I’ve been getting more excited about the iPad as its launch date draws near. As an Apple Fanboy I paid close attention on Keynote day and watched all the live coverage blogs to find out all the details.
Then when video was made available to the public I watched the entire event… twice. To be honest it was pretty low key, as far as Steve Jobs related events go. Immediately the internet went into disappointed but-it-won’t-cook-my-breakfast mode. The lack of in-browser Flash support and camera were the immediate rallying cries. To be honest, this is totally understandable to me. At first glance it seems like the iPad is an oversized iPod Touch. When a product doesn’t already fit into a pre-established product category it can be difficult to picture the place it could one day take in our lives and routines. I realize that the Kindle is an E-Reader as well but I wouldn’t put it into the same category as the iPad, it is only an E-Reader after all. The thing that gets me excited about the iPad is thinking about what people like Wired and the New York Times are doing with it. Check out the video below to see what Wired is doing to bring its magazine into the interactive space.
What gets me excited is that Wired isn’t seeing the iPad as a way to connect with its readers through its website, but create a different experience that is more immersive than a website can, and maybe should, be. The irony of course is that Wired is delivering their new product through Adobe AIR, a Flash platform. The way I see it, this is the kind of thing that Flash was made for. A website that is supposed to be accessible to all should not be based entirely on a plug-in whose dependability varies widely depending on the user’s operating system. Adobe’s packager technology for creating Flash based apps on the iPhone and iPad puts their plug-in in its appropriate place, as a tool to create a special immersive experience but not as the corner-stone for the world wide web.
If enough developers, publishers and journalists see the iPad for the opportunity it is and create things worth reading and experiencing then I will pay to do it. That’s why I’m excited about the iPad.