In the 10th year of the iPad in my tech life, I think it’s time to ponder how it has changed me. And where it may be going in the next 10 years.
My first conventional, personal computer, if I don’t count all those Hewlett Packard calculators I had, was an Integer BASIC Apple II. I didn’t have it long before I added the Applesoft BASIC card, and then things really started to happen. That, of course, led me onwards to the Mac.
Meanwhile, at work, I was using Sun and SGI UNIX workstations. So I’ve always been a desktop (and notebook) computer kind of guy. (You may have noticed over the years.)
Despite stumbles like that, and many other snafus over the years, I’ve enjoyed many different iPads as I’ve continuously updated. Currently I have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and an iPad mini 5. The iPad mini resides on my night stand and is used for bedtime reading (Kindle), news, and the weather forecast.
What I love most about these iPads is the immediacy of the information. Open the
cover, Touch ID, tap an icon, and voila! Instant results. It’s like the difference between getting up from a work cubicle, wandering down the hall to find a window into the sky and just … having a window in your own office. The immediacy is palpable.
Another thing I like is being able to use an iPad in my lap while watching TV. It can really fill in the blanks for an information junkie like me. (I admit being a slave to IMDB on the iPad. Mac, not so much.) So. iPad Pro on the coffee table.
My wife’s iPad Pro resides mostly on a stand on the kitchen table where it’s available for news while eating. (Admittedly, not so much fun as I write this.)
Right Now, Please
The theme here is immediacy. I don’t have to go to a special place, my work desk, to get information. It’s all around me, in every room. (But, no, I don’t read email in the bathroom.) I think that kind of right-now experience may be what Apple may be driving towards. That is, long before we see 21-inch iPads, a pain (and dangerous) to lug around, AR glasses will provide that immediacy-of-information effect.
Today, the iPad, as an evolving visual experience, is like the 1957 21-inch RCA color TV. The display, in all its glory, is the thing, but as technology advances, the display becomes richer, more portable, more immediate. Culminating in today’s iPhone for many.
They may seem like strange bedfellows, but the iPads of today are preparing us for a rich AR experience five or 10 years from now. I can’t wait to have my TMO workspace hanging in the air before me as I dictate my article from my recliner.
The natural evolution of the iPad as a portable, immediate info display, abstracted and floating in space, will have been achieved.