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What’s Missing in the Apple iPad

January 28, 2010

Many media outlets have been talking today about what's really great about the day-old announcement of the Apple iPad, but there hasn't been too much talk of what's missing in the iPad. While some may believe the iPad is pure genius, we don't, but we don't hate it either. We just believe that it is missing a few crucial things that would make it even more better if it didn't lack these.

Multi-tasking

One huge complaint surrounding the iPhone & iPod Touch is the lack of multi-tasking applications and this complaint now extends to the iPad. Multi-tasking is the simple ability to run multiple applications simultaneously and be able to switch between them in a fluid manner. The iPad doesn't have this, which means, for example, users will be unable to do something as simple as copy and paste something into an email without having to completely close the email they're in the middle of writing and open the application with the text to copy and then reopen the email.

This is too elementary for Apple to continue to leave out, especially on a tablet computing device with a 1GHz processor.

Camera

Apple made the odd decision to leave out an integrated digital camera and video recorder in the iPad. One would think that such a large device as the iPad would leave room for a small 5 megapixel camera module. If Apple can do it in their iPod Nano model, they should be able to in the iPad. After all, there's many cries for the ability to video chat with Skype while using an iPad.

No Stylus

While the iPad supports multi-touch just like the iPod Touch & iPhone, it does not support the use of a stylus as a form of input. The lack of this, I think, leaves out a whole subset of users: college students. If it allowed the use of a stylus, students (and others) could use the iPad to take notes in class (or wherever) digitally.

However, it is somewhat expected a third party manufacturer will develop a stylus for use with the iPad in the future. While not hard to do, it just has to use a material that conducts electricity similar to how human skin does.

Adobe Flash Support

While the demo of the iPad played out during the press conference, there was something noticeable that happened: Adobe Flash didn't load while browsing the New York Times Web site. This has again been a persistent issue for some users who feel the iPhone OS should support Adobe Flash, and we agree. Apple promotes these devices, including the iPad, as being a complete Web browsing experience just like you would have on a regular computer. However the lack of Flash support just doesn't jive with that assessment, at least not to us. And the issue is with Apple, not Adobe, as they've made statements in the past saying that it is Apple who is disallowing the development of Flash for the iPhone OS.

Non-AT&T Support

While this might be huge for some, I personally don't see this one happening anytime soon (or the need for it to happen right now either). While I may be in the minority, I rarely have had any issues with AT&T's 3G high-speed data network and voice coverage on the iPhone 3GS. Any issues that I have had have been no more major than while using any other carrier on some other device. AT&T's network is plenty fast too, in fact, faster than any other network in most cities as evident by a recent Gizmodo study.

Verizon, the most rumored contender, just isn't up to par with AT&T when it comes to the global use of the GSM network and the ability to transmit/receive both data and voice at the same time. CDMA (Verizon's network technology) is crippled and old, making it not well-suited for Apple. Apple also gets a huge share of the profits with AT&T, so they're highly unlikely to jump ship with AT&T as Apple cares more about profits than market share.

Now the iPads are being sold unlocked, meaning you can use another GSM network's miniSIM card inside the iPad. Verizon and Sprint are unable to be used with the iPad as they are CDMA networks that are not compatible with its internal antenna.

While there may be many more gripes to be had over the Apple iPad, these are just some of the few major ones. There will be no doubt many more complaints and praises surrounding the iPad and its features when it is available to the public in just a few weeks.



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  • ddesigner

    I think you hit the nail on the head. those where my thoughts too, as a graphic designer i need multi tasking, camara, and most of all flash player. but still it's a heck of a machine the i need for my collection of apple products. i give it 9 out of 10

  • angbailey

    Thanks for this valued glimpse at issues that should be considered before an iPad (or any other) “i”purchase. As thrilled as I have been to be a new iPhone user, I have been VERY disappointed to learn how much I miss because of Apple's refusal to get Flash into their mix. What are they afraid of? The fact that Flash is almost as universal as they are?! Come on. Don't they WANT satisfied users? It's left a bad taste in my mouth, despite all the yummies they otherwise offer. I've been a Mac girl since the “Lisa” days – I work, eat, bleed and rarely sleep with my Mac. ;)~ Wake up Apple! You're only hurting those who love you.

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