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The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the silence-speaks-volumes dept.

Handhelds 671

snydeq writes "Apple's reticence to reveal details prior to a product's launch is legendary. But when Apple extends this silence beyond a product's unveiling, historically this has meant that the product cannot deliver the functionality that analysts and journalists are asking about. InfoWorld's Galen Gruman lists eight key questions for the iPad, about all of which Apple has kept silent. Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad? Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email? Does the iPad support VPN? Configuration management? 'I have no doubt the iPad will be compelling to some users. But I now have major concerns that it will fulfill the potential beyond being an iTunes delivery screen that I and other industry observers saw,' Gruman writes."

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Answers (1, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070054)

Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad?

Most likely.

Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email?

Not likely.

Does the iPad support VPN and configuration management?

Not likely.

Can you use media services other than iTunes on the iPad?

Uhm.. New to Apple's stuff? The answer is big NO!

Can the iPad be used for videoconferencing?

There is no camera.

Will the iPad's internal storage be upgradable?

There's different storage versions for a reason. Need more space? Buy the larger version (again, in case you have bought the smaller one)

Will the iPad allow multiple apps to run simultaneously?

No.

Will Apple allow the use of Flash on the iPad?

No.

Seriously, Apple is worse than Microsoft in locking down things. The whole iPad is completely locked.

Re:Answers (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070092)

Can you use media services other than iTunes on the iPad?

Uhm.. New to Apple's stuff? The answer is big NO!

Seriously, the answer to that question is so obvious it really didn't need to be asked. There are two reasons for the tight integration between iTunes and the iPod/iPhone, and "end-user convenience" isn't the most important one for Apple.

Will Apple make it even easier for people to buy their music from a service other than iTMS? Why on Earth would that want to do that?

Re:Answers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070176)

Why on Earth would that want to do that?

To sell more Ihardware.

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070320)

They don't make their money from selling the hardware! Much like the PlayStation and xBox, the real income is what the user buys to put on the platform.

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070398)

more Ihardware = more apps
more Ihardware = more users = more iTMS users*

*Yes, some people will buy an Ihardware if it has an alternative to iTMS and then use iTMS because it is less crapy than the alternative.

Re:Answers (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070432)

Aye, but while this is true, Apple is seeming to take the stance that the more orifices it makes you bleed from, the better.

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070370)

They're not in the hardware business, they're in the hardware and content delivery business.

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070382)

Today selling hardware is much less lubxcrative than selling services or the nlike.

Yes this era is marketing wet dream: selling thin air is more lucrative than anything else!

Re:Answers (2, Insightful)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070490)

Apple seems to have unleashed a product without a specific market in mind - at least not entirely revealed - otherwise those questions would not apply. No more than asking if my dishwasher has Wi-Fi. Apple believes a new market will suddenly appear for this product and magically make its company more valuable. So far this is not proving to be the case but we should not better the extent of the failure/success once the launch occurs.

Re:Answers (5, Informative)

weeble (50918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070098)

Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad?

Most likely.

Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email?

Not likely.

The iPhone supports Microsoft Exchange mail, it would be strange for Apple to remove this feature when it is already present and works well for me.

Does the iPad support VPN and configuration management?

Not likely.

It is running very similar software to the iPhone, which provides this capability. Configuration management may need more tweaks to support iWork but not much more. VPN is already present in the iPhone OS, there is no reason not to carry this across.

Can the iPad be used for videoconferencing?

There is no camera.

There is a space for a camera that fits the camera in the MacBook Pro - this has been shown in the spares delivered to repair shops. This will probably arrive in version 2, something new to buy for all the early adopters. (Disclaimer, I bought the iPhone 2G and then the 3G and was thinking about the 3GS until the iPad arrived ;-)

Re:Answers (4, Funny)

antek9 (305362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070276)

Steve Jobs must love you.

Re:Answers (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070290)

While I'm sure he appreciates your kind words, I think he needs to hear that from Steve himself.

Re:Answers (5, Insightful)

teslar (706653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070114)

Does the iPad support VPN and configuration management?

Not likely.

Microsoft Exchange is supported on the iPad Nano (formerly known as iPod Touch), so I don't see why it shouldn't be supported on the big brother.

Re:Answers (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070124)

Kinda quoted the wrong bit there :) So just to address the VPN point too - it will once it's jailbroken.

Re:Answers (1)

headLITE (171240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070216)

The iPod and iPhone also support (Cisco) VPN. (No OpenVPN though, AFAIK, until it's jailbroken.)

Re:Answers (5, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070122)

The whole iPad is completely locked.

Even a locked device can be very useful, if it accomplishes an attractive set of purposes economically and well. If it does not, then it needs to be unlocked, so that people can rectify its deficiencies or add other features that they want. Alternatively, the device needs to drop down the price scale until its locked performance is economically sound. The value proposition of the iPad is very questionable, IMO, but could be improved in a number of ways even while remaining locked.

Re:Answers (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070336)

If you were paying attention value wise the ipad is economically sound. it is about half of what other vendors where thinking about. Asus was planning on something similar and to under cut the "ipad" prices right up until the announced $499 price. which was half of what they expected.

all that said I wait for version 2 of apple products, and I need more configuration in the pad I am looking for. However apple has the only mutli-touch gesture interface at the moment. No other OS uses such an interface so completely. It is why windows 7 devices will fail at attracting customers. windows 7 will be touch enabled, but not designed for touch interface. (scrolling menus is bad MSFT). and ChromeOS, like andriod will probably only offer limited support for multi-touch leading to an inconsistent interface.

Re:Answers (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070152)

Will the iPad comfortably fit up my ass, like my iPhone and iPod?

No.

This may be an insurmountable problem for many Apple customers.

Re:Answers (2, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070436)

Never question the commitment of Apple fanbois to do whatever Steve Jobs tells them to do.

Real Answers (5, Informative)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070206)

Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad?

Most likely.

YES. When connected to your computer the iPad will mount a "Shared Documents" folder that contains files used by apps on the iPad. This is in the SDK.

Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email?

Not likely.

YES. The iPhone does, the iPod Touch does, and the iPad runs the same OS so why the hell wouldn't it? The article even points this out, but then basically say "but you never know... it might not!"

Does the iPad support VPN and configuration management?

Not likely.

See above.

Can you use media services other than iTunes on the iPad?

Uhm.. New to Apple's stuff? The answer is big NO!

How do you get that? There are plenty of media services/apps (Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.) you can use on the iPhone OS that are not connected to Apple. The author of the article complains there's no Netflix app - but how is that Apple's fault? Netflix is free to make such an app if they choose. The only issue is the inability to play in the background - something that primarily affects music apps.

Can the iPad be used for videoconferencing?

There is no camera.

Article acknowledges this and mentions the potential for third-party cameras. Apple allows video capture apps already, so software-wise this shouldn't be an issue. The question is whether the dock connector can support a camera - and this is the one question the article might be right about when they say there's no way to know yet.

Will the iPad's internal storage be upgradable?

There's different storage versions for a reason. Need more space? Buy the larger version (again, in case you have bought the smaller one)

You're right about this one. Why was this even a question to begin with?

Will the iPad allow multiple apps to run simultaneously?

No.

Other than the usual Apple apps (ie. the iPod app) there was nothing that ran in the background in the demo. No reason to assume otherwise. If multitasking ever comes about (ie. as rumored for iPhone OS 4.0) it will be announced when they release the beta SDK for that OS revision.

Will Apple allow the use of Flash on the iPad?

No.

Again, why was this even a question? Apple has explicitly stated it won't. This article was the worst bit of speculative rubbish I've seen in a while. One out of the "Eight key questions" was actually legit.

Seriously, Apple is worse than Microsoft in locking down things. The whole iPad is completely locked.

This is an appliance, not a full-blown computer (Apple does sell those too, you know). Nor is it half as incapable of things as you claimed.

Re:Real Answers (1, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070270)

Uhm.. New to Apple's stuff? The answer is big NO!

How do you get that? There are plenty of media services/apps (Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.) you can use on the iPhone OS that are not connected to Apple. The author of the article complains there's no Netflix app - but how is that Apple's fault? Netflix is free to make such an app if they choose. The only issue is the inability to play in the background - something that primarily affects music apps.

How it has been before is that Apple has disallowed software that "duplicates features of existing software". I would see any competitor to iTunes being one.

Re:Real Answers (-1, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070282)

Uhm.. New to Apple's stuff? The answer is big NO!

How do you get that? There are plenty of media services/apps (Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.) you can use on the iPhone OS that are not connected to Apple. The author of the article complains there's no Netflix app - but how is that Apple's fault? Netflix is free to make such an app if they choose. The only issue is the inability to play in the background - something that primarily affects music apps.

How it has been before is that Apple has disallowed software that "duplicates features of existing software". I would see any competitor to iTunes being one.

(messed up the quote.. gets complicated on this level :)

Re:Real Answers (1)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070324)

Duplicating the existing software means making another phone app, browser, etc. It has no bearing on media services (ie. Netflix) as suggested by the author of the article. I gave you a couple of already existent examples. A content provider can push their own content to their iPhone OS apps all they want, there's no restriction there (aside from occasional restrictions imposed by AT&T about streaming things over the 3G connection, but I think those have all been lifted). I mean, half the damned purpose of this iPad is to consume content from other media providers, as shown in the original demo [geek.com] !

Re:Real Answers (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070474)

Would it really hurt apple to put a usb or sd card slot on to the ipad. I mean seriously people like to take photo's and the iPad screen is a useful size.

Surely Putting your photo card in your iPad and selecting the good shots and uploading to your fliker account or emailing to friends or posting on facebook are things a lot of iPad owners will want to do?

What is it good for oversized media player ? there has to be i/o someway of connecting to a printer at least.
ok probably not.

I'm struggling to see why the iPad has any potential to be a popular product if its going to be so limited. The one thing going for it is the well developed touch interface. I don't think it is enough, however it will encourage competing products which will have to be competitively priced and do more to succeed
so I like the iPad I just wouldnt ever buy one I need more functionality than Apple want to give me. maybe asus will give me what i want.

THe trouble is smaller companies struggle to bring products to the market. There is an arm powered netbook with two modes a detachable keyboard battery section you dont even have to buy it looks like it could be nice but can you actually buy one ...

Re:Real Answers (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070498)

"You're right about this one. Why was this even a question to begin with?"

Because 64gb isn't enough for everybody.

Particularly on a device which I'd imagine many people would want to use for watching movies.

The disk space is really quite a severe limitation of the device for many people.

Re:Answers (3, Insightful)

yivi (236776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070214)

Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad?

Most likely.

More than "most likely". It's been said that the iPad has a "partition" that will be visible as removable storage from the computer, and accessible to all iPad applications.

Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email?

Not likely.

Why no? iPhone/iPod Touch support it, and this is still iPhone OS.

Does the iPad support VPN and configuration management?

Not likely.

Same as the last one.

Can the iPad be used for videoconferencing?

There is no camera.

Has the people making these questions read/heard anything at all about the iPad? I mean, there are unanswered questions, but most of the questions of the list only made sense a couple weeks ago... before the keynote.

I.-

Re:Answers (0)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070230)

Apple locks you out, Microsoft locks you in. I personally would rather be locked-out.

Re:Answers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070288)

Depends on the weather and the proximity of nudiebars.

Re:Answers (1)

yivi (236776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070236)

Those questions are quite silly, really.

A question I'd like to have answered at some point is: can the iPad tether to iPhone via bluetooth (for us outside US where tethering is not blocked by AT&T)

I.-

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070242)

Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad?

Most likely.

This one has me worried. There definitely won't be a file browser on the iPad. Maybe they will integrate a functionality in iTunes to allow the transfer of documents, or you will have to go through mobile.me, or something.

Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email?

Not likely.

I really don't see why it wouldn't. iPhone supports it so it's already in the OS. Why would Apple remove that? What would they gain?

Does the iPad support VPN and configuration management?

Not likely.

Same as above.

Will the iPad allow multiple apps to run simultaneously?

No.

Seems obvious. But seriously, what they should at least allow, is having multiple *integrated* applications run simultaneoulsy.

Most App Store apps I've seen are games and other things that don't really need to run at the same time. And they are probably all ressource hogs.

But being able to quickly switch from one of these apps to the Mail, SMS or safari could be a big plus. That way Apple would still have some control of what's going on and could maybe avoid the phone/pad from getting all jerky like I've seen on Android phones.

Will Apple allow the use of Flash on the iPad?

No.

Seriously, Apple is worse than Microsoft in locking down things. The whole iPad is completely locked.

I hope not... or that you can disable it. But that's just my personal opinion.

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070298)

I love posts like this 'closed system' 'locked'. What is that supposed to mean? The iPad will do everything the iPod Touch does, plus run iLife. Most of these capabilities occur via apps that interface with online services. An innovative app can unlock all sorts of potential. Can you transfer files -- yes, via Mobileme or plenty of other online storage services. Perhaps the writer meant, will if function like a USB drive that I can drag and drop files to -- you know, old school. That's a completely different question.

Oh and another thing, its version 1.0 -- give 'em a brake.

Re:Answers (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070396)

The iPod Touch supports exchange, so I think it is fairly likely that the iPad will as well.

Re:Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070536)

As usual, sopssa is talking out of his ass and gets modded Insightful, despite the fact that his guesses are wrong on most counts.

sopssa backwards = ass P.o.S., how true.

Consumers Unsure About Value Of Apple iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070074)

The Apple iPad is less coveted by consumers, now that they know what it is.
Asked again whether they needed the Apple tablet — after its features had been detailed by the Apple team — 61 percent of those polled said they didn’t need one, while 15 percent said they still needed more information before deciding.

Read more here:
http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/consumers-unsure-about-value-of-apple-ipad-3304

I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (-1, Troll)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070090)

The iPad is a natural device for playing back Flash files, both on the Web and as native files

...
really, a "natural device" for the ancient crud that is Flash ... I don't think so.
Yet another poor FUD article.

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070188)

Unfortunately for Jobs, Flash isn't the new 3-1/2" floppy. It's actually got a lot of popular uses still.

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070212)

the ancient crud that is Flash

You do know that the same could be said, with even more justification, about html, right?

If [insert large percentage] of your customers want to play Flash games and watch kittens on youtube, you *need* Flash support.

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070310)

No, they can use the HTML5 video version which works perfectly on Webkit which additionally uses the codec you support to enlarge your p^Hlock-in. Once people start using iCrap more and more, even porn sites will switch quickly to HTML5 video. And there goes your Flash crap. All of them will support Flash for a while(until IE supports video), but in the end, Flash will be another Java. Maybe used for games by a minority but abandoned for web-based solutions everywhere else.

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070344)

How does html5 video help me play a game?

How does it help me view youtube, or other video sources, *now*?

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070412)

theoretically you could use the canvas tag and javascript, but since ie doesn't support the tag it it's unlikely to gain traction in the short term. youtube *has* a html5 video version *now*

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070416)

You can watch youtube videos because there is an app for it. For flash video from other sites, I agree with you.

Re:I guess he ran out of interesting questions ... (1)

_4rp4n3t (1617415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070378)

That's pretty short sighted to be honest. There are (believe it or not) many more applications for the Flash Player than playing video. A couple of examples, off the top of my head:

Audio synthesis: http://www.hobnox.com/index.1056.en.html [hobnox.com]

Image creation: http://aviary.com/ [aviary.com]

PDF creation: http://alivepdf.bytearray.org/ [bytearray.org]

There are thousands more of course, these are just the ones that sparked my interest in the last couple of weeks.

Just pollin' (4, Interesting)

bytesex (112972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070126)

I know I could Google it, but I'd much rather have an expression of US 'sentiment' if you will - perhaps things are different across the ocean. I don't see a market for this thing and it leaves me puzzled. My question is this: does anyone there actually own something that could be seen as a precursor to this machine ? Is every other person in the US walking around with an e-book reader, that they are ready to replace with an iPad or something ? I mean, the iPod was launched in an existing portable MP3-player market, the iPhone was launched in an existing (even crowded) mobile phone market. This makes me wonder, since I do not have anything that looks like an iPad already (I don't need it) - is there a widespread need for this product ? I mean, I have a netbook, but i wouldn't compare that - it is much more capable.

Re:Just pollin' (2, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070148)

That's what I've been asking. What is it for? Seems like a simple enough question, but I see no answers.

Re:Just pollin' (5, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070204)

It is to serve as a locked-down platform for sales of books, magazines, videos. Entertainment content.

Apple used to be a company that was all about content creation. Now, with the Adobe customers, etc. having mostly migrated to Windows, Apple is rapidly becoming a company that produces only content delivery hardware.

You know. Shiney plastic stuff.

Re:Just pollin' (4, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070368)

Apple is rapidly becoming a company that produces only content delivery hardware.

Shit! They cancelled their "Macintosh" products?
Oh wait, I just checked their website and they all still seem to be there. It appears that Apple added some media-consumption devices to their lineup in the past decade or so, but their full-fledged-computer business also still seems to be going strong - and 90% of that product line is made of metal, not plastic. You had me worried there for a second!

and Apple's in the publishers corner and not ours (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070414)

perhaps the biggest shock is how much Apple (read: Jobs) has cast the end user aside and now sees the publishers (books, music, and even video) as the customer.

Its because of his greed that we are going to get soaked on e-books. Amazon had to cave into new pricing because Apple has attempted to hand our wallets to the big publishing houses.

Re:Just pollin' (4, Insightful)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070372)

It's not for you. It's for your Mom.

No filesystem, locked down OS, sandboxed apps = impossible for the average user to screw up.

The touch UI is stupid simple. My Mom still struggles with computers since she has trouble remembering UI conventions. I don't see that being a big problem with this device.

People need to stop comparing this to netbooks & other computers. It's a web appliance for people who don't want computers.

Re:Just pollin' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070226)

While I too question what the hell this is for, don't make the mistake of thinking that just because a netbook is more capable that idiots won't buy an ipad. look at the iphone and the ipod, both of which were several years behind all the leading products in technology and feature wise yet they were roaring successes, never underestimate the stupidity of the consumer market.

Re:Just pollin' (2, Insightful)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070244)

I have a e-reader (Hanlin v3) which I use and like a lot.

I won't go into the merits of e-books and e-readers, they are not for everyone. But as a recent research shows there is a target market that loves it [engadget.com] . Many e-readers I've read reviews about are great but all are still seriously lacking (as reading devices). So most users I know of would like to have something even better to use for **reading**.

But the ipad thing has this LCD screen of sorts, I don't doubt many Steve Jobs fans will buy into the hype, and try to replace e-readers with the ipad, but I do doubt that this ipad can be used as comfortably for actual reading. What I do hope for, is that this will get other companies to produce better dedicated e-ink readers. I know I can use one.

Re:Just pollin' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070252)

Irrelevant questions.

Here's how it works: spend fortune on marketing, develop cliché being for hip people, develop massive hype, make customers forget they don't need your products.

It's all about marketing and not about products, features and usefulness. Their marketing is so successful they turned a brand into a religion. You don't question faith, you invest in it.

Re:Just pollin' (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070274)

Exactly, the way they market their products make it seem like they invented the concept.
Tablet PC's have been around for a very long time, hell, products from 2002 were more powerfull than the ipad with A LOT more features but the fanboys won't care, it's Apple after all.

Re:Just pollin' (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070306)

Not a lot of people currently own e-book readers, but it's a rapidly growing market, so that can be considered one of the existing markets the iPad is entering. I think that was actually true with the iPod too: there was an existing portable MP3-player market, but it was much smaller. Stuff like the Creative NOMAD never really caught on among the non-techie public the way the iPod did.

In a lot of ways I think Apple is hoping to basically repeat the iPod's success, by getting in to a market that is almost on the cusp of being established but still a bit immature, and pushing it to mainstream success, in the process getting themselves into a dominant market position. We'll see, I suppose.

Re:Just pollin' (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070384)

It fits our needs. We have a web-based application that our sales people need to demo. A cell card for each rep is $60 a month for 5GB. Laptop is another $850 - $1300 depending on what they get. The iPad has unlimited data for $30 per month and has everything we need for sales reps to do demos. We already have an iPhone app for them to process sales.

Re:Just pollin' (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070392)

... My question is this: does anyone there actually own something that could be seen as a precursor to this machine ? ... I mean, the iPod was launched in an existing portable MP3-player market, the iPhone was launched in an existing (even crowded) mobile phone market. This makes me wonder, since I do not have anything that looks like an iPad already (I don't need it) - is there a widespread need for this product ?...

The larger bookstore chains in the US all have floor space dedicated to eBook readers. Barnes & Noble (and subsidiaries like WaldenBooks) are all pushing the B&N branded "Nook". Competitors like Borders show off the Sony eReaders and their kin. They typically have a functional unit tethered to a display stand that's loaded with eBooks. Some smaller stores have non-functional display units. And some just have paper flyers.

Though eBook readers are more common to see in airports rather than coffee shops, the segment of the American public that visits bookstores is aware of what they are and what the current versions have to offer. Certainly over Christmas 2009 these things were promoted well beyond stores' capability to deliver them, but whether that was due to low supplies or high demand isn't clear. They did appear to outstrip sales expectations over Christmas.

Re:Just pollin' (1)

GordonBX (1059078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070418)

I don't see a market for this thing and it leaves me puzzled. My question is this: does anyone there actually own something that could be seen as a precursor to this machine?

Fundamentally, I believe that the iPad is positioned to compete with netbooks, with a side-order of e-book reader. The netbook market is well established, and is currently in a cycle of increasing features, speed etc. because actual netbooks are slow and have tiny unusable screens and tiny unusable keyboards. The e-book reader market is small, but is widely believed to be "taking off" with things like the Kindle. I don't think that the iPad is necessarily the ideal platform for a dedicated slashdotter, but it will be: a) Incredibly easy to use. There were *plenty* of smartphones avaialable before the iPhone, but until the iPhone, nobody used any of the features. b) Not Nerdy. There is a larger potential market for non-nerds than there is for nerds (=slashdotters). This market does not care whether they are "locked in" "locked out" or whatever, they just think it's shiny and cool. c) O/S improvements will continue. The original iPhone didn't support 3rd-party installed apps, tethering, or even cut & paste. These were added fairly swiftly and I see this happening with time on the iPad to support things like external cameras, some kind of multitasking etc. Everyone seems to keep going on and on about the lack of "proper" multitasking, but why, really? what you really need is message push so that you can be alerted to switch apps when something happens - e.g. a twitter message.

Re:Just pollin' (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070456)

I think it's best to think of it a bit like those portable DVD players with builtin screens. You know, the sort which used to cost a small fortune until a few companies in China started selling cheap generic models. Only with a rather larger screen and you have to transfer DVDs across from your PC.

Whether or not there is enough of a market for this - who knows. It's definitely a risk, and Apple are well aware of that.

If it all works out, they'll make a fortune.

If it doesn't, they'll lose a fortune.

Which is probably why it runs the iPhone OS with very similar hardware - reduce the cost of development and provide a user experience which has already proven to be a massive hit.

Re:Just pollin' (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070472)

I have a need for a device like it but Apple is on my "don't buy their shit" list.
Does not allow you to run .... what is this? Am I licensing Hardware now since they want to tell me what I can and can not do with my device.

Apple users are Sheeps who are getting fucked by Steve, hope it feels good.

seat (4, Insightful)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070132)

Sigh, when do people get it.

With the iphone, ipod and ipad, you do not buy a full fledged computational platform... you only rent a seat in a theatre.

Re:seat (5, Insightful)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070322)

That is ok-- choice is good, and it's not a zero-sum game. Put another way: Some people do not want to install the projector, screen, soundsystem and seats of a home theater. Some people just want to watch a freakin' movie.

Re:seat (3, Insightful)

_4rp4n3t (1617415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070408)

Sure, the problem being that you are renting a seat but paying enough to buy the cinema outright!

Re:seat (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070360)

What makes you think that the 'people' haven't already 'got it' and simply don't care? You do realise that to a lot of people, having ultimate control over something isn't an issue - I myself own an iPhone, and I have lots of apps on it. I am a software developer by trade, and have several publicly available private projects - but the perceived lack of 'openness' of the iPhone doesn't bother me in the slightest as its a tool that functions as well as I need it to. I made a choice when I bought into it.

What is the purpose of the ipad? (3, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070138)

That's the key thing I still haven't heard anyone explain. What is an Ipad for, exactly?

Maybe it's just me, but the ipad seems like a monumental waste of money.

If you're trying to sell me something for $300 minimum, and you can't tell me with a straight answer what the device is for, then you have a problem.

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (1)

TheRealSync (701599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070200)

I guess the iPad isn't the obvious choice for most people on Slashdot. For me, however, it is. I spend a lot of time at home using my iPhone browsing the web, planning dinner for the next day, reading books, playing games - and sitting there in my favorite couch, I don't want to open my laptop - I just want to use my iPhone; except, the screen is too small. For now, I get along - but for me the iPad is the obvious choice; it would fit perfectly with my habits.

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070222)

Purpose of the ipad:
  • Play video files on a comfortable screen while I'm doing cardio at the gym.
  • Browse web in non-sitting positions.
  • Read digital books.
  • Play casual games on comfortable-sized touch screen.

The people like me who will buy the iPad are not looking for a device that is a computer. They're looking for a media access device that doesn't carry the drawbacks of a computer. If you still can't comprehend the iPad, you need to look at the Kindle DX and complain about how little that does and it's just ten bucks less than an iPad.

Seth

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (1)

_4rp4n3t (1617415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070420)

*cough - netbook

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (5, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070540)

Wrong. The Ipad isn't built for Apple's customers, it's built for Apple.

When you say it "doesn't carry the drawbacks of a computer", you're simply being dishonest: it would cost nothing in user experience to allow multitasking or free installation of software. A full OS X with the iPhone GUI would be fantastic, and relatively easily accomplishable. It would come with no extra draw-backs for the user whatsoever. And you know this perfectly well.

But this would cost Apple a lot, in that a user with choice wouldn't be tied to iTunes. The question is: why are you being dishonest? Apple probably doesn't pay you a cent for your work as a freelance advertising agent. And why is this bullshit so prevalent among Apple fanboys? There's a reason why you guys are called a cult: you are one.

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (1)

Fzz (153115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070232)

The Register got it right. It's a portable TV [reghardware.co.uk] for the 21st century. If you think of it that way, you will be less disappointed.

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (1, Flamebait)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070464)

The Register got it right. It's a portable TV for the 21st century. If you think of it that way, you will be less disappointed.

Ah. That's it, isn't it!

Remove any kind of meaningful interaction other than point and finger paint and the iPad is for the couch potato jury box. I hate televisions. The keyboard and two-button mouse are empowering! The ability to hack my computer to do whatever I want it to do within its vast range of capabilities is awesome! I don't want my media dumbed down. I don't want any damned games. I am not a mindless recipient who is too lazy and frightened to live and who just craves numbing entertainment delivered intravenously in the "Daily Download".

Pod people freak me out.

-FL

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070424)

Really, for people like me. I don't do a lot of coding anymore. I don't need to lug around a laptop and a cell card ($60 per month for 5GB). What I need is the ability to do email, product demos (of a web based product), and occasionally make minor document edits. And be able to SSH into a server if things go really bad. I've been using my iPhone. It works well for the email and to demo the mobile version of our app, but editing documents and while I've used SSH in a real pinch, let's just say it's not ideal.

iPad is exactly what I need. Then I can keep the laptop in the car and cancel the cell card and get one of these. It's about time to replace my nearly 6 year old 12.1" powerbook.

And with a VNC app, I can't see why I can't remote in to my laptop or desktop with the thing. I can do it on my iPhone, should be better on the iPad.

Re:What is the purpose of the ipad? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070446)

It's a device to do everything an iphone does (except voice calls) with more screen real estate. if you use your iphone for a lot of stuff other than voice calls this will probably be pretty cool.

Wrong questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070160)

Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email? Does the iPad support VPN? Configuration management?

Why would these matter to soccer moms and other similar everyday people who are the main targets of this device?

You can already VPN on the iPod, so LIKELY yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070162)

Settings - General - Network - VPN - Add VPN Configuration

Or is that "not the VPN you are looking for" ?

Shouldn't we assume? (2, Informative)

Asadullah Ahmad (1608869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070180)

If they are not answering, doesn't this mean that most of those functions are not available?

On a side-note though, I am still not getting the point of iPad. It's not an iPhone but runs its OS and its too big and expensive to just be an audio/video player to say the least. Probably I was impressed by Hitler [youtube.com] , but still....

No. (0, Flamebait)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070542)

If they are not answering, doesn't this mean that most of those functions are not available?

Apple never answers questions like this. And when some of these questions are "will the iPad support features that the iPhone OS already supports", the obvious answer would be a facepalm anyway.

RIC, not FUD (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070182)

Alright, I just coined RIC (Real, Important Concerns). Fifteen seconds of blogosphere fame for me.

There are Macs in my house and I like 'em. I've been with OS X since 10.0.0. But the iPad is a big iPhone. If I wanted to enlarge a mobile phone to create a "netpad", I sure wouldn't pick the iPhone. A phone that runs Android would be more interesting to me.

I understand that Mr Jobs wants to build a new market by extending an established market. He's good at doing what he does -- but he makes mistakes. I think using the iPhone OS for the iPad is a mistake. Having a touch screen does not trump having full OS functionality.

For portability, functionality, inputs, interoperability, and even OS alternatives**, a netbook like the Dell Mini 10v beats the Apple iPad all i-silly.

**nudge nudge, wink wink

Re:RIC, not FUD (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070240)

But the iPad is a big iPhone.

I wish people would stop saying that.

It's not any type of phone, never mind an iPhone.

At best, it's an iTouch.

Re:RIC, not FUD (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070454)

Heh, i'd give it a couple months to fail before saying jobs made a mistake, maybe there's hordes of ravening fans dreaming of a slightly larger iphone.

Well I'll be... Could it be that the cry (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070194)

of "But the Emperor's wearing nothing at all!" comes not from a child, but from a member of the 4th estate?

Colour me shocked.

iPhone XL/iPod XL (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070196)

That's all I really see this as. There's something to be said for that, and I think this is the kind of device I'd be using while spending time in the bathroom (I use my Palm Pre there now, but if it had a larger screen, it'd be nice). But that's about it. Maybe it could replace the laptop while sitting in front of the TV, but not until everything that's flash based that I use (IE games on Facebook) was able to run on the iPad, one way or the other ...

strawman article (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070256)

Can the iPad display 8 questions in HTML without having to spread them across 6 pages festooned with advertisements? Perhaps the object of the author's criticism is a more efficient content delivery platform than his employer's website.

Seth

questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070268)

I think the question that ought to be asked is; Will the iPad firmware have holes in it, so it can be jailbroken and get Rock installed on it, to further allow 3rd party software to be installed? :]

The lack of FLASH is a PR-Stunt! (0, Troll)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070296)

Mark my words, Apple are renown for their PR-stunts.

By getting everyone upset, a simple thing like the obvious lack of Flash, which is severely needed for a proper Surfing Experience that the iPad is made for, this is nothing but a PR-STUNT, ingenious - I have to admit - because it'll make you and other RAVE on forever and critique iPad & Apple = Free publicity, and of course - shortly after iPad has been launched, Apple will timely announce that Flash is coming - after all, they have "listened" to their "audience".

Re:The lack of FLASH is a PR-Stunt! (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070356)

Mark my words, Apple are renown for their PR-stunts.

By getting everyone upset, a simple thing like the obvious lack of Flash, which is severely needed for a proper Surfing Experience that the iPad is made for, this is nothing but a PR-STUNT, ingenious - I have to admit - because it'll make you and other RAVE on forever and critique iPad & Apple = Free publicity, and of course - shortly after iPad has been launched, Apple will timely announce that Flash is coming - after all, they have "listened" to their "audience".

Your words have been marked.

My thinking, (and hellbloodanddamnation, I'm actually wasting cylces thinking about an Apple product), is that Flash was dropped because of the last six months of uncertainty surrounding Flash's nigh-impossible to address security vulnerabilities. Linux has done just fine without, and with HTML 5 on the way, I can see that Jobs & Friends were thinking that their new machine would cut a bold path toward a more secure internet experience by avoiding Flash. And what is Flash, anyway? Doesn't the iPhone SDK basically let you do all the same things Flash does but just more securely?

But then, if the sales of the iPad threaten to sag and potential customers complain loudly enough, then Apple might well scramble a Flash add-on into existence. And how hard can that be? How does a computer NOT support Flash anyway? It's just code.

But heck, you might as well mark MY words; They won't do it.

Great. Now I'm ALSO invested in the outcome of this idiotic product. Waste. Of. Time.

-FL

Re:The lack of FLASH is a PR-Stunt! (1)

mikechant (729173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070530)

Linux has done just fine without,

Huh? For about 95% of non-business Linux users, the one of the first things they do is install the flash plugin.

It's not a "serious" machine (-1, Troll)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070312)

Nearly all Apple gear can be classified as "optional" in life and more often it is simply extravagant. PCs and (I can't believe I am saying this) and Windows is "necessary" in contrast. Apple is built around some pretty interesting ideas and concepts, but the moment they place limits on things, they immediately stop their growth and development. The angry public has to throw burning iPods at Apple's buildings before they get the message.

Apple is most definitely a "take it or leave it" company when it comes to consumer relations and I'm surprised that some people are only now beginning to see it. They offer no business level warranty support on their computers and notebooks. That's a strong indication of how serious Apple is.

I wish Apple would change its ways before the larger consuming public sees Apple for what it is. It's not "exclusive" any more -- it's just limited.

When will the Hackintosh crowd get around to porting regular Mac OS X to the iPad? We all know it will happen.

Re:It's not a "serious" machine (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070410)

Or maybe they don't offer business-level support because their target market is consumers, not business? That's unlike most other computer companies (IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell, HP, ...), which primarily target business and leave the consumers as an afterthought.

Just imagine having a dialog box in Mac OS X or on an iPhone telling the user to "ask the system administrator" for something? That's very common on Windows, but totally unthinkable on an Apple device.

Re:It's not a "serious" machine (1)

brufleth (534234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070480)

Just imagine having a dialog box in Mac OS X or on an iPhone telling the user to "ask the system administrator" for something? That's very common on Windows, but totally unthinkable on an Apple device.

What? I use three different Microsoft OSes between work and home and I've never seen a dialogue box asking the user to "ask the system administrator."

Re:It's not a "serious" machine (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070486)

When did they go "full consumer" anyway? In some places they still have a monopoly on graphics design and print publishing. The reason I am so familiar with Apple in the first place is due to the fact that I spent some time at a local news paper where the production team was 100% Apple gear. But perhaps you're right... Apple doesn't care about business. It's just that business cared about Apple.

Re:It's not a "serious" machine (0, Flamebait)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070476)

So Windows is necessary but Mac OS X isn't? How do you come to that conclusion?

As for running Mac OS X on iPad... why? It might be fun to a few geeks but it's absolutely pointless for the average consumer, which is what the iPad is targeted at. Not sure if you've ever actually used a hackintosh, but they're a royal pain in the butt to maintain.

As for Apple being a "take it or leave it" kind of company, you're absolutely right. That's how Steve Jobs has always been and how he'll deal in the future as well. Until he leaves the company, that's how Apple will be. They're not going to change their ways, because what they're doing works perfectly well for them. As long as they keep making great products, I'll continue to buy them.

Apple gear isn't a good fit for most of the geeks on Slashdot and the like, but that should come as no surprise. The average consumer isn't a geek.

iPad = worse name ever (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070314)

it's even worse then the Wee. iPad, to be followed by iPeriod and iTampon, soon to a vag near you.

The people that think this bullshit up must not have any friends outside of their little development circle.

Re:iPad = worse name ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070406)

Yes because the Wii was obviously a huge flop.

Most important question (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070332)

Is it useful for something else than browsing the web from your bath tub?

Apple is god (2, Funny)

Funnnny (1409625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070338)

The only question.
Is it a Apple Product ? Yes then Buy.

Steve Norman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070346)

I think the question is, is Apple targetting this at the guy on the street or at technology nerds? And which group does 90% of the questions in this article relate to? VPN's, simulataneous running of 3rd party apps and SDK's are certainly not of interest to 90% of Apple's target audience.

Re:Steve Norman (1)

dushkin (965522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070438)

VPN's, simulataneous running of 3rd party apps and SDK's are certainly not of interest to 90% of Apple's target audience.

For THIS product, they certainly don't.

But that's not the most important question (5, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070348)

The most important question is "Has Apple found a niche for this product that other Tablet PC manufacturers have been unable to find?"

Re:But that's not the most important question (-1, Flamebait)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070528)

I guess we will find out, you know, when it actually goes on sale.

Until then, shut the fuck up.

Don't you apple bashers have some crayons to play with? Or windows to reinstall?

Bitter he's not at the party (4, Insightful)

aclarke (307017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070402)

It sounds to me a bit like the author of that article is a little miffed that he's been disintermediated. He mentioned several times about how Apple PR hasn't gotten back to him on this or that, therefore these features must be absent. He also mentions how Apple views the press as an extension of their marketing arm.

It all smells a little like sour grapes to me. Boo hoo Apple won't tell *ME*, a member of the PRESS, things that I want to know! Therefore they must be absent! Yeah, that'll shame Apple into talking to you. Way to push them around.

My own take, which is just about as informed as the writer's, is that the iPad will include the same Microsoft Exchange, VPN, multitasking, document saving & transferring, etc. etc. capabilities as the iPhone or iPod Touch. And why not? It's the same OS? The only place they're likely to differ is if the iPad doesn't include a camera.

I can't understand why Apple would REMOVE VPN functionality from the iPad when it's there already. I suppose they might ship without Exchange support as it's a new mail client, but if that is the case I'll expect it in a forthcoming new version, just like what happened with the original iPhone.

My one and only question. (3, Insightful)

nicknamenotavailable (1730990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070442)

Apple excels at creating beauty, in both hardware and software (BTW, I'm using an Imac right now). This iPad is no exception.
My only question is: Will I be able to put my own Operating System on it?

The old G3,G4,G5 macs were open enough so that I could load my own OS on them (sometimes BSD, sometimes Linux).
The same goes with the current Intel macs.
While I sometimes marvel at the beauty of OS X and how Apple has created a user friendly UNIX, I want more freedom.

Unless Apple is open enough to let us (the minority) play and tinker with the internals so that we can install an OS that
might be visually inferior(to most) but is philosophically superior, unless Apple can allow us to do this - I will never buy one.

I will patiently wait until the other players create a tablet that will run x86.

All the other stuff in the article is not much use to me, all I need is make; make install.

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