments currently: 16
Discussion started: 01/28/10 11:06:37 AM
Latest comment: 11/12/11 12:18:56 AM
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1. 
already?
0 0 [Posted by: shadowfax  | Date: 01/28/10 11:06:37 AM]
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2. 
Yes, already.

What the author is doing is smart. While it's difficult to create the perfect device from the start, Apple has laid the groundwork for a decent 'tablet/ebook thing'. Anton points out the inherent flaws keeping it from being realistically ideal, and is out front with what Apple should be looking to do to appease possible customers.

I think he compiled a pretty complete list. The only notable, no pun intended, feature missed is the lack of note-taking, a la writing with a stylus.
0 0 [Posted by: turtle  | Date: 01/28/10 12:03:04 PM]
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Thanks for the comment. Well, in fact, I thought about input using stylus for a moment, but then I thought that consumers have already forgotten how to use them (considering the popularity of QWERTY smartphones), whereas personnel, who needs tablets for professional usage (shop assistants, nurses, engineers, etc.) will not buy iTab for many other reasons in addition to the lack of stylus input.

Anyway, thanks for the comment.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 01/29/10 07:02:21 AM]
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While it's difficult to create the perfect device from the start...


Not when you can see what the competition already has (netbooks) to at least include features that they do. Instead they lack the same features, or to even better them. They also increase the price 40%.

This iPad is a nasty stain on Apple's reputation.
0 0 [Posted by: JonMCC33  | Date: 01/31/10 01:00:36 PM]
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3. 
You're so 90's in your thinking. Based on these types of comments I can't imagine you've seriously used an iPhone.

Stylus? Yeah show me 70wpm with a stylus. Idiot.

Phone calls? Yes everyone has wanted a phone in their netbooks, let's criticize Apple alone for this glaring omission.

Your multitasking complaint seems unsubstantiated: you have read a book then went to safari and it lost your spot? I strongly doubt that. iPhone classics app bookmarks it from what i've heard, why wouldn't the ipad?

I'll give you the webcam bit but complaining about lack of flash when html5 is here is a joke.

This massive ipad bitchfest really demonstrates the short sightedness of people. Mobile computing is the future. Smartphone, PROPER net appliances like the ipad are the future. PCs are SO 90's!!!
0 0 [Posted by: cobrala  | Date: 01/28/10 04:33:18 PM]
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A bit too much said about where you would stick that stylus, no?
0 0 [Posted by: MyK  | Date: 01/30/10 07:49:59 AM]
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Lacking features is one thing. That's acceptable if the price is adjusted to reflect lack of these features. Instead they charge a disturbing percentage above a netbook ($499 compared to $329). Had they posted a MSRP of $199 then the iPad would be acceptable. At $499 it is ludicrous. That is why there's an "iPad bitchfest."
0 0 [Posted by: JonMCC33  | Date: 01/31/10 01:04:10 PM]
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I can input faster using a stylus using a virtual keyboard than my fingers! (and I am fast at that!)

Well, if they use the iphone OS then they did not omit it, they purposefully removed it so they would not alienate the iphone market! so yes ! we have to blame them!

I'm thrilled at the idea that I have to shut down an application and then open a browser and then shut down the browser and open the other application again. And I think everyone would be perfectly happy doing the whole process over and over again and not getting mad at the load times.

HTML5? You do know that when HTML 5 will be out apple would have had released ipad 2 (or maybe ipad 3) right? And Apple might not support that because it will be buggy or I don't know unstable. Or maybe apple does not have good enough software engineers who can integrate the support for flash in their products.

Ok, let me just ask you one question, if the iphone is so revolutionary then how come people are still buying other phones? How come people are still using PCs?
0 0 [Posted by: PFX  | Date: 02/07/10 08:28:54 AM]
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4. 
HTML5 clearly isn't here, you don't buy a product in anticipation of web pages which don't exist yet.

Mobile computing is the future. Yet, this is a total failure of a computer.

Without multitasking, without stylus support, it can never be taken seriously as any kind of productivity tool. Had Apple say ported a version of Mac OS onto this mobile platform, it'd have blown us away.

Instead it's a niche toy, trying to appeal to gamers, yet without even the ability to use Newgrounds. Who needs Flash when you can buy apps from Apple!
0 0 [Posted by: hahnchen  | Date: 01/29/10 04:19:48 AM]
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5. 
You'd think that a company as big and smart as Apple would also be savvy enough to include the features listed, but instead they seem to be more of an afterthought...

The cynical amongst us might suggest that Apple hope to sell a shed load of these to those who have more money than sense and who perhaps think that by having with the Apple logo somehow makes them cool, and then flog the "new and improved" version to the very same people, with a higher price tag.

0 0 [Posted by: GavinT  | Date: 01/29/10 06:02:00 AM]
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6. 
Very good syntesis. The article reveals a comprehensive list of lacunas that the current iPad version has. But man ... the level of fanboy-ism some show in their comments ... Anyway, the iPad is a great piece of hardware. Even if it's lacking in some areas where , logically, it shouldn't have ... it's great. Finally some "Star Trek Tech" ... BTW .. Star Trek started the TabletPC ideea It's the first Apple pice of hardware that I'm considering buying .. and that's a lot coming from me. But that may be because I like Tablets so much... I hope I'll be able to resist this temptation and buy the revised version, next summer ...
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 01/29/10 06:54:12 AM]
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7. 
the ipad is a joke. It is a solution in search of a problem. It fails miserably as an eBook reader due to having a screen that is not made of passive epaper (with the resulting days of battery and ease of reading), it fails as an ebook reader because of its format lock compared to everyone else, it fails as an ebook reader due to its exhubrant cost, and it fails as an ebook reader because you don't use color to read books. Black and white text only.

As a tablet it fails due to being the most underpowered and HDD space limited tabled on the market... and its still too expensive.

Basically it is a hybrid between different devices that actually serve a purpose, that costs too much and provides inferior performance in each and every aspect.
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 01/30/10 05:35:25 PM]
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8. 
Why did apples release this model now............its just STUPID

They should have waited till the design was finished so no versions one and two, just one version that addresses all of the shortcomings of version one @ a REASONABLE price

Only fools/tools will waste money on this joke
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 01/31/10 11:23:32 PM]
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9. 
Only fools/tools will waste money on this joke

Sounds like a standard apple product to me
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 02/02/10 01:47:10 AM]
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10. 
The funny thing is, even if it had all of the above things, I still would not buy it.
On the other hand, if Apple made an eReader that looked like that, I would seriously consider paying up to $400.
0 0 [Posted by: michaelklachko  | Date: 02/02/10 11:39:20 PM]
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11. 
I believe the reason apple has decided to release the ipad is really straight forward.

First you need to understand that apple is not stupid! They are very smart marketers. They know how to enter a market a revolutionize an industry.. need i even mention the ipod and mp3 and now the mobile phone and apps.

The ipad might seem useless right now but its a base model. With technology changing so rapidly, if your going to be successful in this new evolving market you need to get your product out there asap!

Apple more than likely is feeding off all the reviews, comments and blog posts on the net right now to identify potential areas of improvement/innovation. It may well have a plan in place already to make use of coming technology which they'll implement in ipad 2.

I personally would always wait for at least ver2 of a product before i purchase because i can appreciate a company's need to identify a market and begin testing. However if you have money to throw around i can also appreciate if someones want to jump on board for round 1.

Lol who said this..

"it fails as an ebook reader because you don't use color to read books"

You cannot be serious?! You do realise books range from fiction to NON FICTION right? Pictures, Diagrams and now multimedia. I don't know about you but i'd much prefer richer content in my reading.

Well that's my 2 cents
0 0 [Posted by: cymon  | Date: 04/25/10 06:08:20 AM]
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