I think Mashable‘s Ben Parr made some solid points about how Apple introduces new products into the marketplace. One thing he does not address is his opinion of the specific hardware spec’s that a hardcore geek would need to see in an Apple tablet. After getting over the fact that the development ecosystem is closed, the Apple interface, iTunes and the App’ Store are essential pieces of the overall product value, that make it worth of attention.
So what did I actually want to see in terms of hardware? Let’s take a look:
- Albeit less essential (relatively speaking) wireless charging would certainly be a welcome feature. I don’t mean that recent technology that powers devices at a distance, instead I’m referring to those pads that you put your devices on that charges them. I’d like to invest in a couple of those and leave them around the house to keep devices juiced.
- There are some truly innovative products out there to provide much better audio without increasing weight or complexity in devices. The iPad has a seemingly tiny mono speaker, that I’m confident is going to leave me disappointed, whether giving a presentation or trying to watch some TED videos.
- No camera? That’s a good way to keep this from being a gift for non-tech savvy relatives and being a living room fixture that actually stood a chance of replacing the use of the mobile and landline phones (now the Skype can make calls over 3G or even cumbersome TVs). No doubt that this is coming soon, but I think this was definitely a foolish sacrifice for the first generation. Likely to be able to make the battery life claims that are made without having to do too much research and development or delaying release.
- HDMI, without better audio, higher quality video etc, how am I going to enjoy the videos etc that I happen to download or want to share on my iPad? So I can’t pop over to a friend’s house and with a single cable pour out high definition content into the flat screen TV that hangs on their wall? This is a real use case even in business today. Not even a thought of this scenario? For shame.
- I know the “stylus” concept is a bit passé at this point, but not when it records what you’re hearing while you make your notes, which are subsequently converted from handwriting into actual documents. After all, apple called this device the iPad right? This use case takes shape in nearly every way you can imagine, and unlike other products that exist, the data is already stored in a device (or easily synced) in such a way that you can manipulate it easily.
- The mobile landscape is changing with the proliferation of free WIFI in communities and businesses, but the roll out of 4G is also on the horizon by many service providers as well. Granted, some mobile companies are admittedly removing the bottlenecks from their 3G networks, but mobile standards must be backwards compatible, so why not give a device that cannot be upgraded more longevity?
- Only 802.11n support? What about the new “hub-less” WIFI technology that allows wireless devices to directly discover and interface with each other at high speed? Not having forward thinking features makes me think that this device is supposed to be disposed of annually, I mean upgraded. And not the healthy upgrades like swapping out modems or memory or disk, unhealthy ones where the entire unit is tossed or sold on eBay if I somehow find the time.
- Bluetooth 3, where is that? There are already devices with the standard and most of us gadget lovers already know that we still have a pairing and performance issues with our Bluetooth networks as it is, even with the enhanced data rate devices that are available now.
- Video is actually key here, where is the 1080p? Even youtube.com, vimeo.com etc supports this standard now, how can this be missing today. The Simpson’s is finally widescreen after 20 years, let’s keep taking steps forward.
- One of my use cases is using the device for travel, this includes in a car. However, I can’t use this for turn-by-turn directions without a decent speaker, so I guess I will have to look at the screen in that case? A bit dangerous. I guess this thing is going to remain in its specially designed Apple carry case anyway since there’s no active GPS. Garmin can breath a sigh of relief.
- The battery life is impressive, but at the compromise (no doubt) of multi-tasking support. So after completing that thought, the battery life is NOT impressive. So where is multi-tasking support? Even my RIM BlackBerry 8800 could manage that even with its rubbish interface.
For completeness I should mention that the lack of Flash support is not a concern of mine, all of the largest videos sites are supporting HTML 5 as are the browsers that I love.
If having these features means that I have to spend more, I certainly will. Knowing that subsequent operating system updates with richen my productivity and allow for greater innovation in the app’s that are developed. But what I won’t do is make compromises on these points unless I can find a reason to compromise my use cases as well: presentations, travel, business tasks, conferences/seminars etc. All of these uses cases (and more) demand a device of the description I’ve made. We’ll see if Apple will ever cater to such a small sector of their market, the hardcore.
Great points. Maybe Google Voice on Ipad… And Iphone
Nice post you got here. I'd like to read more about that theme. Thnx for sharing that material.
Actually, no Flash support is a huge issue for me as I'm using on a daily basis a number of apps (and games) that require flash:
– I play chess on http://www.sparkchess.com, I use Aviary (http://www.aviary.com) and Adobe Kuler (http://kuler.adobe.com) – and no I am not willing to search for alternatives since these work great for me.
Add the closed nature of the device and app store and it's definitely something I won't buy.
I totally agree with these points
Is not the right gadget for me, for now
Great! I want that gadget! hahaha
I love the whole idea of the ipad and I think that people knocking it are missing the point. Surely it is the ultimate browsing machine and will sit on your sofa ready to pick up and search when a thought pops into your head.
All the other stuff it can do is a bonus and it's shortcomings will be fixed on Ipad 2! That's when I'll buy one.
I agree that the ipad is definitely missing a lot of "geeky" features that could dramatically improve the functionality of the product. I think it's important not to overlook the marketing positioning of Apple here, though. If the first version came out with every possible desirable feature, there would be no way to profit upon 2nd and 3rd generation ipads in the future. This is similar to what Apple does with ipods and iphones.
Not accommodating flash and html5 into the compatibility is one element that I think Apple definitely needs to start integrating into mobile devices. I work for a Boston web design company, and I think it's important to emphasize the importance for businesses of making their websites mobile app-friendly. If they're not, there is a serious potential that their product or service will be overlooked because of their inaccessibility to the mobile user. Especially as more portable devices like the ipad are coming out and becoming the newest craze, ignoring compatibility issues with your website display is not a wise move.
I really wish the iPad came with a stylus or some type of input device for handwriting to text utility. The Pad in iPad should really be about being a notepad for sitting in a meeting or just on my deck brainstorming about things I need to get done. Overall, I am impressed with the speed of the device. I think the speakers need to be updated and text entry and a camera needs to be added. BTW, please don't drive and navigate with the iPad.
Here i found some normal features which is normally found in every latest gadgets but from this all features i like one feature that is wireless charging. I heard first time about this kind of technology and this is really impressive technology. According to me this feature is helpful for easy move & easy work without taking care about battery charge. From starting Apple is one of the good looking stylish gadgets.
The one issue i have with my iPad is that there is no flash. that really detracts from my internet experience
No camera and the lack of multitasking is definitely a big letdown… however, you know they are only holding these features back so they can do their big ‘shock and awe’ launches down the road with these long awaited features!!
I am very happy that I found this posting! I enjoyed it very much! Thank you for sharing with us!
I love apple brand and their products but currently i have some issues to flash for playing some games
Flash is a biggie for me. If I can’t use Flash, I can’t checkout my website stats on the go or run some or I’ll end up at a website in Flash and won’t be able to use 30% of it.
The Android tabs look promising but I can’t see myself going either way until 2nd or 3rd generation tablets come out (not even counting those tablets built years ago – rubbish)…
All the features are excellent and this blog really makes me eager to buy it. Thanks for the article.
I agree with Rockville. Having a stylus would make a big difference in my taking notes experience. Maybe we'll see a stylus in the next version
i want to get that gadget..hahaha
like it very much and it can be used in processing
Wrote this and realized your post date. I am sure you’ve heard about the success of the iPad by now. However:
1. iPad does NOT need to be charged constantly. The 10 hour battery actually works for 10 hours video playback.
2. On a device that size stereo vs. mono won’t matter.
3. Camera: do you NOT have a smartphone with a camera?
4. HDMI: useful but there’s AirPlay
5. Handwriting is so 90s. There are apps that do that for people who cannot type.
6. 4G is a lie. Coverage is still limited 1 year later.
7. That’s SURELY built into all devices by now? NOT.
8. See 7.
9. What good is 1080p if files are 8GB, taking up storage and drains battery?
10. My iPhone’s speaker can be used for turn by turn. iPad is louder than iPhone. Not “dangerous” at all.
11. The battery is impressive considering the display size and what you can do. RIM is rapidly losing market share for a reason.
I was surprised to hear there is no support for Flash files, as most web-sites use Flash for all the fancy interactive content, and some sites consist of a single flash application embedded in the opening html file.
It used to be Microsoft which tried to muscle out the industry standards and create its own proprietary version of everything, to the detriment of everyone, now apple seems to be going the same way, though I suppose they always have done, though just have not been that popular.
I've not bothered with tablets, as they are too small for any serious work, and too big to go in your pocket. I prefer a laptop in my bag, and a smart phone in my pocket.