Ah, the iPad… so much to say, so little time…
In a nutshell: everyone who wants a complicated computer already has one. The iPad opens up the world of computing to the other half of the world’s population. But here’s the thing: half the people that already have a complicated computer would prefer something simpler. So you can also think of the iPad as “pain relief”.
Do the math: this is the style of computing for a minimum of 75% of the population.
The iPad is the future of computing in a way that you probably haven’t thought much about: efficiency. I’m not talking personal efficiency (although that’s likely true as well), I’m talking power. You’ll probably not believe me, so here’s a reference.
From that link, I’ll assume that you have a nice G5 desktop Mac with an LCD monitor. Let’s assume that the computer is used 3 hours per day and is in “sleep mode” the other 21 hours:
G5’s power consumption = 365 days x (3 hrs x 110 watts + 21 hrs x 3.5 watts)
= 365 (330 + 73.5)
= 365 ( 403.5 watt-hrs)
= 147,277.6 or 147 kWh. which at 14 cents/kWh costs you $20.58 (by the way, a typical desktop machine with a separate LCD monitor is perhaps double this)
iPad’s power consumption: 365 days x (3 hrs x 2.5 watts + 21 hrs x 0.17 watts)
(I got the .17 from a review where the iPad lasted 6 days while playing music at 50% volume through headphones; 25Whr/144 hrs is .17 watts/hr. So this isn’t even sleep mode!)
= 365 (7.5 + 3.57)
= 365 (11.07 watt-hrs)
= 4040.55 or 4.04 kWhr which at 14 cents/kWh costs you 56 cents.
Ballpark: you can run about 40 iPads for the price of one desktop computer.
So… using an iPad is the ethical thing to do for the kinds of tasks that most people use computers for; it uses less of the earth’s dwindling resources.
My prediction: in a few years, Apple will replace the black border around the screen with super high efficiency solar cells; version 8 of the iPad will be self-charging. Critics will blast Apple and complain that the price should go down as Apple is no longer including a power adapter in the box. Don’t get me started on the savings in raw materials, shipping costs, packaging, etcetera.
The iPad brings computing closer to people by removing a layer of indirection: the mouse.
In a lot of ways, current computers rely more on magic than the iPad does: “don’t watch my hand moving the mouse, simply watch the cursor flit about the screen like a working Ouija board at a seance…”.
There’s a lot of cognitive processing that takes place when you are forced to wave your hand around on a desktop somewhere to the left or right of where you’re looking. There is much less cognitive dissonance when you simply move your finger and touch the thing you want to affect. That, of course, means you can save valuable brain cycles for more important things.
I have been typing for so long that it is as if there’s a direct link between my brain and the computer screen. I think something and it appears as text on the screen. That’s part of the reason that my answers to all these questions are so long — I am able to communicate at the speed of thought! But not everyone types over 100 words per minute. For most people, typing is an inefficient way to command a computer to do something (it pains me to watch Allen eke out his thoughts… he might as well be given a chisel, a hammer and a piece of flat rock…).
Simply pointing and touching the screen is much more direct.
The iPad, when running iPhone apps at double-sized resolution, will allow women in the 45+ age range to continue avoiding the wearing of glasses in public.
I have heard women in this demographic say: it’s unfair that men get better looking as they age. Well, I’ve got news for you: we don’t. It’s just that our flaws become blurred… and if you squint too much, you get wrinkles.
Seriously, the iPad is the first “complete” example of what will be the next trend in computing. I was at the National Computer Conference in Chicago back when the Xerox Star was introduced (1981). The Xerox Star was the first commercial example of a computing system with a mouse, a graphical interface and a laser printer. I watched their demo for many hours (it repeated every 15 minutes). I knew at the time that I was seeing the future of computing, and I have exactly the same reaction to the iPad. It’s the next paradigm.
After this will be voice, then implants as we continue our evolution towards becoming Borg.
- I made an iPad app for browsing photos from any website - http://www.steamclocksw.com/prism/. It works great for photos of kittens, comics, landscapes, photography, and so on. Will people use it for a...
- How to manage your time efficiently without losing a minute
- I'm 16 and I like to learn a lot about quantum physics, the energies of the universe and of humans, auras, stuff like that because it's intriguing. I'm an artist, but I have thoughts slowing my path d...