iPad Announced by Apple

The iPad looks like it can make significant contributions to the advancement of technology. How much so remains to be seen.  It is enough different from other computing devices that extensive “analysis” by commenters on the Internet are worth little consideration unless the person has actually used the device.

I refer, for comparison, to my experiences with the iPod Touch (“iTouch”) and the iPhone, both of which have been important advances in portable computing devices. I could sense their importance before buying them, but using them revealed so much more.

I bought the iTouch first because it was less expensive and because there was so much negative publicity about AT&Ts iPhone coverage areas (or lack-of-coverage areas).

The iTouch has several apps built in and access to many more through iTunes. The number of things it can do is impressive. One of the most impressive is the extent to which many websites can be surprisingly easy to view on such a small screen. It shines in its abilities to allow its user to listen to and view content from music to podcasts to videos to websites.

Changing circumstances, my experiences with the iTouch, and the discovery that iPhones work even in our back woods vacation spot convinced me to purchase an iPhone this summer. I once again discovered a purchase to be much better than I thought it would be. The iPhone has all the advantages of the iTouch. The wi-fi connection is more sensitive and the ability to get information over the cellular network has proven to be extremely valuable. Still, the device is more suited to experiencing content than generating content. It’s not easy to write much (or edit much) using the small screen and keyboard.

The iPad’s larger screen, larger on-screen keyboard, and available external keyboard mean it has better possibilities for generating content than either of its predecessors. As an educator, I find that capability very important for both students and teachers. There is a good chance that I will soon be purchasing an iPad to explore what it can do.

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