You're not going to buy an iPad.

You're not going to buy an iPad.
No.. you're not, well not yet.

iPad is here, Steve jobs announced the new tablet device today as expected. The media hype surrounding this announcement has been absolutely huge. Twitter has been buzzing all day and the hashtags #iSlate, #iPad etc.. have been trending for much of it. But who is this device actually aimed at?

I have a laptop, a PC, a decent Phone, a 3rd gen iPod Touch, various next gen games consoles and other gaming handheld devices. Do I need an iPad? My head says no, my wallet says no and even the Apple geek in me says NO! I expect that many other techie types are of the same opinion?

My major concern is for the iPads ability in it's current revision to function as a gaming device. Sure it will run iPhone native apps and games, but with the ommision of any physical buttons, how are gamers going to play on the iPad comfortably? While, the increase in screen real estate is more than welcome. It may result in native iPhone games running in either iPhone sized windows, or they will be blown up and horribly pixelated. Apple suggest that there is pixel technology in place to address the resolution issue. But whether it actually will remains to be seen.

I know that many devs are tripping over themselves to get apps optimised and published for the iPad platorm. Gameloft have suggested that NOVA will be amongst their first releases for the tablet. But whether developers target the system exclusively will depend on the uptake of the iPad and the demographic that buys it. What is this demographic? The suggestion that the iPad is a complimentary product to the Mac and the iPhone, is sheer folly. Nobody in their right mind will buy an iPad if they currently own a Mac Book pro and an iPhone surely? There are some other huge ommisions in the first revision for example..

iPad failures

  • No true Multitasking, this is the biggest ommision, even a basic netbook can multitask, shame on you Apple!
  • No Flash support, please don't start with the HTML5 argument! I am a professional developer and I know that HTML5 full support is still a long way off. If Apple are trying to push HTML5 this is not the way to do it. It's more likely that Flash is not included as a way to stop hulu and other flash based services from stealing users from iTunes.
  • No camera, not really a deal breaker for most, but imagine what the iPad could be if it had a camera! it could become the ultimate multimedia, mobile web publishing device

I am also concerned regarding the iPads battery life, god knows my iPod touch starts whimpering in the corner after a few hours gaming. How would the battery be able to provide the juice requirements of a power hungry GPU and massive screen? Even 3 hours of mobile gaming seem unrealistic on the iPad.

For the time being I can't envision the average PS3, 360 gamer forking out for what is essentially an oversized iPod touch. I am not for a moment suggesting that, the iPad will never become a gaming device. It most probably will. But as with all Apple products, it really needs to go through a few generations before it's going to be anywher near ready. For the time being let the Apple fanboys be the beta testers and maybe check back this time next year!