iPad influencing the tablet market

Steve-Jobs-and-iPadMy first thought on seeing this image today was “wow… Steve Jobs looks really small now behind his big iPhone”. Fortunately, this isn’t a case of Steve shrinking, it’s the mobile computer that got bigger.

I believe there is a lot of potential for the Apple tablet and I’m excited to write software for it. I was a little bit disappointed with the realization that it is also a closed device… one that can only run applications that Apple has approved and which is subject to arbitrary limits. Will OS4 allow for running more than one app at a time? iPad will push that point forward I think. While Steve made it clear this wasn’t just a shrunk down laptop, there are some things I’d miss from my laptop, like writing software and producing (not just consuming) media.

I’m glad to see Apple setting the bar for thin, long bettery life, and multitouch screen. I wish there had been a camera, full USB host (without clunky adapter) and a full GPS in all models. Perhaps this is where the devices from other vendors will try to differentiate themselves. Apple might also be planning to put these things in follow-on hardware releases, a common Apple tactic.

The Android tablet rumors and prototypes I’ve seen so far have not been extremely impressive, but fortunately Apple’s design will influence them. I expect the sleekest machines will use the Tegra 2, probably the best CPU out there to compete with Apple A4 on quickness and power efficiency.

I’ve just about finished downloading the 3.2 SDK beta. It will be great to see a simulator for iPad and be able to write something that uses a huge touchscreen. I’ll write more about this as we dig and learn more about the possibilities.