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Is the iPad the computer for Grans, OAPS and the rest of us?

When Apple kicked off with the famous 1984 advert and proclaimed their machines as being for “the rest of us” it was heralded with some joy. 26 years later they may actually have made the machine for that market.

If you look at, it’s a machine built more for the consumption of media than the creation of media (and yes, I know there’s an iWorks setup there) – it can play MP3s, movies, email, books and so on. By design, it’s a machine for using lounging on the couch, back seat of the car, in bed (I know, there should only be three uses for a bed* but others think differently).

If you remember the old stats about web usage (and other forms of entertainment): 70% consume, 20% pass comment, 10% create. This is a machine for the 70% and 20%. Heck, I know people who spend most of their time on Facebook. That alone makes this a winner for them.

My parents are in their 50s – they don’t need an all-singing, all dancing laptops. Something that plays their music, lets them see pictures and watch films. Hell, my dad would be delighted if this just accessed greyhound-data.com all day and night. And they can double it up as a picture frame as well.

What lets it down as a computer for everyone else though is a few simple things:

  1. Multitasking (but I bet this will be addressed in the iPhone 4.0 update – Apple’s just holding it back. Why reveal everything in one day?)
  2. Importing CDs – yes, it syncs with a mac but that means you need another computer for this to sync to. What happens if your parent just wants to grab a track from Dana or someone that isn’t on the iTune store?
  3. Inability to connect cameras. Yes, there’s an addon, but would it have killed them to have one USB connector? Did they really have that many of the old camera/USB connectors lying about?

Despite these issues, this could still be a decent machine for folk who really don’t need that much from a computer. Looking at it from my POV, it has some good points – I could get a decent desktop for crunching video while getting one of these with a keyboard for doing the typing work on, instead of trying to do it all on one machine or two fully-specced out computers.

(* – three uses for a bed: sex, sleeping and bouncing on/pillow fights)

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4 Comments
  1. Does your dad want to watch the videos on greyhound-data.com?

    Looks like he won’t have much fun then. I think they are Flash videos and guess what, like the iPhone it doesn’t support that. No Flash on the iPad, I’m told.

    But there might be “an app for that”. Where he needs to figure how to find the video he wants to watch after closing the browser because multitasking isn’t supported.

    Is that really what Gran and Grandpa want?

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