This is not an iPad review

It seems everybody is reviewing their new iPads and raving over it. I’ll begin by saying that1 the idea is interesting to me, and I would consider owning one in maybe a few iterations, but for now? No. It’s because I’m still waiting on the perfect phone!

When the first-generation iPhone debuted, I was floored. The screen wasn’t an original idea, the lack of an SDK was laughable, and the closed filesystem was upsetting to the hacker in me, but I think that it was the best phone on the market at the time. I’ve held off buying one for several reasons, most of which are the traditional criticisms of the iPhone (and now, iPad): no third-party multitasking, closed ecosystem and poor camera2. I held off three successive generations for that phone to appear, and there is now a glimmer for it with the fourth-generation iPhone. But it doesn’t matter. Jailbreaking affords enough luxuries now that I know I will be buying the next iPhone.

I can’t imagine a use-case for the iPad3 that wouldn’t be better sufficed by having the same functionality in a pocket-sized gadget.

Surfing? Check. Sure, a bigger screen is nicer, but I have a browser in my pocket right now, and even though it’s not Mobile Safari, it’s more convenient to be able to Google something while sitting in a cab during a night out than not at all.

Movies? Check. Again, bigger screen is nicer, but I have a laptop with a 13” screen, a 42” television and can’t imagine myself not using either of those over the iPad. The one interesting scenario is on flights. I take several 12+ hour flights a year, so while a 10-hour battery life doesn’t do the job, it’s not bad. Most of the time, though, Emirates has a pretty excellent and very vast selection of movies, television shows and music that I don’t run out. The iPad does have a better screen, but I am not sure about the form factor being comfortable for 10 hours of movie watching in a cramped seat. What am I supposed to do with it? Rest it on my lap and look down? Put it on the tray table? What do I do when meals come? Get some rubber bands and MacGyver it to the headrest in front of me?

Here’s my last issue: how careful do you have to be with a 9.7” touch-sensitive screen with nothing on it? Smudges aside, it’s going to get banged up pretty badly. Especially with the slightly dubious form factor, I expect to see some hilarious YouTube videos of people falling asleep and their iPads getting into all kinds of mischief.

Here’s what will make me buy an iPad: at least a front-facing camera4, multi-tasking for third-party applications (this should be coming pretty soon), and an iPhone that is perfect for me.

  1. I have yet to see it in person.
  2. Image quality for what it is suffices, but I want at least 5 megapixels.
  3. Picturing myself typing anything into the iWorks suite on the iPad makes me laugh. It won’t happen.
  4. Clever Steve for holding off on this. The man had to have known it wouldn’t put much of a dent in sales, and now he has an ace up his sleeve for a future generation.

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