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I’ve had a good time messing with this iPad. The hype is justified I’m afraid….

It’s true many of the ideas coming to life in the iPad aren’t new but like so many apple products they just put them together better than anything we’ve seen before.

Touch screens
Manipulative interfaces
Long battery life
Tablet format
Simple, controlled ui
Virtual keyboard
Wireless connectivity
Spelling correction
Universal access features
Ereader
And so on…

Bits and pieces have been tried before. This is just a whole different package.

Sure it’s got some things that can be improved… I keep pressing the caps lock key, sometimes the screen mode gets weird, and the screen gets dirty quickly like the iPhone (dorritos aren’t a viable snack anymore). This are things that can be refined overtime.

One major concern I do have… The iPad doesn’t seem rugged. It’s so pretty and so smooth but I fear moving it out of my lap. Reminds me of holding our children during their first week of life…

Apple takes a lot of criticism for lack of multitasking and closed os. Frankly though it flat out works. I think if you don’t have constraints on a system it gets sloppy quickly. My droid phone has all sorts of oddities that my blackberry and iPod touch do not. I’m not saying one approach is better than another on os and devices… Different devices different needs. I want the iPad to work well on my most common tasks and it appears to do that. I will take some loss of functionality for a great experience on key elements. Also I noticed that most good apps include the right functions so that multitasking in the os isn’t really that important. E.g. Code editors including a browser an FTP function in app.

The economics of the ipad will change the industry. The hardware is so functional it’s hard to believe you can get one of these for 500 bucks. And this is gen 1. The software In the app store is already very good. And it’s easily 80% cheaper than typical laptop / desktop apps. The fact that you can attach a bluetooth headset to this and run Skype pretty much could do in landlines and typical voip. When the 3G models ship with their decent data plans the cellular economics have got to change.

I played a few of the games. They are very fun and very good looking/sounding. Beyond being a very big threat to other gaming machines like the ds and psp, I think the iPad will do what the Wii did – bring about a whole category of gaming and a whole new category of gamers. Board game dynamics are going to be much more interesting on this platform than in any other platform. At the controller less experience with a screen as part of the interface is very enjoyable. And unlike the iPhone the experience is bigger in every way.

My favorite apps so far are Wolfram|Alpha, iWork, brushes, word press, AIM/life stream, and Theo Grays The Elements.

Civ revolutions and Tap Tap radiation are awesome games.

And my ultimate test for whether this will be a long term device for me… Can I type fast and in great enough quantity to be able to write emails and script/program? Yes! Both the keyboard and the text editors are very functional.

By Christmas time the consumer software, gaming and computer industry are going to look very different. New companies, new economics, new approaches…. Yes, it will be that fast of transition…

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SocialMode’s favorite late night past time, Blokus.

Play it online now!

Perhaps you want to strategize?

Maybe you’d rather the computer just do it for you… or just use some maths… GOOD LUCK.

Research the four color┬átheorem, it helps understand why this game is so crazy fun (i.e. challenging but not so challenging that you don’t want to try!)

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