Silver Chips Online

It's déjà vu for the iPad

iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iPad. iConfused. Aren't they all the same?

By Sophia Deng, Online Managing Editor
May 8, 2010
After the first Apple iPod was released on Oct. 23, 2001, a stream of eerily similar looking species - some wider and more colorful, some with flashier screens - have taken the world by storm. With the recent release of Apple's iPad, a not-so-revolutionary tablet that houses a not-so-revolutionary design, the world has yet again been dazzled by the magic of Steve Jobs's slick and smooth creation. Although the iPad is one fancy gadget, at the end of the day, don't be that excited - the iPad, alas, is just an iPhone on steroids.

iScream for an iPad

Despite the similarity to its older siblings, based on the pre-sales bookings in its first week on the market, no one cares that the iPad is a vamped-up, Papa Bear version of the iPhone. No one, (I mean really no one) even cares about the iPad's trite design - 1,000,000 and counting (actually counting according to this site) iPads have been sold on the basis of name and novelty alone.

Apple's recognizable designs have revolutionized the way technology looks. Elaine Lin
Apple's recognizable designs have revolutionized the way technology looks.
There are obvious reasons why the iPad is so appealing. It's pretty. It's portable. It's shiny. In all seriousness, the iPad has a lot going for it. The functions and capabilities are numerous, ranging from being able to easily access Internet through Safari to surfing YouTube and emailing. But wait! Can't a computer, a smart phone and a laptop achieve the same results if not more effectively and with more variety than the iPad? Perhaps it does come back to the most important qualities in judging technology - prettiness, portability and shininess. Forget utility, aesthetics are in all day every day.

Pursuit of hAPPiness
The idea of a tablet is not new. In fact, with Microsoft's introduction of the tablet PC in 2001, the tablet is old news in the computer world. However, the iPad makes up for the old idea by enhancing user experience. What saves the iPad include the Apple-y features that people have come to love like iTunes, iBooks, iPhone, the infamous Apps, as well as better features, such as video quality and touch-screen potential.

The touch sensors on the iPad are simply stunning. Pinching your fingers, for instance, smoothly zooms in the screen. In the iBooks application, it truly feels like you are turning the pages of a book using the movement of one finger, a large improvement to Amazon's impersonal Kindle. With the iPad, hands have never felt so useful.

The iPad, which promises to run most of the 150,000 iPhone apps, according to Apple, also assures the advent of more and better apps on the iPad. With a treasure trove of apps and a brisk, larger screen, playing Scrabble, watching Netflix movies, reading Marvel Comics and observing baseball with At Bat 2010, are all the more engaging and hypnotizing.

Admittedly, the general, broader implications of the iPad in revolutionizing society are fresh and unique. The slate-like structure enables the iPad to be carried easily around the house, around school and around the world. With the iPad, communication is not just limited to the space where the computer or laptop sits, but expansive across a larger space, covering and affecting more people.

A rose of any other name

Although the iPad is, of course, one giant leap for mankind, there are two main problems with it, other than the fact that it is a jumbo iPhone clone. First, the iPad does not support Adobe Flash, which is used in many applications, such as in Facebook videos. Other examples of limitations reflect in the inability to use the frequently coveted web site, Hulu.

But my main problem with the iPad does not even concern the tablet form or the functional capabilities. Instead it is the name, "iPad." I mean, really? Initially, we thought the iPad was going to be a radical way for women to fight against menstrual cycles. However, it just turned out to be another one of Jobs's iThings.

Sure, the iPad is just the jumbo version of the nifty, appropriately named iPhone - but despite the fact that I definitely don't need one, I must confess...I want one!


http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10134