The Apple iPad and Similar Tablets
The Apple iPad and similar tablets
Now, enter the Apple iPad. How is the use of the iPad-and similar tablets from Kindle and tablets from companies such as HP, Lenovo, Google and Nokia-going to change the time we spend interacting with electronic screens? Will the iPad result in an incremental increase in the hours we spend interacting with electronic screens? For example, will we still check our e-mail, watch TV and use our phone about the same amount as before and then spend more time using a highly-portable iPad?
I suspect, for most people, a good bit of our iPad tablet usage will be done during the time we are doing other things. For example, I'm sure that we'll see a number of iPad applications that add interaction to TV shows. Guess what play the sports team is going to do next? Blog and interact with others about your favorite show while you're watching it.
Look up dinner recipes more frequently using the iPad in the kitchen while you're cooking dinner. Check e-mail while you're watching the news. And with new iPad applications, there will be some incremental time we use an iPad over and above what we have been doing before.
While I think that the tablet-made popular first by the Kindle ebook reader and more recently by the Apple iPad-will become the third major mobile system in our daily life (joining the computer and phone), the time we spend on these devices will result in our interacting with these three devices in a different way than before. Kids may find that they will use an iPad to text with their friends while watching TV instead of using the phone. An adult may check e-mail while on the back porch instead of doing the same thing in front of a notebook computer. We might use Skype from the beach with a headset to talk with some friends (and make them feel really jealous).
There's an interesting implication for technology requirements as a result of our interacting with these three different devices at different times during the day: It implies that the software and communications systems will keep the major applications and their data pervasively in sync so that everything we need is there when doing e-mail-whether it's on a notebook, smartphone or iPad. (I'm using "iPad" in place of the generic term "tablet" here due to the high PR value that the iPad currently represents and it being the most appropriate term du jour).
Make no bones about it. The iPad is going to popularize the use of a tablet as an integrated part of our lives. Pervasive sync between popular applications and exciting new iPad applications in such areas as education, publishing and entertainment are going draw people into wanting to use this mobile device.