I have not played with an iPad yet, just observed some from afar and read the many reviews and reactions. A lot of these reactions talk about its magical battery life and how it’s a great all-day, on-the-go computer. Other reviews marvel at its abstraction of the filesystem, the user experience of the touch interface, and so on. While at Chirp, the Twitter developer conference, I saw a lot of iPads. The perfect conference computer, right? Power, battery life, and a big screen for sharing.
I do not have an iPad, but I have a computer with all of those features (save the big screen): an iPhone 3GS. Have we forgotten how “magical” this thing is? I used it as my only computer at Chirp, for email, tweets, and web browsing. I was also able to take pictures, stay connected to the Internet via 3G, and send text messages, all things that the (currently WiFi-only) iPads could not do. When the WiFi networks acted up, I was still going (albeit slowly). When something urgent came up, I was able to send a text message or make a call. And when someone came up to talk to me, I put my iPhone in my pocket and was able to shake hands. I didn’t have to fumble a large device, put it down, or awkwardly tuck it under an arm. And the battery lasted all day, admittedly in some part due to my turning 3G off in the final hour.
It’s practically a given at this point that Apple will announce a new iPhone this summer, likely in late June. It could have a higher-resolution screen, a better camera, a second camera, the A4, improved battery life, an aluminum unibody construction (but if so, please not at the expense of reception), and a microwave. I’ll upgrade soon after it comes out, once the reviews are in. Partly because I’m a sucker, but also because I still think this thing is magical. It’s got most of what makes the iPad so special, and it fits in my pocket.