back to article Queuing for an iPad? Why?

As the UK braces itself for tomorrow's iPad launch, one might wonder what the device is good for beyond providing entertainment during today's lacklustre TV shows. This evening the queues will start forming as fans chomp at the bit for the latest Apple bling. Tomorrow's news will no doubt be full of happy Apple customers being …

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p.s. I have tried an ipad

we have a number in our office, as we have fanbois and also have an iPhone app. I even have an iPod Touch (2nd gen) on my desk which employer loaned me for testing said app.

I am sure there are people who can make good use of the ipad but there are precious few times when a real laptop wouldn't be better or so much less convenient.

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One month on

I've been playing with my iPad for about a month now, ever since I was stuck in Las Vegas because of the volcano and needed something to pass the time, so here's my perspective on the kind of people it's aimed at based on people's reactions when they use it.

First off, its primary market is NOT geeks and gadget freaks, neither Apple fanbois, nor Linux/open source fanbois, nor Windows fanbois. Sure, they'll play with it a few minutes and rightly point out all the things it doesn't do (and isn't meant to do). Same with me. I don't use it heavily at all, and for most things I stick to my main laptop. If I wasn't actively considering writing apps for it I might not even have bought a first generation model at all.

The sort of people who just love it, and would go out in a flash (no pun intended) and buy one tomorrow if they can afford one (and might anyway, even if they can't) are:

- My mum, who always liked the thought of getting an iPod or iPhone but doesn't want a contract and already has a phone and for whom the screen is a bit small anyway. She absolutely adored the iPad, and spent hours just playing with Google Maps and Streetview and looking at photos.

- The four year old daughter of some friends who were visiting, who was bored because it was raining outside but then spent a delighted hour watching Winnie-the-Pooh videos on YouTube and playing a few free games. She had no problems at all learning how to use an iPad.

- My cleaner and her friend, who loved using it to look at some cute photos of my cat and checking their Facebook pages.

- The professional couple next door, who both have PC laptops and Blackberries for work but aren't really into technology at all and never realised that a gadget could be such good fun.

Sure, the people queuing on Friday will mainly be Apple fanbois, but the appeal of the iPad is far broader than that and they will undoubtedly be in very short supply over the coming months as all sorts of normal people learn about them and buy them, not because they're stupid or have more money than sense or because they're trying to impress their friends but because they decide the iPad is shiny and fun and they want one.

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Nev
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So then Apple should market the iPad as...

... "the gadget for people who get bored in Vegas!" ?

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Title goes here

>>- The four year old daughter of some friends who were visiting, who was bored because it was raining outside but then spent a delighted hour watching Winnie-the-Pooh videos on YouTube and playing a few free games. She had no problems at all learning how to use an iPad.<<

Yes, because a £450 device just screams 4 year old plaything. Not like, I dunno a £200 NDS with a CycoDS or PSP device? Both can browse the internet, both can play movies, both play games.. and I daresay a 4 year old won't have any trouble using them.

>>My cleaner and her friend, who loved using it to look at some cute photos of my cat and checking their Facebook pages.<<

Yes, there's definitely no other device that can do the same (or, dear me, more) for less money. You couldn't, for example, do that with an iPhone or a blackberry, or an Android device.. or heck even a netbook.

>>Sure, the people queuing on Friday will mainly be Apple fanbois, but the appeal of the iPad is far broader than that and they will undoubtedly be in very short supply over the coming months as all sorts of normal people learn about them and buy them, not because they're stupid or have more money than sense or because they're trying to impress their friends but because they decide the iPad is shiny and fun and they want one.<<

Yeah, ok. If you say so...

Oh. And yeah I've played about with one already for a decent time; given that I'm in the US often I had one in my hands before a lot of the "pro" ipad users here. Nothing screams out as being better than a netbook; or heck even an iPhone.

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@the good doctor whoosh

>It may be that it is a computer for people who aren't that into computers.

A very fair comment, unfortunately you could translate that into 'Fascism, a system that is for people who aren't that into voting'

Ok its a flippant comment but ' It Just Works' invariably comes with a price, one which some people aren't prepared to pay. Jobs made a portable computer that 'just works' and Mussolini made trains that ran on time. Can't quite see Jobs hanging from a lampost anytime soon tho :D

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Yet...

For all my own complaints about the iPo/ad (surprisingly enough the inability to watch videos on Cracked finally drove me off the damn thing) at least nobody is forcing people to buy them and removing access to any other sort of computer device.

Yet.

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Happy

Trains on time

Ref Graham Lockley

You really should pay attention to QI more, for example:

"The Italian railway system had fallen into a rather sad state during World War I, and it did improve a good deal during the 1920s, but Mussolini was disingenuous in taking credit for the changes: much of the repair work had been performed before Mussolini and the fascists came to power in 1922. More importantly (to the claim at hand), those who actually lived in Italy during the Mussolini era have borne testimony that the Italian railway's legendary adherence to timetables was far more myth than reality."

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Headmaster

Trains

I think the comment made on QI is that Mussolini did make the trains run on time, but it was only his own personal train

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erm

Man, does it ever end. Hundreds of tech reviews and all positive, they cant make enough of the damn things to keep up with demand, yet still people cant let it go.

Sorry, you were wrong, a lot of people don't want / aren't content with netbooks. The iPad is a success, you have been so blinkered by what you know you missed the point of it completely.

Time to deal with it and move on.

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Grenade

Point?!

"Hundreds of tech reviews..." including fanboi bloggers and PR placements?

"and all positive..." So if I find a single negative one I can call you a liar? How about ten? Twenty?

"cant make enough of the damn things...." because the cheap Chinese workforce insist on topping themselves.

"The iPad is a success..." On what twisted measure?

"you missed the point..." There's a point to the infernal box?! And you know what it is? If so, do please share because - short of being a rather fetching fashion statement - the rest of us are buggered if we know what it is!

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Jobs Halo

well

History is just repeating itself.

Once again the visionary few are dragging the howling and mocking masses along with them. I could try and explain, but it's just too soon for someone like yourself, I don't hold it against you, its not really your fault.

Give it a few years, once things have really changed, and then you may just see the bigger picture. Good luck.

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Jobs Horns

RE: well

Yep, sorry but you need to be an OT level 3 before we can tell you how our e-meters work or what the point is.

Be sure to buy our iMac, iPhone and iPad then bring 5 friends into the fold and you'll be on your way though.

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Coat

Whyfor there need be titles?

Its all quite funny reading this (on my rather capable, flash-enabled N900), because its making me laugh at how venemous the anti-mac brigade are, and how rabidly defensive the macolytes can be. Its a giant TV remote capable of checking email and twitter, but cant actually make the telly change channels (even this tablet can do that, theres an app for that ;O)

Given that its got the same underlying CPU architecture and general system design, I wonder if we can get Maemo/MeeGo running on it? That might satisfy the OSS brigade.

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Android

There us already an Android-on-iPhone project out there. I think it wad evfn reported on el reg a while back. It looks quite nifty - as long ac you don't mind loaning part of your soul to google. :)

I might try it now I've nobbled myself a second-hand n810. It'll give me a nifty project.

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Oh dear. Another so-called tech journalist who does not get it

This is how locomotive engineers reviewed the airoplane.

Please spend a week with the device before reviewing it.

C.

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Joke

mac iFans...

Do they just HAVE to stick "i"'s where they don't belong?

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... does not read it

"Please spend a week with the device before reviewing it."

Just curious, which review were reading before you accidentally posted your reply on this opinion-about-the-fervor article?

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FAIL

Wifi? where? at home then

Yay brilliant, look at me look at me, i have the new ipad woohoo thats makes me cool,NOT!

Hmmm so the Wifi only ones, what use are they exactly? Brilliant oh where's my wifi? ah yes at home next to my full size pc/mac, hmmmm may as well just use that then, oh no hang on,maybe i can go for a walk and stand outside someones house that has their wifi unlocked brill, ooooh i now have a 3G enabled one great i can now watch tv while one the move, oh no! buffering ,danm 3G signal gone again, FAIL

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@Modjo-acts-7years-old

Yay, brilliant, look at me, I'm observing people enjoying their new devices. "Hey you, you with the iDevice, yeah, you. You're an idiot. You're stupid. You just bought a stupid device that has no purpose. You dont know how stupid you are, you're so stupid that you don't realise that the device you're playing with and enjoying and finding use with has no use and no purpose other than to give me reason to berate your decisions, belittle you and demonstrate that having different ideas to me makes you stupid." Oh, I feel so much better about myself. Hey, there's a playground, I think I'll go take some children's toys away and laugh and sneer at them and call them names. That'll make me even more proud of my own worth. After that I'll visit an old folks home and go from room to room taking their teeth away from them. Yay, what a great day I have in front of me, so much joy out there for me to take. I can't wait till tomorrow!

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Why so much hate

Interesting that all the press was and still is waiting and hoping for the Ipad to fail.

If it was just another product from HP or Acer, no one would be trying so hard to point out its problems or inadequacies. It seems to me too many people are jealous at Apple products, vision and success. The press doesn't make products whether magical or not, so they cannot live with the fact others do. And people love it.

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Dead Vulture

Why do it to yourselves?

Why does the Register persist in articles like this? In a few years time, when iPads are everywhere and the very name has become the generic term for a ubiquitous class of device, passers by will be mystified by exactly what point you thought you were making here. I'm pretty flummoxed by it even now.

No the iPad doesn't do anything that you can't do with a netbook or a smartphone, let alone a "proper" computer. Yes a netbook can technically do "more", should you have the patience and wish to use one in that way. None of this changes the fact that for its principal functions, the iPad is *nicer* to use than either. Far more versatile than an e-book reader, more comfortable for prolonged use than a smartphone, quicker and easier to pick up and use than a netbook - the question isn't why buy an iPad, but why not?

Of course the answer for that for many people is they can't justify the cost, and that's fine. I'm one of those that *wants* one but can't say that I need one, since I have a decent phone and decent laptop already - I can't justify the price of an iPad in the middle, but then crucially I couldn't justify a netbook either - and to me the iPad makes a lot more sense than buying another smaller, fiddlier, crappier laptop to put next to the much better laptop I already own. If I wasn't so strapped for cash, and if I could convince the wife it was something we needed (and unlike a lot of over-technical gadgets I think the iPad's probably jazzy enough to catch her eye too), then I'd definitely take one, and I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy it too.

You know, enjoyment - linked to joy - something a lot of people look for in consumer devices. Remember that?

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Anonymous Coward

"the question isn't why buy [product], but why not?"

The same question popular with snake oil salesmen and the like, I dare say.

How about this for a reason: because people like you have already fucked over the economy and the planet by buying shit they don't need with money they don't have?

The question isn't "why use your money wisely" but "why not?".

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Well not so much

As I said above, I haven't bought one because I can't afford it, so I'm neither "buying shit I don't need" nor spending "money I don't have".

If I spent the money I don't have on a netbook I don't really need instead, as I'm sure many have, presumably that would praised as a "wise" purchase?

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For now, its just a blip of the new

If it still has good sales and market share, oh, about a year from now, when the new product shine has worn off then call it a success. For now its a leap in the dark for Apple, given the previous failure of tablet devices in the consumer market. Time will tell, all this pro/con ranting will have no effect - but its fun for us IT types to do!

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Megaphone

Oooh shiny

Why do people have to add "sent from my iGadget" at the end of every comment / email ? Afraid we won't be impressed if we don't know what toys you have ?

And why does AC hate iGadget dislikers so much ?

It's just a new shiny toy, some people want one, others don't.

But queue up to be an early adopter ? A bit sad if you ask me - consumerist overload, aka "My whole being is defined by my latest purchase"

Sent from my 5 year old but still functional laptop. It's just a tool.

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Pint

Sent from my iGadget?

The signature is a default in the mail program. The non-wankers among us go into mail settings and change it to a useful signature. But then again, I work for a Fortune 500 and get 30-40 different emails that end "Sent from my Blackberry". So they must all be Blacktards( or would that be Tardberries????) I'm not quite sure what witticism the the Apple-haters should come up with for the Blackberry users.

Beer as it's Friday and a half-day at that!

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Go

My iPads

What a fantastic queue I have just been in to buy my iPads, everyone was so rich and attractive, I personally bought three wonderful iPads, I'm so happy I can hardly believe the reaction from people who have seen my iPads, everyone displaying a knowing smile and the occasional wink, the clouds just drift away and the Sun beams down on my lovely life.

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Troll

Wait what?

Few points:

1. Since when are Windows users considered competent hackers? Lol point and click retards. ls and dir too hard to remember?

2. If you can't afford $500, you aren't a coder. Real coders make real money.

3. To code for the iPhone/iPad you have to learn C, which means understanding pointers, memory allocation/deallocation and how BigO affects your algos. Coders have gotten lazy with their efficiency over the years due to fat processors and drives/controllers.

4. Lol Windows users are considered proper hackers. Really? lol again.

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Anonymous Coward

but

if i give that $500 to apple then my local might go under. then where will i spend the next $500?

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Go

Those Without Lives ...

... will grab at any straw to save their sinking existence.

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Welcome

Come now...

The iPad (like its titchy brother the iPod Touch) has a major advantage over all other suggested bits of kit here - it switches on immediately and is ready to use almost immediately. The unit is beautifully designed and, in use, a lot of thought has gone into how it "feels". For these reasons, it's bound to be a success. I want one, but I would wait until version 4.0 of their new OS comes out and beds in. I want one, but I wouldn't spend that much on one. I got a first gen iPod Touch 16GB off of eBay (not recommended) for £110 and have never looked back - they are flaming brilliant. Oh, and I'm no Mac fanboi - I use PCs and have never touched a Mac. It's just that an iPhone will load web pages faster than an HTC flagship phone on the same network - no contest. It's just that I don't have to wait a couple of minutes after switching it on, in order to use it.

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IPAD ?

I received my IPAD last week after watching it on FEDEX go to Hong Kong then to Thailand then to Alaska then to..... After a few issues of just getting it delivered (long story deleted to talk about the IPAD) I opened the box and took it out and was basically disappointed as I thought it would be about 50 percent larger than it really is. After I got over it I decided to look for the instruction booklet ... there wasn't one?! I looked through the box one more time and there was a *SMALL* 4 inch by 4 inch booklet. In about two paragraphs that were in font size 2 (or 3) were some printed instructions. I had to get out a magnifying glass. The instructions were at best minimal which said plug the cord in on the IPAD (small issue of which which plug to use) and plug the USB chord into the computer. OK I thought what the heck so I tried it the screen lit up and I thought good maybe it just needs to be charged and I sat it down and forgot it. I went about my business and came back to a message on my screen stating that the IPAD will only work with OS X 1.5 and higher. I went hmmm the only restriction was that I saw in the ads were MACOSX. Surprise!!!! The issue I have is that I run OS X 1.4 and I am stuck there forever because Apple dropped classic support in 1.5.

Now I have a worthless IPAD sitting around gather dust. WHat a waste of time and money.

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FAIL

hmm

So you bought an incompatible device thinking it was 50% larger than it is, despite the copious amounts of information available from Apple and elsewhere, numerous reviews, and the fact that where you are (in America) it's been available to view and play with in shops for a month or two already.

Yeah, that's Apple's fault. Stupid Apple.

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Why, Indeed? 'Cos they do useful things that people want

People queued up so the Reg would have something earthshaking to write about. Slow news day otherwise?

If this is too insignificant to write about, why write about it?

Apple seems to have come full circle from the time when they'd ousted Jobs, and priced their computers according to the monopolist's playbook… when, unfortunately, they hadn't a monopoly on an easy-to-use interface any more. Now, the Apple logo signals to consumers that they'll be much more satisfied than if they'd bought some crappy competitive product.

Would that some other firms would think up some clever devices that aren't just the latest minor speed upgrade of last year's hard-to-use model.

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