After all this fanfare about Apple coming out with a Tablet, we now find out that they didn’t. The iPad is an appropriate name, but to call it a tablet is inaccurate. What makes a Tablet is not just a touch screen, but the ability to do handwriting recognition. One should be able to write on the screen with a stylus. However, the Apple iPad does not have any handwriting recognition. None, Zip, Zero, Zilch, Nada. What this means is that the iPad is actually a netbook without the keyboard. How very disappointing.
It is true that the iPad does have multi-touch, but that is not the same thing. Okay, so you can tap on the screen to open files, navigate, and resize pictures. But the majority of people anticipating the release of the iPad have been looking forward to taking the iPad into a conference room and writing notes on it and saving it as a file. Students have envisioned taking it to class and keeping all their notes from their classes on one device instead of having different spiral bound notebooks for each different class. Business owners and Managers have been waiting to open a contract on it, write notes in the margins, save it, then forward it to the other decision makers that need to see it. Travelers have been anticipating being able to receive a form or agreement that they have been waiting on via email, open it, sign it on the screen, save it, then email it back to the sender.
Now none of this is possible. There have been a couple rumors that people will develop an app for that. But seriously? C’mon Apple. That’s like making a smartphone that doesn’t make phone calls and telling the user base that someone will make an app for that.
This is a serious faux pas on Apple’s part. They could have taken the Tablet market by storm. Instead they will take the netbook market by a little windy. A major letdown for many would-be customers. I personally own a Tablet PC. It’s the convertible kind (the screen swivels and folds down), and yes…it does handwriting recognition. However, I had just about convinced myself to get an iPad to replace my Tablet PC which is a few years old. But now, I’m asking myself, “Why?” The iPad is cool, it’s new, it’s shiny, but it doesn’t do what a Tablet does. So it would really be like a netbook without a keyboard, and with a touchscreen.
One group of consumers that will enjoy it are those who have been trying to decide on an e-reader. The iPad will support e-books, and the one advantage that it has over current e-readers is that it does it in color. That’s nice. But at a price tag of $500 to $829, depending on features and storage space, it becomes a pretty expensive e-reader.
Don’t get me wrong, it has some nice functionality like automatic re-orientation, but not putting in the handwriting recognition is a huge market mistake. The blogosphere already has many people saying that they will not buy it until they see the handwriting app.