Apple answered a lot of questions Wednesday about its fabled tablet,
now known as the iPad. We know it has a 9.7-inch screen, weighs 1.5
pounds, has Wi-Fi with a 3G option, and Apple claims it has up to 10
hours of battery life. The iPad runs the iPhone OS and "almost all"
iPhone apps and uses the ePub format for books. We know a lot about
this device, but there are still so many unanswered questions, not to
mention a few mysteries, to keep you guessing:
Ten hours of battery life, Really?
Apple is claiming you can watch 10 hours of video on the iPad
and that the device can sit in standby mode for one month on one
charge. Don't believe the hype, folks. Computer makers love to
exaggerate battery life claims, and Apple is no exception. So don't
take this one to the bank until PC World's test center checks out the
iPad's battery life.
Mobile Me, why no cloud syncing?
What about Mobile Me, Apple's cloud syncing app for your contacts,
email and calendars? Apple says you will be able to sync the iPad with
your Mac or PC through the iPad's 30-pin connector, but why no cloud syncing
Apple has had trouble in the past with Mobile Me, so perhaps the
company is not ready to bring the iPad into the mix just yet. But
you've got to assume this is coming — unless Apple plans on killing the
Mobile Me service, that is.
"Almost all" iPhone apps?
CEO Steve Jobs said the iPad works with "almost all" iPhone apps you
can find in the App Store. So which iPhone apps won't work with the
Magazines on the iPad?
saw The New York Times on the iPad, but what about all that talk we
heard about new magazine formats? GQ is experimenting with iPhone apps;
will other publishers follow suit, or is there something else in the
pipeline for magazines on the iPad?
World spent the summer testing 3G connections across the U.S., and
AT&T achieved some of the lowest reliability scores compared with
Verizon and Sprint. AT&T has a bad reputation when it comes to
delivering data to the iPhone, and yet, Apple is relying on this
carrier for another data-intensive device. The unlimited data plan
pricing is pretty good at $30 per month, but can AT&T's network
handle the iPad?
How much for those accessories?
has yet to release pricing on the iPad's accessories like the keyboard
dock, iPad case and camera connector. The keyboard dock is especially
important, since its price may be a deciding factor for people who want
to travel with the iPad instead of a netbook.
Is the iPad a threat to netbooks?
can buy an external keyboard (price unknown), and the price for the
iPad is right at $499. You can buy iWork, a suite of productivity apps
for the device, so why not replace a netbook with the iPad? One concern
might be Microsoft Office compatibility, but the standard version of
iWork allows you to save files as Office documents, and presumably
iWork on the iPad will do the same thing. Of course, most netbooks come
with Webcams for video conferencing, and the iPad, well...
Why no Webcam?
can put a Webcam in something as thin as the MacBook Air, but not the
iPad? Are you kidding me? This is another big miss, to my mind. I have
to wonder if the addition of 3G connectivity prevented Apple from even
considering a Webcam. The telecoms probably wouldn't be too happy to
see people using Google video chat and Skype across 3G connections on
the iPad. What other reason could there be for not having a Webcam? Was
Apple afraid a Webcam-enabled iPad would cannibalize the 13-inch
Macbook? Not likely, but you never know.
How comfortable is the typing?
If you look at the iPad promotional video
you'll notice the user doesn't let his non-typing fingers rest on the
keyboard. That means the onscreen keyboard probably won't be very
comfortable to use for long periods of time. Again, the unknown price
of the iPad's keyboard dock could be a big factor in how well this
Having more than one program open at a time?
iPad brings the issue of background processes up again. Having more
than one program open at a time is important, especially if you are
going to run Pages, iWork's word processor, and need to refer to the
Web while you're working. Will the next version of the iPhone OS solve
this problem, at least for iPad users?
are other questions that need to be answered, such as whether or not
the iPhone will be able to read iBooks. Will Apple try to ban the
Kindle app from the iPad? Also, will the iBookstore be a part of iTunes
or something that is accessible only from the iPad?
Recommended iPad resources:
DVD to iPad
iPad video converter
DVD to iPad Converter for Mac
iPad video converter for Mac