Why I’m excited about the Apple iPad â€¦and why I bought a Kindle DX
Lately, I have become a bit of a voracious reader; keeping a stack of almost thirty books on the go at a time. I’m not bragging. I actually think I may have a bit of a problem. But that’s fodder for another post.
I’ve been dying for a book reading device that would make my books easier to bring with me and access on the go. I love to read at my local Starbucks but don’t like to stick to just one book and bringing a stack around with me makes the baristas compelled to tell me that I’m not permitted to stay quite that long. “We do close, you know!”
So a book reader was in order, but with all the buzz about the upcoming Apple tablet announcement, I thought it prudent to wait until January 27th to make my decision. That evening, after reading the announcement coverage, I ordered an Amazon Kindle DX, it arrived less than 2 days later and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Unlike the Apple iPad, it is not backlit or glossy which is a huge plus for book reading in my opinion. I look at a backlit LCD all day at work and my eyes get strained. I need a light to read by, but I don’t need it to be emanating from the device. The Kindle also offers wireless access via Amazon’s global Whispernet as part of the purchase of the deviceâ€”not something else I have to add to my already bloated cellular bill. That alone is magic. And the Kindle, being an Amazon product, has access to a wide selection of titles to read.1
You might assume from this that I’m not a big fan of the Apple iPad. Well, you’re right. At the moment, I’m not.
But, in the case of the iPad, the “one more thingâ€¦” that was once a giddily anticipated staple of Steve Jobs’ keynote addresses is a powerful one. The one more thing here is the same thing that made the iPhone so compelling. It’s not the touch screen, the accelerometer, the wifi or 3G accessâ€¦it’s all of those things plus one very powerful component whose impact cannot be underestimatedâ€¦
We have only seen the iPad with a handful of desktop-style appsâ€¦ones that we already have on our iPhones and iPod touchesâ€¦expanded and made somewhat more glorious on the bigger screen. And, in spite of how Mr. Jobs said it as if we were about to have our eyes opened to a new world, we already know what it’s like to have the internet in our hands.2 But what we haven’t seen is what the iPad can do in the hands of the enormous and shockingly talented community of developers Apple has attracted.
I saw the announcement on January 27th hoping to see something that would solve the logistical problems of my reading addiction and was disappointed. That is not to say that I won’t be getting an Apple iPad. I fear that may by unavoidable. I might be compelled to, not by Steve Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field, but by the possibilities for this device as seen through the talented and innovative minds of what will no doubt be a formidable Apple iPad developer army.
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
- the only problem here is that 40% of my reading is rather obscureâ€”the very “long tail” that has made Amazon so successfulâ€”and many of those titles are not yet available for the Kindleâ€¦still, there’s lots to choose from [↩]
- Heck, with the iPhone, I know what it’s like to have the internet in my pants! [↩]