April 5, 2010

Obligatory iPad Post

*Updated on 4/7.

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So I happened to be in Midtown on Saturday morning (long story short: I was trying to get to MoMA early enough to see Marina Abramović) and I decided to swing by the cube.

While I didn’t have a chance to see the iPad in person, I’ll probably swing by an Apple store some time this week to check it out. I don’t plan on getting one at this point but I’m intrigued by the device, which may or may not revolutionize computing and media consumption as we know it. If the iPad has been criticized for being some kind of hedonistic Swiss Army Knife for entertainment at the cost of productivity (citation needed?), I should think that it is rightfully billed as more of a grown-up supertoy than anything else—it is neither overgrown iPhone nor underpowered laptop; the iPad is something else entirely.

Furthermore, insofar as the iPad represents Apple’s foray into the space(s) currently occupied by netbooks, e-books, textbooks, regular books, magazines, newspapers, television, digital picture frames, portable gaming devices, board games, and (lest we forget) tablets, I think it has the potential to redefine media in new and possibly unexpected ways. The fact that it is an easy point of entry for a mass audience to own a piece of the Apple brand (/marketing machine) almost certainly belies its true significance, whatever that may be.

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Of course, I suppose that anyone who is curious about said significance has already been inundated with news, reviews, photos, videos, etc.—the iPad has been broken, jailbroken, jailbait, photoshopped and photo-opped—from the likes of Engadget, Gizmodo, TUAW, et al. Love it or hate it, we’re far past the point of making jokes about its name.

For superbly-curated and less overwhelming opinions and aggregation, I recommend John Gruber’s Daring Fireball. Similarly, I still think that Dan Hill’s essay on the iPad is the best analysis of the its true significance (I buried a link to it in another post, but here it is again).

There are tons of demo (and demolition) videos already out there, but I happen to like this overview of magazine app art direction:

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