The emergence of the iPad as a commuting companion and world changer.

This morning I was on the train next to someone using the iPad to read articles, flip through magazines and view a short video clip. Now if he had copies of all those magazines and printouts of every page that he trawler through, he would have had a huge bag of stuff to carry around. Of course this is the primary function of the iPad. It is an e-reading tablet first and foremost. The web browsing seemed fast and responsive, but they may have been stored locally. Now I know everyone says ‘it is just a big iPhone that can’t make calls’ well yes, it is. But compare it to other e-Reading tablets in the market, do you want a monotone screen over a full colour one?Most competitors don’t even run a full colour screen let alone all the apps the iPad does. So you still complaining about lack of phonecalls? Skype announced an app that will work with the iPad. Only drawback is you need to have the app running all the time in case people try and call you.

However tempting it is to get one to use as a portfolio of my work, I am thinking I may wait until the second generation is out for improved battery life and the possibility of a camera included in the iPad. But if the numbers of take up of the unit are correct, the biggest purchasing market for the iPad is iPhone users. If you have an iPad or plan to have one, invariably you will have an iPhone. so really, if you view the numbers from a market perspective, people already have phone and camera functions in their iPhones negating the need for those functions in a tablet device. I know people would replace their iPhone if the iPad could make calls, but practicality wise it is easier to slip your phone in your pocket and answer calls unlike the tablet which would leave you carrying it around all day with you.

Maybe we will see the next device being strapped to our forearm in a Dick Tracy style video communicator watch. We have the technology, it is just how far will we allow it to change the world. Just look at computers. These are computing machines designed primarily to decrypt encoded messages. Which lead to business computing, personal computing, the internet, mobile computing and cloud computing. From there it is anyone’s guess!

I can easily see the iPad taking off and replacing the morning paper and magazines on the commute to and from work. Perhaps newsagents should be data points where you can cheaply download the papers or magazines on your way past to the train station. Free newspapers like the MX could be emailed or wirelessly broadcast at the main train stations daily negating the need for printing.

I already see a lot of people Reading books and articles on their iPhones, (I am one of them too) and the reduction in eye strain and having an easier read would be a big selling point.

It is just that you will need a bag to carry it with you, unless the next handbag/manbag craze is the iPad case.

If the way we read changes due to the iPad, we will see a major shift away from printing and into the all digital sphere. Which will be great for pollution and waste material. True there will be waste from packaging and manufacture, but does it equal the amount it saves? You tell me…