App of My Eye

9 03 2010

The long-awaited day is almost here. This Friday 12th March Apple’s much-ballyhooed iPad goes on pre-sale. While that won’t exactly put one in your hands just yet (you’ll have to wait until 3rd April, the day they become available in Apple Stores), it does signify the beginning of the next revolution in mobility and computing.

And that is the general use of the app.

With 140,000 apps already available for the iPhone and iPod, the iPad is set to be the first computer to leverage these tiny gadgets. And I bet it won’t be long before we see them jump platforms to TV.

The iPad is part iPod, part e-reader, and part Mac(net)Book. It will play your music, shoot your emails. But it will also use the apps you have already loaded to your phone.

Naturally, the folks at Amazon are nervous. They just revived their pre-Christmas TV ad campaign to deflect some of the attention the iPad is bound to get the next few weeks. And nervous they should be, because their black-and-white screen is a far cry from that of the iPad, as well as Barnes & Noble’s color screen Nook.

But it is the ability of the iPad to use apps that tell me we are in the middle of another paradigm shift. Last year web-enabled TVs hit the market; these will be tethered via ethernet cable to your router as if they were a computer. And Yahoo is already sporting a small selection of apps for TV. Although there is still some reluctance among developers to create TV apps, this is the future. Take a look right now. Make a note of it. And call me in a couple of years when it lands in your living room.

Because it is inevitable.

The iPad is thus another one of those bridge devices I love to talk about, a span that takes us to a better place. And while I seriously doubt that tablet devices like iPad will go away anytime soon, its lasting legacy will be in helping usher forth the era of apps and show us just how indispensable they really are in all aspects of our internet life. One-click access to specialized functions saves time and effort for users, and endears them to a forward-thinking provider.

And that to me is the right app-titude to have.

Dr “(i) of the Beholder” Gerlich

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