It seems like a lot of people were disappointed or simply underwhelmed by the iPad. I think they are missing the point. The iPad isn't really about a hardware revolution; it's about refinement of the already revolutionary multi-touch user interface and App Store software distribution model.
The App Store allows the individual and small companies to release software to the public without investing money and time in any kind of payment and distribution infrastructure. The fact that both EA and a 15 year old can release a game, and get paid for it, in the exact same way, levels the playing field for the first time.
For the user, the App Store provides a comprehensive and complete catalog of software. If it exists, it's in the App Store. If it's in the App Store, it's safe to download. No viruses, no hassle, no dependencies. The App Store simply takes software distribution into the 21st century.
Many people have gripes with the closedness of the App Store. I can understand that perspective, but I think that the closedness is actually a feature and not a problem. The App Store control minimizes the effort the user has to put into his/her software purchases, making the purchase more likely.
There is a fine line between control in the interest of the user and in the interest of competition stiflement, but so far I think Apple has succeeded in keeping on the right side of the line, albeit with a few notable transgressions.
The multi-touch user interface made mainstream by the iPhone and iPad Touch devices is now a proven type of user interface. Millions of people use multi-touch enabled devices every day. It is time to leverage that familiarity and create software that is almost as natural to use as a sheet of paper. Personally, I'm hoping that the iPad and its inevitable successors will eventually make the mouse-and-keyboard combo fade into obscurity.
Comments are subject to review and will not be shown until they have been approved, for the purpose of keeping spammers and morons away.
Hello, my name is Martin Johannesson and this is my home on the web. I live in Stockholm, Sweden, where I work as a software engineer at a software company.