Thursday, January 28, 2010

So, what do I like about the iPad?

...I'm going to shut up about this, but I feel like I should point out that I'm not exclusively a hater.

1) The design really is slick. If it were possible for me to make a baby with this thing, I'd be all over it like a fat kid on a smartie.

2) The dock-keyboard combination is more difficult than it needs be, but is otherwise a good solution to the whole problem of IDing what, exactly, this device does: a little bit of everything, and it can be a desktop if you need it too.

3) People are complaining about the screen size, but it wasn't that long ago that I thought widescreen monitors looked weird, and it works for reading pages, so I say yay to that.

4) Highest kudos to Apple for not reinventing the wheel with the ebook format. Seriously, I complain about Apple selling locked down crippled toys for the rich, but going with ePub is a really good move. Good to see the ebook industry starting to seriously consolidate around a format for text, finally.

About books: here's the deal. I'll buy a high-end e-reader when someone offers me the following service. I box up and mail to you all of my old paper books, and you mail me a DVD-ROM with all of them in unlocked, DRM-free ebook files. I'll buy two ereaders if that's what it takes. But the attachment I have not just to books, but to a library I can lend out to friends, is pretty substantial.

Anyone think we'll see anything like that?

4 comments:

Catelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catelli said...

Will we see anything like that? No.

What I would like to see, for every book I buy, throw in the electronic version for free (or for a small amount $.50 say).

That way I have the book for the pleasure of owning a book, and as a backup if I ever lose the electronic copy. And I have the electronic copy on my eReader for convenience when travelling.

Win-win for us and the publishing industry. Which is why they won't do it....

kirbycairo said...

I think the problem here is that the ipad is not an e-reader. The ipad is back lit and therefore just a computer that happens to have an electronic keyboard rather than a real one. WIth the so-called electronic paper of the e-readers one can read material that is not back lit and that is the advantage. When Steve Jobs stood on that stage and said "this device is extraordinary" i just laughed because all they really did was invent a large ipod touch. I mean the technology is remarkable in its own right but this is just an extension of the technology that is already out there. Now if they could create a device that could be both back lit for video and e-paper for reading, then you would have something. Or better yet, invent a fully functional screen that can play video and view web pages etc. but is not back lit at all then we are really getting somewhere. But for now we have two very separate technologies which are serving two different functions.

As for the publishing industry it is slow and just isn't getting it. Like Catelli says they won't go for options that are basic and win-win. The next ten or twenty years will be very interesting.

Declan said...

"Anyone think we'll see anything like that?"

From unauthorized websites? Certainly, and you'll get to keep your physical books.

From mainstream publishers, uh no.