Last years iPad launch day I was down in Brighton staying at a friends. I had already seen the iPad in action several times and spent a fair few hours playing around with it at work. I remember thinking that the iBooks ‘page turn’ effect was the coolest piece of tech since the iPod got a touch-sensitive scroll wheel.
Of all the Apple gadgets I had ever lusted over few came close to the allure of the iPad. But I was determined not to buy one, to save myself £500 and wait until Apple released an undoubtedly better later generation of the device.
That failed. The same day the iPad went on sale a cheque from some work I had done came through. A brief glance at my finances in the morning and I was on a mad dash to the Brighton Apple store. Two minutes later I emerged with a Wi-Fi only iPad, case and keyboard dock. I ran back to my friends to show him the iBooks ‘page turn’ effect and then set about syncing everything I had with the tablet. I was so excited that I had bought one I even took it out with me to a club that a friend was DJing at that night.
Reactions were mixed; I was initially greeted by unwelcoming stares from a bunch of people I would call ‘too cool for tech’. Then came those who criticized for wasting money on what appeared to be a giant iPhone. Finally there was a group who just wanted to play about with the thing, these were easily my favourite, despite me refusing to let them put their grubby fingers anywhere near my brand new touchscreen.
As time went on more and more people began to realize how important a piece of tech the iPad would become. It now sits happily on my kitchen counter, free for anyone to use who wishes to check Facebook or catch up on the news. It remains the absolute best portable solution for browsing the internet and playing games and even now still carries that curiosity factor that makes owning gadgets so exciting.
Sat next to me on the train last week was a kid so desperate to have a go on Grand Theft Auto that his mother came and asked if she could borrow my iPad because ‘tears were imminent’. I reluctantly obliged and handed over my pride and joy to the kid, two seconds later his eyes lit up with amazement from the device. I was then reminded why I bought the thing in the first place; simply because it was cool. On purchase I wasn’t convinced that tablets would become such an important medium for news, gaming or anything else, I just thought a 10.1” touchscreen was awesome.
That awesomeness remains to this day and will continue to do so despite whatever it is Apple decides to show off tonight. The original iPad is still a relatively rare gadget to see out in public and as such still carries that ‘hey I’ve got an iPad factor’. I mean really how can Apple make the thing any cooler than it already is? A higher resolution screen? A set of cameras? A faster processor? All of these are just ‘improvements’ to a device that has a current generation still at the cutting edge of tech.
But then will I be buying one? Well yes….Why you ask? The answer is pretty simple; consider that of my iPhone 4, it does everything that previous iterations of the handset do. Difference is that when I get mine out of my pocket the odd person goes “ooh you have an iPhone 4…nice!” It is this which us gadget lovers pay a premium for, not ‘retina displays’ or ‘FaceTime’, more a simple case of gadget gloat. To put it simply, the new iPad is going to be a little bit cooler than the last, so I will buy it. Ahem… anyone want to buy an iPad 1?