The things the iPad is missing [or isn't]

January 28, 2010

When it comes to new Apple products, perhaps the only as inevitable as extreme hype is the extreme silliness exhibited by some pundits at the features the new product “lacks.” Then again, in a world dominated by Windows products jammed with functionality that doesn’t function, what else should we expect?

Like a lot of reports about Apple’s brand-spanking-new iPad tablet computing device, the Gadget Lab (Wired) write includes a list of features that are “missing.”

No camera: This is actually a complaint about no video conferencing, because no one would use a device this big to take stills. I’ve never found much use for video conferencing, even when I lived overseas. So, missing? Meh…

No flash support: Why won’t people get over Flash? It’s a destabilizing resource pig on every platform and increasingly the attack vector of choice for hackers. How in the world can a “technology” with attributes like this be considered missing? HTML5 is open and superior “” death to Flash.

No multi-tasking: Although no one’s actually sure of this point, a lack of multitasking and/or background processes would be an important issue. That is, a device so obviously well-suited for blogging has to offer fast app switching, period.

No GPS in the Wi-Fi only version of the iPad. On this point I think Gadget Lab has a point, but it should be paired with voice recognition for hands free operation “” killer functionality. Who doesn’t want a GPS display this freakin’ big?

That said, I guess the real question is whether or not GPS is worth $130 extra? Really, the iPad is sold unlocked and, even if you get the 3G + GPS, you don’t have to turn on the 3G. Honestly, it’s AT&T.

Which brings up perhaps the most important think the iPad doesn’t have “” multi-carrier support right out of the gate. Then again, it’s sold unlocked, so T-Mobile is a distinct possibility.

What features do you think aren’t getting their due or perhaps features that “should” be in there? Drop us a note and share your impressions in the comments below…

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5 Responses to “The things the iPad is missing [or isn't]”

  1. Bourne:

    I’m glad you raised the point about the camera. The ipad is just too big to keep that upright manually (unless you have a stand for it) for a face to face conversation. Likewise a camera on the back would suffer from the same flaw.

    Disappointed about the multi-tasking though. And for some reason i was expecting the inclusion of perhaps a work application such as pages. I guess the idea of a machine in between a computer and an iphone lead me to believe people could also use it for work.

  2. B. Morton:

    In response to Bourne, I beileve multi-tasking could be made available on the next upgrade of the iphone OS. Also, iWork which includes Pages as well as Numbers and Keynote was announced in a version that runs on the iPad. You must have missed it somehow.

  3. Mike Licht:

    The iPad is an astounding feat of imagination.


  4. JohnJ:

    People will get over Flash when web designers stop using it. Try going to any major auto manufacturer’s web site. They pretty much all use Flash. Flash videos are everywhere (beyond just embedded YouTube).

    The price seems high considering you can get a netbook that multitasks, has a cam, handles Flash and has 160GB of storage for $300-400. Sure, the iPad has better battery life and an arguably snazzier interface, but if people want function with their form they’ll find it lacking.

  5. MrBungleBear:

    Video conf would be nice, but not having it is not a deal breaker. Would have been nice to include a camera with smart OCR for scanning paper documents, etc, to take away with you on the device. Maybe even handwriting processing OCR…

    Multitasking would be nice but would have to be cleverly implemented to avoid depleting the battery too fast. Maybe keeping an app open in memory but frozen when it’s in the background would be enough. Maybe add to that any downloading/comms it was doing to continue in the background, but that’s all – no processing, etc. The again, it’s a big device, so it would be easy to include extra power in any sleeve, cover, etc.

    Lack of flash is a pain for a number of apps that are out there (games, bits of facebook, some video, etc) but I agree that I would rather see flash die. Until it does, though, this kinda sucks.

    One thing I really miss is the inclusion of some sort of handwriting recognition. Something as powerful as the old Newton but FAST (should be easy with the processing power we have nowadays). Also many smart whiteboards have this now. It is quicker to handwrite notes than to type them. Maybe even allow any “safe” stylus for this – writing with fingers might work, but it’s not what we’re used to. The again, we learn fast.

    I love the iBooks thing. I guess we’ll see iMags, iNewspapers, etc, etc, etc. I wonder, can we annotate iBooks? “Write in the margins”, add footnotes, underline text? That would be a great study aid.

    I really like this – just gotta find an excuse to buy one that I can sneak past the wife! ;-)


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