'James Terry - Software Developer

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iPad Thoughts
February 01, 2010

The waiting is over and the jumbo iPhone is out. The name may be a little disconcerting to some women - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsjU0K8QPhs but I suppose we'll all get used to it.

I'll start by saying I do intend to order one (after all I will be writing software for it). Apple is positioning it as a device that will fit into a niche between laptop and a mobile phone. That's the $64,000 question, is there a niche? Is this the right device for that niche? I'm actually typing this on a Macintosh Air laptop while sitting in front of my TV so I'm right on one side of the niche. The tech pundits are complaining about the lack of multi-tasking and the tethering to iTunes while the Apple fans are saying those things don't matter. As with the iPhone I think software will be the difference. (Ok, maybe I'm a little biased.) Having a developer ecosystems already trained, excited and in place will mean any App anyone could need will be available. Unleashing the ingenuity and creativity of thousands of software developers should be the goal of any platform creator. It worked pretty well for Bill Gates with DOS and Windows and I think Apple has replicated that winning combination with the iPhone, no reason it shouldn't keep things going with another device in the family.

I still think it's mobile phones that will cut into the iPad market the most. It's hard to beat the convenience of a device in your pocket or purse. When will a pad make sense? It might replace the laptop you use while sitting in front of the TV (what, you watch TV without a laptop?). Certainly for some mobile jobs that need more screen space it will be a good fit, I can see the iPad being big with Doctors for example. Maybe it doesn't seem that large a market, but just wait till all us software developers get one in our hands. We'll figure out a way to make such a cool gadget useful.