There were a huge number of comments on yesterday's iPad piece, including a lot that said "You don't get it" or "You're too old to get it" or "It wasn't designed for you" or "It wasn't designed for what you do."
This is all nonsense, of course -- I'm merely sharing my observations, so there's nothing to "get" or not get. Apple hasn't said who they designed the iPad for, or what it was designed to do. This is smart of Apple because my guess is they don't have any idea who it was designed for, or what it was designed to do. I think they've been planning a larger form-factor iPod/iPhone for a long time (the one we all have now is the iPod) and that's all they know. They arrived at this product by following the technology, not by anticipating what it would be used for. They hope and expect we will all figure that out.
One of yesterday's comments was very insightful and led me to try something at a restaurant over lunch with a longtime friend Yvonne Burgess. She's a bit younger than me, a professional IT consultant, so she's quite technically aware. She has an iPhone. She also loves music, as I do.
I had been trying to think of a song by Simon and Garfunkle. I started to hum what I remembered of the tune and little snippets of the lyrics. "I hear words I've never heard in the Bible," and "try to keep the customer satisfied."
I whipped out my iPad and entered "keep the customer satisfied" into the search box on the browser and scored a direct hit. That's the name of the song! So I brought it up on YouTube and in a few seconds we were listening to it right there in the restaurant. (If you clicked on the link you're listening to it too!)
We could have done that with my Droid or her iPhone, but it wouldn't have been as much fun, because we both could see what I was doing. (An aside, we wanted to find out when the song came out and that was not so easy. We both searched, she found it first on her iPhone.)
I marvel at how these days we carry around all the world's information in our pockets. My uncle, who always had an Almanac nearby, would have loved this. I wish he had lived to see it. But I love it on his behalf. (Ken I miss you!)
Anyway, that's a unique thing the iPad can do, one-on-one presentations. And it's a business application too. If you're in a tech role at a corporation that has a sales function, get busy. You're going to be using a lot of tablet computers, whether they're from Apple, HP, Google or whoever. One person telling a story to another person, that's going to be a big use of tablets.
PS: Very young children love iPhones and iPads. If you've got a toddler around, check it out. They have a lot of fun with the pictures and how they move and the sounds it makes. (Some people take this as demeaning of the products, but I don't intend it that way.)
PPS: While we're at it, a lot of people seem to think you have to be either for or against something like the iPad. This is very wrong thinking. People should find out what they think by having experiences, and then reflect on them and try new things out, always feeling you have the right to change your mind. Like a lot of people I was brought up by a father who thought it was a sign of weakness to change your mind. As a result I have a very strong will about that and welcome any new idea that might shift my perspective. I wish more people did. I'm neither a Republican or Democrat, not right or left. I am Jewish but I wasn't bar mitzvah'd. Like you, I am my own person with my own mind. As