Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not an Apple fanboy. I think their computers are marked up for proffit and then the extra Apple love padding is added to that. I could never bring myself to spend the extra $1500+ for a Mac version of the same computer I could build myself. But I am a technofile and if I think something is useful and legit… I wants it.

Anyone remember when they first used an iphone? I went to an ATT store to play with the device when it first came out in 2007. The coolest thing to me about the phone was the touch screen. It was really weird flicking things around on the screen and watching them move with the same momentum. There didn’t seem to be any difference between the physics of my hand motions and what happened on the screen. This was all new and really weird. And really cool.

There wasn’t a mouse in between me and the information. After playing with it I turned into one of the geeks who laid down 600 bones for the first iphone the first week it came out. No app store, no 3G, and the added perk of a nice little pre-3GS delay before any app launches that wasted seconds which turned into hours and probably accumulated to days of my life.

Browsing the internet like reading a book? Yes please.

Throughout the past 3 generations of iphones, Surfing the web has always been fun (except on EDGE…). Flicking the pages around with my finger feels really speedy and natural – I can read more information at the convenience of anywhere – except that when I do I am constantly pinching, swiping, and stretching to read 1024×768 web pages on a 480×320 screen.

The thing is: the web doesn’t fit onto the iphone. Steve Jobs boasted about having the “real” internet in your pocket, but he lied. Iphone nerds deal with it because we know its worth it to at least have access to the internet in our pockets. I think this will still be the best reason to have a smartphone. But its not the same.

Ok, fine. Back to the desk for reading more than a couple paragraphs. Except that I’ve been at the desk all day. I want to read. For fun. And no handy extension-of-myself touchscreen is back at the desk.

Laptop? Better than the desk, but not by much. And still no magic screen.  Even worse is the same bad hunchback habits we carry over from the desktop to the laptop:

Yeah this'll work for about 10 minutes.

You go girl, you conquered it! Not. (think Wall-E)

Tried this. It hurts.

Tried this. It hurts.

She's cute so she can have her little Terminator arm thing.

Uh huh.

With an ipad little Johnny will never turn into Quasimodo.

More comfortable reading and browsing means reading more often. Are books toys or tools? I guess it depends on what you’re reading, but generally we thin literacy among humans is a good thing and I think the ipad could help promote it.

Yeah, I know you learn big words like "forest" in context...but this could help too.

Magazines

So you’re at Barnes and Noble, overwhelmed yet again by the ominous magazine isle. I personally would like to read about one out of every ten magazines on the shelf, but guess what? Too much clutter and too expensive. I think the ipad is going to solve both of these problems.

The app store brought the majority of mobile apps under $5 (most are $.99) and I think the ipad will do the same for digital magazine subscriptions as companies compete and the market for readers grows larger. Plus we get extras like audio and video embeded in the pages. Read an article on Jack White in Rolling Stone and watch his interview and watch the latest music video and listen to samples of The White Stripes latest albume (with direct link to bittorrent itunes for full download of course).

Also imagine having the whole back catalogue of National Geographic on the iPad. It would be awesome to have hundreds of some of the greatest photos ever taken in one small device and on such a sweet display. Woot!

And then what?

100,000+ apps and counting that’s what. Sure 99,000 are fart apps, but that leaves 1,000 useful apps like  ToD0, Evernote, MindMeister, pick your favorite and imagine it redesigned for the new interface. Oh yes.

There’s also something to be said about manipulating a computer with a screen that is bigger than your hand. On an iphone when you touch with more than one finger you’re simultaneously obscuring half of the screen. So Apple came up with a lot of creative ways to use multitouch, but its been majorly restricted by the small screen size. Now we get to watch developers come up with material for a multitouch device with a screen that’s bigger than the hand you use to gesture with. Did anyone see the Brushes app?

All said, I think the iPad will be an awesome device for reading, browsing, creating, and playing.

Just a big ipod touch? Bring it.