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The Apple iPad, Casual Home Computing Untethered

I was out last night and someone asked me what I thought about the Apple iPad, saying that they thought of it as a great new mobile computer.

I stated back that I didn’t really think of it as being a “mobile computer” as much as I thought of it creating a new category of “untethered” home computers. No wires, not to the wall, and not to a mouse.

While it can definitely be thrown in the car or in a bag and taken out on the road and have access to 3G wireless connectivity (if you are willing to pay for it), I think that it will play a big part in the living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms of the future.

The Nintendo Wii is kind of responsible for what has been coined “casual gaming”. I think the iPad will be the device that spawns the term “casual computing”.

I am sure iPhone and iPod Touch owners would agree that they rarely sit down at their computers to check their e-mail anymore, they just pull out their iPhone/iPod wherever they are at the moment. When out and about that will not change as those devices will be what is in their pockets, but in the home the iPad will become the go-to device as it expands the experience of touch-based computing with a larger screen and more power.

While I, and others, have some complaints about iPad’s glaringly obvious missing features, I am still very optimistic about it and it’s product line’s future.

OWC Erik
the authorOWC Erik
I am a member of the web application development team at OWC. I work on our e-commerce site. I am a Mac switcher as of January 2007 and I haven't looked back since. I plan on writing about the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, AppleTV, and neat Mac apps that I find useful. I am big on data storage for protecting my media files and so one of my favorite pieces of hardware on my desk (or should I say under) is the NewerTech Guardian MAXimus external RAID-1 hard drive solution.
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  • I’ll definitely be getting one. I’m deep in the Apple ecology, I mix music and use iDisk alot as my media cloud, and this $500 device will fulfill much of functionality I wish the iPhone had, namely a bigger screen and iWork functionality. I do my invoicing on pages so I’ll be able to access them on the road without making them into PDFs first! Plus I’m sure someone will make a DAW controller app, it’s MUCH cheaper than the comparable touchscreen controller (Lemur=$thousands)

  • I plan to buy it for browsing and reading online newspapers (WSJ and NYT) due to size and weight. Currently, I am using my MacBook Pro but I don’t like the bulk, size, and the heat. I would prefer to have something that I can just pick up, hold with one hand, and read. I tired using the Kindle for newspapers but I didn’t like the format and navigation speed. It looks like the IPad monitor will be better for newspapers and magazines so it seems to be a better tool. I like the Kindle monitor for reading books; just black and white print and a reflectivity that mimics rough paper.

    Currently, I have an Iphone, Ipod, Itouch, MacMini, MacBook, Mac Pro, and a Kindle. Each has a specific use but at a price. The only disappointment for myself is that the IPad doesn’t work as a PAD since you can’t write on it.

    • Ya Know johnboy, with all that other gear…and your only dissapointment with the iPad…you sound like you really need one of our Modbooks! Hey…have us convert your MacBook into one!

  • I will buy one because it does everything I want Keynote & internet & music, & photos & who knows what else it will do with new apps. BUT that is the worst name in the world. As Colbert said the two choices were Tampod or iPad, iPad won.

  • Maybe I am just awestruck at first look, but as soon as I saw the iPad I decided I wanted one. Two reasons. 1. The technology fits. Apple by now with the iPhones features should have set the bar for any new digital device. Whether it is controlling my Microwave oven or turning the lights on in my home, sensor pads are just the future. 2. I just purchased a Kindle less than a month ago because I like to read a good book while I’m on the road and at home. Lugging hard cover and paperback books to read has become a nuisance. The Kindle solved that, but one look at the iPad and I returned the Kindle to Amazon and will wait for the iPad. It appears to be at the forefront for e-book readers and still has plenty of additional features. The iPad will definitely get some use.

  • I’ve got a classic Ipod gathering dust, a micro ipod I can’t find, another ipod and an Itouch I bought because of one application that is invaluable for work. Basically, I finally figured out that I don’t like to listen to earphones. If I want music I turn on the stereo. This Ipud I don’t need if I can’t do computing on it.

    • Looks like you are a good consumer just like me with your collection of iPods!

      I have some old iPods that I no longer use too, but that does not mean that I regret them, they fit the bill at the time of purchase, but technology advanced and so did the iPod line (thankfully).

      I think that we still need some time to see how exactly the iPad will operate. We know that the iPad has more than just the iPod app that runs on the iPhone/iPod Touch, and it has less than iTunes that runs on your OSX/Windows.

      I would love to see the ability to push music from the iPad to network devices like AppleTVs and Airport Express like I can do on my desktop – so I wont have to only use headphone or the built-in speaker. It might not be in the first release, but seems to me like something a software update could add (fingers crossed).