Of course, the iPod was remarkable because it created a market. None of us dreamed of carrying thousands of songs around with us — and now we can’t imagine being without our playlist. But even more, he created a way to sell music digitally in a way that other organizations have failed.
And the iPhone was transformational for scores of reasons… because it put the power of a computer in your palm… because of the remarkable applications, including, of course, the Federal News Radio app.
Mossberg: I think people have to perceive it as something that allows them to leave their laptop home or not open it around the house for, you know, maybe not 100 percent of the things they do on their laptop, but for more than half a lot of the time. I know those are vague terms, but that’s the way I kind of think about it.
So, if you use your laptop for mostly surfing the Web, consuming media, you know, doing e-mail, and then doing maybe a little light content creation, say, a school paper or something, and you decide that you’re comfortable doing it on this, this thing will take off the way Paul says.
And if not enough people feel that way, and just think it’s an extra burden to carry, then I — that’s the risk Apple is taking. But, as he points out, Apple is a little different than some of these other companies. It takes really big risks. And many of them that he listed have paid off. A few haven’t. And we’re going to see.
And I think that is true for government agencies as well. I can imagine Census workers using an iPad like device in 2020… or law enforcement personnel… jobs that are very mobile… But for most of us who use a laptop, will it do away with the laptop? My first impression is… probably not. At least for me right now, the keyboard simply isn’t usable enough to replace my laptop. (The return key ends up being right at my right pinkie finger, so I end up hitting the return key over and over again.)
Apple does have a keyboard doc that might help me make that step toward replacing my laptop. We’ll see…
The other way government can use these devices is internally… and this might be where the Census could use these devices. Imagine if Census could just develop an iPad application rather then failing to develop their own handheld.
Is the Apple iPad good enough for government work? The early reviews are in, and they bring mixed results. Overall, the iPad wins praise for its speed, touch-screen interface, battery life and overall user experience. But it garners complaints for what’s missing, including support for Flash, a camera and the ability to print.
The GCN Lab is in the process of obtaining an iPad for review, and we’ll soon run our own tests, with a particular eye to how iPad would work in an office setting. In the meantime, a roundup of reviews from those who got the devices in advance of last week’s rollout might provide some clues to whether the iPad is likely to begin showing up in government circles.