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Two Years of iPad

OWC web site on iPadMy how time flies; it’s already been two years since the iPad was originally released, and what a ride it has been. I remember the storm of rumors around it beforehand, and when it was first announced, it was panned by critics as either a big iPod touch and questions abounde about what it did that you couldn’t do with anything else. I saw its potential, though, and wanted one right away. Apparently millions of others agreed as well and began using, in my opinion, one of the best computing devices ever made.

Like the iPhone before it, the iPad has changed the way many people compute. In fact, it doesn’t quite feel like computing anymore, which is a bold statement. It just feels natural, with a computing device that finally embraced and captured how things should interact, read, and how the Internet should work. The iPad thrust forth a fully seamless experience that has altered the way many people read, learn, study, and do practically anything any app will allow them to do.

Two years, three iPads and a lot of opinions

The Original iPad

I still love to see those that jumped on the iPad bandwagon with the iPad 2 completely pan the original iPad as underpowered and unusable. It’s just funny to me, because I relied on my original iPad every day until the third generation iPad came out. My original iPad has become a “family device” now that I have an third-gen model. Sure, there’s certain things the original iPad can’t do that the others can, but it’s still very much a viable, usable, and fun device.

The iPad 2

This update to the original iPad offered faster speed, front and back cameras, and a thinner flat profile. While I passed on the iPad 2, many millions more did not. Essentially, the iPad 2 built on the original iPad’s success, making a great device even better. I passed on it, simply because didn’t need another iPad and felt the upgrades weren’t enough to render my original iPad “obsolete” by comparison.

The iPad 2, though, is the iPad the majority of people have been exposed to and currently use. It was the iPad 2 that rounded out the iPad’s feature set to the point where those that used it on a day-to-day basis really couldn’t see much room for improvement. After all, if something is doing everything you want and need it to do, why do you need anything more?

iPad 3, errr.. The New iPad, (a.k.a. the 3rd Generation iPad  or… the “whatchamacallit iPad”)

Retina. As far as I’m concerned, that’s all that needs to be said for what “The New” offers over “2”—and it’s a big deal. Sure The New iPad offers faster speed (mainly to drive the higher-resolution display), 4G cell capability (which is really fast), and a plethora of other features… it’s mainly the Retina display with it’s print resolution that makes what was already a great iPad, perfect.

It’s only been two years?

The iPad is one of those devices that once you start really using it, you practically use it everyday and it integrates into your “i” life. It seems like so much longer ago that the iPad has come out, and for many avid iPad users, computing any other way is unimaginable.

It’ll be interesting to see what Apple has up it’s sleeve for the iPad over the next few years. Will we see an iPad mini? I doubt it, but plenty of rumor pundits disagree. I think what you may see on the entry level side of things is a $200 iPad with a full size, but reduced cost screen (maybe plastic)-but will still be a full-featured one.

On the other end of the spectrum, I think you’ll see Apple building on the third-gen iPad incrementally. One interesting technology is haptic response wherein the screen vibrates to simulate texture on the screen. It’s hard to predict, but I know one thing is for sure—Apple is probably already two steps ahead, and we’ll just have to wait and see.

How has the iPad changed your computing behavior? Send your comment below.

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  • While I really like my iPad, I think that second paragraph is a bit over the top… If I’m in the mail application and want to verify some info in a browser, I have to I have to click the physical button to get back to the main screen, click the browser to verify the info, click the button again, and then reclick the Mail application (which is an app already running, as I just left it) to enter it and finish my email composition. That does not seem “natural” to me. Swiping right and left to flip through pages and application, like you would when moving printed pages on a desk, would seem to me to be more natural.

    • That’s an excellent point. I’ve had a few interaction issues like that going back and forth that we’re a little awkward too. After switching back one day I did remember the four finger left or right swipe. This is a really cool Multi-touch gesture that I always forget about and your reply, in fact, just reminded be again.

      You can use four fingers to swipe left or right to go back and forth between apps. Literally I just played with that now, and it’s totally natural as long as that app is next to the one you’re using ;) …. if the apps aren’t side by side and you’re going to do a lot of app back and forth, the first time you activate the app by going back home and selecting the other app, the apps will now be side by side for easy swiping back and forth.

      That also reminds me… you can use a five finger pinch to go back to the home screen versus the home button.

      Thanks for sparking my memory on these gestures. Hopefully you find them just as helpful.

      Thanks for reading, and for the comment!

    • While I agree that the need to push the Home button to launch a new app is a bit of a pain, and personally wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s natural, there is at least a way of more elegantly navigating the situation given.

      A four-fingered swipe left or right allows you to cycle between open applications, and four-fingers up will reveal all the running apps like a double-click on the home button will, where you can choose the app you want.

      Of course, if you haven’t launched the app yet, you’ve got to go to your home screen for your apps. However, unless you’re like me and reflexively quit every app manually, there’s a good chance that the app you want is already open and accessible by the four-finger swipe.

  • Wow! Sounds awesome! But I’ll stick with my PC for important stuff (like playing games) and my no-name brand tablet for reading, surfing, shopping,GPS and so on when I’m not home. It cost me a hundred bucks and every app is free. How about your iPad? iPhone? iPod? You see where this is heading? Apple is robbing you and you love it! I’ll stop now before I get personal. Have a nice iDay!

    • We’ll of course I’ll respectfully disagree Apple is robbing me :)

      I do appreciate where you’re coming from and as it sounds like your someone willing to tweak and repair your PC, which is for whom all the other tablets aside from the iPad and Kindle Fire are for. Other tablets are perfect for PC tweakers who’re willing to jump through some hoops to maintain their tablets. Android tablets are notoriously fragmented with random to zero software updates and essentially using phone sized apps on a larger tablet screen. I won’t presume you’re using an android tablet, as there’s the now ceased HP touchpad and a few others out there attempting to gain some traction.

      One more point I’d like to make is apps. Most of mine are free. Including the amazing iBooks app, which opens up project Gutenberg free books into a usable easy to manage and backup interface.

      If you feel that other software, or another tablet fits your needs I think that’s awesome you found a tablet that you like. I’d hate to live in a world without options. Also, since your a PC person, I bet you’re pretty pumped about the coming Windows 8 tablets, which actually do look promising. I bet Mac people would cringe hearing me say that, but I’m a Multi-touch tech fan, and aside from Apple, I think Microsoft is the only company doing Multi-touch right. Their surface product was extremely interesting.

      Of course, everyone feels their computing options, decisions, and usage are the best. Hence the PC vs Mac debate, and iPhone vs Android debate, and other tablets vs iPad debate.

      Thanks for reading and sending your comment in. Much appreciated!