Is That All There Is? Here’s What’s Missing from the iPad

by Matt Klassen on February 12, 2010

Okay, okay. So perhaps my initial glowing and effusive praise of the iPad was a little overboard, maybe I was swept up in the happy-go-lucky warm feelings that seem to be generated by every Apple unveiling, I don’t know.

Whatever the case, for days afterwards I was inundated with mail from disgruntled and angry technophiles demanding that I explain myself; how could I claim that the iPad is innovative? How could I state that it’s affordable? But now that we’ve all had a chance to calm down, and the tech world has all but forgotten about the iPad until the first ones start to fly off the shelves, here’s some insights into the other side; a short list of what’s wrong with the iPad.

No Multitasking

My own disappointment with the iPad really begins and ends with the exclusion of multitasking. Touted as a replacement for the netbook, I have to wonder how Apple hopes it will do this if I can’t run two programs simultaneously. I simply can’t believe that I won’t be able to listen to music while I write a document, or I won’t be able to have my email open along with business sites. It simply doesn’t make sense. I can only think that in subsequent generations of this device that Apple will certainly address this issue.

No Flash

While the lack of Flash capability on the iPhone or iPod Touch has turned out to be a relatively minor inconvenience, for a device that is supposed to replace the laptop/netbook it will be a colossal disadvantage. With many Internet sites depending on Flash to run streaming video, the internet experience offered by the iPad will leave huge, gaping holes. Or, maybe Internet users will suddenly stop wanting to view streaming videos…. 

No Camera…yet

While I personally can’t imagine holding this device up to take a picture or angling it correctly to be able to function as a webcam, there are many that are certainly dismayed that such a common extra in modern tech devices is excluded here. There is already a great deal of speculation, however, that an external camera will be readily available at the time of the iPad release. 

Closed Software System

One of the great things about the Apple iPod is that it can run multiple types of music files from multiple sources, no such convenience is available on the iPad. Apple’s new device will only run apps from the App Store, the same store that bans a wide variety of popular apps for no apparent reason. Sure netbooks might not look as nice as the iPad, but at least you can install any software you want.

While I may avoid purchasing the first generation of iPads that become available, I can see Apple addressing these issues quickly and efficiently in subsequent editions. But as many people continue to think that the iPad will be a colossal failure, does anyone remember how well the iPod was originally received back in 2001? Let me refresh your memory. The first generation was met with insults and skepticism, as many thought that iPod would never catch on due to its price and limited functionality. So maybe let’s hold off on dooming the iPad to technological purgatory until we see what future generations of this device will bring.

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