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27 Jan

Apple’s iPad matches hype, but it’s no print industry savior

Posted by 5 comments

NYTimes created an iPad app that takes advantage of the new platform.

NYTimes created an iPad app that takes advantage of the new platform.

Well, it surely doesn’t have the best name, but the much anticipated, the much rumored and the much hyped iPad is finally here.

For those in the newspaper and magazine industries, the iPad has been championed as the device that will save them from bankruptcy. For those who knew of Tablets PC from years ago, this was going to be a flop.

My impression: Damn, it’s slick!

First, snap out of it… this will not save the print industry. Stop it. Who are you kidding? Content is, for the most part, the same as a Web site.

What this does do is give the content creators another distribution method to share news and information. Another opportunity to develop a way to deliver engaging content and capture the elusive revenue.

But, like the Democrats’ attempt at overhauling Health Care, the track record and innovation from our industry’s leadership is… well… lacking.

That said, let’s leave the revenue model/funding concerns for another day. Let’s take a closer look at this device and how it can really change how we cover news.

Here’s what it has:
– Incredible price
– Long battery life – allegedly
– An established OS
– WiFi enabled and upgradable to 3G – sadly through AT&T
– Assisted GPS – with 3G
– Translates existing iPhone apps and the established marketplace
– You can buy an adapter to read SD card

Here’s what’s missing:
– Camera
Adobe Flash compatible, although there is a report that this may soon change.
– Wireless charging
– Wireless syncing
– Tethering

There are some significant unknowns:
– How easy is it to type on?
– Is this a truly mobile device? Will we remember to take it with us?
– How durable is that thin screen?
– Will people want this?
– It’s not E Ink (thank goodness), but will you read books on it? Eyes be damned?

In short, it’s a bigger, stronger iPhone – minus the camera.

From my perspective, depending on the keyboard, this could be the device that really allows Mobile Journalists to be be truly mobile. It’s not the *Multimedia* Journalists’ tool yet, but at least you could potentially use this device instead of your phone or laptop to file your story. You can use the SD card reader to transmit your pics and video.

Any way you slice this, Steve Jobs and Apple have really created an impressive product and a new category that can really shake things up. This may not be our industry’s silver bullet, but it is a great opportunity for us to innovate… let’s not screw this up!

  1. Hillel
    January 27th, 2010 at 23:20 | #1

    Wireless charging? Like tesla? Does that exist?

    • January 27th, 2010 at 23:33 | #2

      Yep, it exists… we saw some emerging technologies out of CES. There are different techniques on how it works, but here’s the most develop one: http://www.powermat.com/

  2. Deidre
    January 28th, 2010 at 02:44 | #3

    Yeah, I’m not quite convinced that it’s going to save the magazine industry — and I’m not quite quite sure what exactly it’s offering that we don’t already have, but I’m excited to see what can come of it.
    No flash is ridiculous and they need to lose the cheeseball piano soundtrack on the promo video and have people talk more about what consumers are actually going to get out of it, rather than just that it’s a new “magical” product, but I definitely think it has potential.

    • January 28th, 2010 at 06:52 | #4

      Good points. Did you see the report that Adobe thinks it has a patch to make Flash work on the iPhone OS?

      The thing is, with the launching of HTML 5, a lot of the reasons why we needed Flash (like video and interactive design) will be getting replaced with the new language.

      Interesting times ahead.

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