I know, everybody is talking about the iPad (http://www.apple.com/ipad/). But I have been thinking about it, and while some people have pointed out all the things that are missing, I think they are missing the point of the ipad.
The ipad is not a laptop with a touch screen. It would have been easy to make a macbook with a touch screen, but that is not the purpose of the iPad. I have seen many people point out that the iPad is missing a USB port, keyboard and so on. these are things that a laptop has. If you want all these things in your iPad, then you really want a laptop.
I remember when the first iMac came out. Everyone complained that it was missing a floppy disk. But Apple stuck to it and soon the floppy was a forgotten storage system. The iMac did not have a serial bus. Everyone complained that they could not use their old keyboards, mouse and scanners. Now we don’t even think about the change we made, it’s all USB.
I think of the iPad as being like the first iPod. When the iPod first arrived, we did see the change that it would make to our music habits. Until then we listened to albums or CDs, we did not listen to our library. We could not shuffle our entire music collection. Now, it would be hard to remember what it was like before. Imagine having to get up and change the CD when you’ve only heard two songs. Now we have shuffle, genuis playlists and even movies and tv shows on our iPods. I didn’t see that coming when we had the first iPod.
I believe the iPad is similar. We can’t see where the iPad will be in a year’s time. We are judging the iPad from our current understanding, which is limited to our history. We need to judge the iPad on what we will be able to do with it, and that we don’t know. Software developers are starting to image what they can do with it, and when they tell us, we will be amazed at what the iPad can do.
The iPad is not a big phone, it is not a laptop, it is something completely different. How does this fit with Vectorworks (http://www.nemetschek.net/)? Maybe it will be an input device, maybe a Vectorworks viewer. If nothing else, it makes a nice PDF viewer to carry your drawings to site and make notes.
Maybe it will change your computer buying habits. Instead of buying a Macbook pro (or PC equivalent), you will buy a desktop machine and an iPad. More power when you need it, more portability when you want it.