I wrote an initial piece on how the iPad can be used by Photographers here – https://photofocus.com/2010/01/27/what-the-apple-tablet-will-mean-to-photographers/
As expected, the usual cast of Windows fanboys, link-baiters, Apple haters, etc., jumped up screaming about all the things the iPad WON’T do. They talked about all the features it DIDN’T have. And that’s exactly the wrong approach. People NEVER, EVER buy anything because of what it WON’T do – they buy because of what it WILL do. They don’t buy it because of what it DOESN’T HAVE – they buy it because of what it DOES have. If the iPad spit gold bars at its owners and cured cancers, then there’d still be the contingent of haters who would bash it. Don’t let that detour you from checking it out.
I’ve looked at the same feature list as everyone else. No the iPad doesn’t have a web cam or a video cam or any kind of cam. It doesn’t support Adobe Flash. It doesn’t have a removable battery or hard disk or CD/DVD player. You can buy a laptop if you want all that.
I get a real chuckle out of people who say you can’t use the iPad to show off your portfolio because it doesn’t run Flash. P L E A S E! Apple will ship the iPad with a wonderful photo viewer and you can bet your last piece of pizza that there will be LOTS of photo slide players, etc., written for the iPad by third-party developers. Showing pics on an iPhone has landed me more than two dozen jobs. I have no doubt that showing pics using the same OS on a larger, brighter screen will be just fine.
Back to what the iPad won’t do? The iPad won’t make you a linear algebra expert just because you own it. It won’t make you two feet taller either. If you’re bald when you buy an iPad, you’ll be bald afterwards too. But what it will do is give you a chance to do all sorts of things that make your photography more valuable and enjoyable. And that is what people should concentrate on.
I was fully prepared to buy one of these just for the heck of it no matter what. I admit that. But when I saw an entry-level price of less than $500 and the iBook store, I realized, the iPad wasn’t just going to be a tool for the well-heeled technology junkie. This thing is going to have legs.
If Apple opens up the iBook store to self-publishers, all the photographers who think their book should be published will have a chance to go out there and build an audience and sell a book. Imagine the pictures we might see that wouldn’t be profitable for a big book publishing company to publish, but may be very realistically self-published via the iBook store! Or perhaps we’ll find the next Photoshop guru! Just as podcasts democratized radio, the iBook store could democratize publishing. I felt like the Kindle was a very good first step in this direction and at one time thought that it might be a way for photographers to self-publish. But the Kindle looks like it’s in trouble to me now. Apple does things like the iTunes, App and now iBook stores better than anyone else. Millions of people will already be familiar with how to use the iPad when it ships. This could mean that an unknown photographer could sell thousands of iBooks without the need for a publisher and do as well or better financially. It’s very exciting.
The iPad is available at a price which costs less than my first iPhone. That is exceptional. As I said yesterday, it’s still early. We have to see if the performance matches the hype. But if it does, this could be the first step to changing everything. I am sure we’ll see future iterations. It’s unlikely the first iPad will be the end. Just as the iPhone has evolved and will continue to evolve, so will the iPad. And I predict that just as the iPhone became the fastest selling smart phone ever, so will the iPad become the fastest selling tablet ever.
One last thought – most of the people bashing the iPad are people who really want a laptop. Well buy a laptop. The beauty of Apple is that they are good at figuring out how to put a device into your hands that works well, right out of the box. The simplicty of the iPad will help it win the day.