Saturday, May 29, 2010

Apple iPad at Doncaster shoppingtown

Today I decided to drop into the Apple store and check out the new iPad. They had a good display of the iPads.

I’ve been keen to check out what JustLocal looked like on the iPad and I can say it looked great. Entering the postcode page for the Doncaster area quickly brought up the local page. Clicking on the search then enabled me to search the local businesses. Everything worked as I desired.

When I designed JustLocal nearly three and a half years ago my clients were using display resolutions of 800x600. I designed JustLocal to a standard which I felt would be in use over the next 3-5 years. Apple’s iPad uses the same standard and so I was keen to actually see the result. The picture shows what it looks like, but it really doesn’t do it justice, because it really does look great.

I did ask some questions about whether stock was available, but I didn’t really get a direct answer, which I thought was a bit weird. In any case I’m not ready to buy. As I drove off I kept thinking to myself when I bought the iPhone I had some pain points. There were things my ageing HP PocketPC just wouldn’t do. The memory was to small and the version of Internet Explorer based on IE4 could not handle many of the modern sites. I needed a device which solved those pain points. The Apple iPhone was the best device which met my needs.

With the iPad, whilst I think it is a great device, I haven’t yet found pain points that it solves for me, that will justify forking out close to a $1,000. I have lots of justifications for wanting the device, but I haven’t yet determined any pain points. What I find is if we emotionally decide we want something first, then we will generally come up with justification to get the product, even if we really don’t need it.

I’ve seen people buy iPads overseas and then they give it to their children and enjoyed watching them use it. In essence they bought it for themselves, but I get the feeling passing it on to their children helps them justify something they may not have needed, but they’ve justified.

To me the large screen of the iPad is great. The weight of the iPad is excellent. I worked out if you charged the iPad for an hour a day it would cost around 73 cents a year to run. That is what I call cheap computing in terms of power usage.

For my clients I’ve already recommended they purchase a unit and test it out. For my clients I see pain points and opportunities which they aren’t aware of themselves.

I use an iPhone solely as a mobile computer. I prefer to use a normal mobile because the battery life of a normal mobile can last for days. I’ve been known to leave my mobile on overnight and I’m happy to see  it has plenty of charge the next day. I couldn’t do that with the iPhone. I’m thus a good candidate for the iPad as I don’t use my iPhone as a mobile phone. With the iPhone I can slip it into my man bag or a pocket very easily. The iPad size which to its credit is great, still means carrying around a largish device. I can see where that can be useful, but without a justification based on a return, it doesn’t help me.

At the moment I can use my netbook which will run everything I have on my notebook when in the field or travelling. I can even tether the netbook to the iPhone for mobile internet access. I have equipment which is compatible with the applications I currently use. The iPad doesn’t give me that.

Once I find a business justification that isn’t based on a simple desire to purchase a very fancy looking and impressive gadget, then I’ll be very happy to purchase an iPad. Until I find that reason I’ll just have to check it out when I go past the local Apple store at Doncaster.

- Kelvin Eldridge

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