The sun slowly brightens the darken runway as passengers slowly filter in. The warm blanket of silence is pulled as chatter of small talk sends ripples throughout the once dormant terminal. It is still two hours before my next flight and though the day is starting for many, I am the few that expects the day to end. My only companion on this lonely trip is my new best friend. A device with a shiny glass surface that screams with potential but brightens my face with a warm expression of “now what?”
It is going now two weeks with the iPad and I am not necessarily floored with the slate but rather starting to understand how this class of device will change the way we think about content consumption and more importantly content creation. It was my primary device for the NMC 2010 conference in California though fearfully my Macbook tagged along. During the conference, the iPad dutifully performed all task I asked of it. It provided a medium for note capturing through audionote. It broadcast my thoughts through tweetdeck and allowed me to stay current with my email through mobile safari. Even now it is allowing me to update my blog with this post. I would have been pleased except for the fact my iPhone had to jump in when two tasks were demanded at the same time (audionote and tweetdeck). Some would argue that this is the reason why the iPad will fail. I would agree except truthfully, why should I be multitasking for discussion? If I needed to do more than one data entry task, I am on the wrong class of device. The iPad is a sleek piece of glass where the expectation is to bask in it’s ability to consume forms of rich media in a linear fashion. What is not completely understood is the potential of the device in capturing creative thought. Ruben Puentedura states that the tablet must not be perceived as a laptop replacement but rather a paper notebook for capturing inspiration, something I discussed and agree with on this blog in the past. This follows nicely to the expectation of each mobile class. A smartphone is for immediacy of pertinent information, a laptop is a movable desktop and the tablet is for inspired capture. I heard somewhere that mobile should not be an extension of an experience but rather the experience. In other words the iPad is not a laptop alternative but rather a new method of creative thought. Is iPad there? Nope. But there is glimmer of possibilities if you blur your vision and see what it may become.
The chatter is now a gentle roar as boarding time is now close. It has been an interesting two weeks with my iPad and I must admit, I am looking forward to keeping this little guy by my side in much the same way I always carry my camera. As I desperately seek moments of inspiration, I now have the appropriate devices for capture. Good morning to many of you and I hope graces are return as you wish me a good night in my desperate struggle for a good night’s rest.