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iPad: Your thoughts?

posted by Chyron8472 on - last edited - Viewed by 561 users

I know it's not out yet, but family was having a discussion about it last week.

From what I've read, the starting price for the iPad is [edit]$500, which doesn't include 3G cell capability. For that, it costs $150 more ($650 total,)[/edit] for the device and $15/month for service. You don't use the 3G for a phone, but rather for access to the net.
....

First, let me comment about how people are talking about the iPad vs. Kindle. My wife and I have a Kindle, and let me tell you that it's much more like reading a book than staring at a computer. That means that you can read for hours and not get eyestrain. With that in mind, I think the iPad would be a bad ebook reader because staring at your iPhone/iPod Touch for hours would give you a headache, I would think. Not to mention the Kindle's battery life lasts for days and weeks, not hours.


Second, it's no more than a giant iPod Touch with 3G access. That's all. It's like a tablet PC with the iPhone OS. Why would any current iPhone/iPod user buy one?


...My Dad says that he thinks it's going to be a big flop. What do you all think?

106 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Well, I don't get why so many people have cellphones to begin with, so I'm certainly not going to understand why the have iPhones specifically.

    But... I don't know, they should be allowed to spend their money the way they want. I wouldn't mind if they bought something cheaper and gave me the difference, but it's not going to keep me up at night that they don't :P

    As long as they don't try nagging me about how I should get one, of course.

    (I don't know anyone with an iPhone. My parents wanted to get me one when it first came out, though, but I told them I certainly didn't see why I'd ever want one and they didn't insist.)

  • @avistew said: Well, I don't get why so many people have cellphones to begin with, so I'm certainly not going to understand why the have iPhones specifically.


    Oh, I don't understand why anyone has land line phones anymore. Why would you?

    When you call a conventional, wall telephone, you are being connected to a place. Generally a house, with multiple people living in it. When you call a cellphone, you are contacting a person. Voicemails can be more personal, you can send text messages, and the person can be contacted even if they're not home. If you have a cellphone, you get the benefit of never being "out of contact" with the world if you don't want to be.

    Anyway, I can see the appeal of the iPhone on top of normal cellphones. Web browsing is a breeze on the thing, it has a large application library which, with the benefit of 3G coverage, brings a lot of net-enabled applications anywhere you go. It's all about the size of the thing: the iPhone can fit a lot of connectivity in your pocket and allow you to access it anywhere you go.

    It's slick and cool. I just hate what they're doing on principle. Also, it costs a lot of money.

  • @Rather Dashing said: Oh, I don't understand why anyone has land line phones anymore. Why would you?

    When you call a conventional, wall telephone, you are being connected to a place. Generally a house, with multiple people living in it. When you call a cellphone, you are contacting a person.



    It's much, much cheaper, especially since to match your second point, we'd need to own two cellphones.
    And I don't see the point of paying more for something I wouldn't use. Emails and chatrooms work fine for communicating with people, and at least you know that when they read it it's because they want to.
    With phones you just disturb whatever it is they were doing at the time. Honestly, I'd do without phones at all if I could, but you need a number for so many things, we have to have a phone of some type.

    (Also, in France cellphones have different numbers than house phones do, and most things require a home phone-type number, so if you have a cellphone it's not instead but on top of.)

    I get the "personal" thing though. I used to have a cellphone: when I lived with my parents and didn't have my own Internet. I lost all need for one when I moved on my own though. Especially in Paris with all the phone booths in case I needed to call from outside (which happened twice in three years, both times a 30s conversation).

    Here, I just don't go out enough for it to be relevant, and why my husband is out he's at work, so I can call his work phone.

  • I used to get by just fine without a cell phone. Then I went on to college and it became an essential part of life for communicating with my family and friends. But still, I got along just fine without text messaging. Then two years later, we upgraded our phones and, at my sister's insistence, had texting added to our plan. Now, I would be very much out of the loop with my friends without it.

    What I'm getting at here is that it's a lot easier to feel that you don't need something when you don't have it, but once you've got it, it can feel much more essential.

    Another example is the iPod. In high school, I thought it might be cool to have an MP3 player, but I knew iPods were horrendously expensive and I was getting by just fine with this CD player I had. I'd gotten it for the price of headphones, having found it on the ground one day, and it played MP3 discs, so I was happy with it. Then my parents bought me an iPod as a graduation present. I have to say, knowing how miserable the interface is in OSX and especially in iTunes, it's amazing to me that this product came from Apple. It handles my music, videos, and photos with a very easy to use interface.

    Before I had one, I couldn't justify the price, but owning one, I've realized two things. One: It's a very nice little device. Two: The price of the iPod Classic is much easier for me to justify when I realize that the thing is basically a portable external hard drive with a music player attached to it. Portable hard drives are expensive, so given the cost of the iPod and how much file space it has on it, I don't feel nearly so bad about the price.

  • @avistew said: It's much, much cheaper, especially since to match your second point, we'd need to own two cellphones.


    Well, each person would need one, anyway. And they're so prolific now, at least in the states.

    Also, "Cheaper" isn't always true. I run my cellphone off pre-paid cards. After the initial investment for the phone itself(because it wasn't subsidized by a contract), I ended up paying not too much per month at all, because I only pay for my outgoing calls.

    For a home phone solution, I use Skype. I talk to my family and a lot of my friends through Skype-to-Skype calls. My computer is my landline, so my cellphone is there for when I need to get in contact with someone and I'm not at home.

    And I don't see the point of paying more for something I wouldn't use. Emails and chatrooms work fine for communicating with people, and at least you know that when they read it it's because they want to.
    With phones you just disturb whatever it is they were doing at the time.
    Commonly, if you don't want to receive messages, you silence the phone. If the phone's on and set to notify the person(via vibrate or ring), it's because they're out but open for communication.

    Honestly, I'd do without phones at all if I could, but you need a number for so many things, we have to have a phone of some type.
    I always put my cell number.

    (Also, in France cellphones have different numbers than house phones do, and most things require a home phone-type number, so if you have a cellphone it's not instead but on top of.)
    ....yeah, I'd hate that.


    @avistew said: Before I had one, I couldn't justify the price, but owning one, I've realized two things. One: It's a very nice little device. Two: The price of the iPod Classic is much easier for me to justify when I realize that the thing is basically a portable external hard drive with a music player attached to it. Portable hard drives are expensive, so given the cost of the iPod and how much file space it has on it, I don't feel nearly so bad about the price.
    Eh, I'm happy with my generic player. If I wanted to spend iPod-level cash on something, it'd probably be the nook or the Kindle, because I read a lot more than I listen to music, and those two devices just don't have "equally good" generic alternatives.

  • @GuruGuru214 said: What I'm getting at here is that it's a lot easier to feel that you don't need something when you don't have it, but once you've got it, it can feel much more essential.



    I agree. But I personally see that as "fake needs". Or "created needs" if you will. Things you could live fine without, that are nice to have but can make you think "how could I live without it?". That's pretty common in our society.

    I had a cellphone for 5 years, I know how useful they can be. I also know I don't need one. And yes, owning one for these five years caused me to create a lifestyle for myself that made it necessary to have one. "I couldn't live without a cellphone because, what if someone wants to call me while I'm out?"
    Well, they can call me at home and leave a message if it's important, and if it's not important I haven't missed anything.
    I'm much happier without a cellphone than I ever was with one.

    @GuruGuru214 said: I ended up paying not too much per month at all, because I only pay for my outgoing calls.

    That would make it free for me. Which also means that there really isn't a point of buying one to begin with.

    @GuruGuru214 said: For a home phone solution, I use Skype. I talk to my family and a lot of my friends through Skype-to-Skype calls.

    I would definitely rather do that and not have a landline, but things tend to require a phone number. Maybe I should check it out in case it's an option. Then I could do without a landline, too.

    @GuruGuru214 said: my cellphone is there for when I need to get in contact with someone and I'm not at home.

    Doesn't happen to me. Honestly when I think about it, most of the reasons that would cause me to go out would also cause me to have to turn my phone off out of politeness. Theatre, restaurant... And wherever I am, if I need to place a call, they'll have a phone. But I've never had to ask for that before. And why would I? Everything can wait until I'm back home. Although I'm going to be honest with you, the only person I call from my home is my husband when he's at work, and even that is rare.

    @GuruGuru214 said: Commonly, if you don't want to receive messages, you silence the phone. If the phone's on and set to notify the person(via vibrate or ring), it's because they're out but open for communication.

    Thanks, I'm aware how they work :p I had one for five years. But I don't see the point in getting something that would either be off or that I would use while I'm at home.

    Honestly, I can't think of a single time in my whole life that a phone call didn't disturb me. I find phones rude, annoying and stressful. I'd much rather check my emails whenever I personally want to.
    I'd do the same with a cellphone: keep it off except to check for messages. So it would feel wasteful to even have one. As for text messages, who to send them to? All of my friends live in another continent and I don't know anyone here with a cellphone.

    I might use a cellphone if it was a gift and I didn't spend money every month on it. Then I'd only have it to be called on, as a number. But even then, I don't think it would be worth the electricity it would cost to keep it charged.

  • You strike me as an unusual sort of person in terms of how you interact (or don't) with other people. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Overall, this age of being constantly available for contact is pretty okay with me, but there are times when I don't really want to talk to people, so I can see how the lack of cell phone might appeal to you.

    Another thing about my cell phone is that my mother has some trouble with her health. My bedroom is in the basement and hard to yell down to, and she'll often call my cell phone when she needs help with something. Also, on Thursday, I went with her to the hospital for a blood transfusion (her red blood cell count was low, so her doctor ordered one). Upon our arrival, the doctor that saw her decided that he wanted to do a couple examination procedures on her and that she would have to be admitted overnight. I was at the hospital from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM, following her around all over the place. My cell phone was invaluable as people were trying to get in touch all day to find out what was happening, as I bounced all over the hospital.

  • I'm not saying cellphones are never useful, nor that I'll never have one again. I just feel I don't need one with my current situation and lifestyle, so I'm not getting one.
    I tend to be annoyed with how people get things they say they "need", then complain they cost too much, when they often don't even need them in the first place.

    Right now the people I know where I live are my husband and his family. I live with my husband, and I can do without calling his family constantly :P
    My friends are either living in France, which means I'd need an international type of plan to talk to them (and need to take the time difference into account), or people I met online. In both cases, communicating through instant messaging or emails makes much more sense to me.

    I also haven't quite recovered from having a cellphone. The advantage is that people can reach you wherever you are. The problem is that people can reach you wherever you are. And leaving the phone off tends to result in people complaining that you're leaving your phone off.
    It was nice in many ways, but in other it felt like a prison. If I decided to just take a walk and not bring it with me, I'd have messages complaining that I didn't have the phone with me.
    Now people don't complain that I don't have a cellphone. They did at first and quickly adapted to it. Well, now I live in Canada anyways, but even when I was in France.

    We ended up planning things a bit more, instead of saying "let's meet around such place" and then calling each other to find each other, we'd give a clear meeting spot and time. Things like that. But all in all, I preferred it greatly because before it ended up too often with people calling while I was already on my way and canceling on me or something. Not having a cellphone forced people to be more reliable, only say they'd meet me if they actually wanted to, and only cancel earlier than at the last minute.

    I often joke that I'll get a cellphone when I have a lover so that I can talk to him without my husband risking picking up the phone.
    I think what I mean is that I can see how a cellphone can bring you some independence. However it can also bring you a lot of dependence, I feel. I enjoyed a lot of things about having one, but there are also lots of things that improved after I got rid of it.

    Either way, if I get one again, I'll have to try hard to find a simple one. I don't like all the "has a camera and a mp3 player and lots of other options" ones. I want something simple. I'd want a phone that's ONLY a phone.
    Okay, it can give time too, but that's it.

  • I didn't mean to imply that you were saying they were never useful, and I certainly get how your lifestyle pretty much renders a cell phone useless to you right now. However, if you ever go back to having one, I think you'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't have some sort of camera built in. It seems to be pretty much a standard thing these days, at least on all the phones I've seen lately. And it's nice to have every once in a while, but still, I rarely use mine. With no flash and such low resolution, it's not like I can really use it for any sort of decent pictures.

  • @Rather Dashing said: It's really amazing how anti-develoer, anti-consumer, and just plain anti-good Apple can be.


    A good comparison I've seen lately was Apple is now behaving like mid-90s Microsoft.

    Truth be told, I even own an iPod (and plan on buying a 160GB Classic, since it's the only device of that size on the market) and rather like it's interface, but I hate hate hate the infrastructure Apple makes you put up with to use it with Windows (iTunes? QuickTime? Submarine Safari install? Puhleeeze!).

    Luckily, you don't have to use any of the above to fill an iPod since there's a plugin for my Windows audio media playing application of choice that cuts out the dependency on the abovementioned Apple bloatware.

    So while I really only expect my iPod to play music - I've never even used it to watch video - as a software developer I can't help but be majorly miffed at Apples lock-in tactics with regards to their other "appliances" *spit*...

    (Hello Apple? A 1 GHz CPU + 256MB RAM + 64GB flash is more than my last home server had, and that certainly wasn't an "appliance". Go stick your marketroidal "funny definitions for hardware" where the sun yadda yadda yadda...)

    And for the record - I don't have a cell phone either (and never had one, though I still have a Palm Pilot as an organizer), but if I had to get one it'd either be a Nokia Maemo based device or an Android-based device...

    Oh yeah, another thing - Apple calls it's iPad a "tablet" and then it doesn't even have a stylus with pressure sensitivity, like, oh, each and every other tablet on the market? Do they even realize how great that thing would have been for drawing?

    np: Autechre - Foil (Amber)

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