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The iPad Will Change the World


Blogger: Anne Thomas Manes
Follow me on Twitter: @atmanes

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray estimates that Apple sold 600,000-700,000 iPads yesterday, and I was one of them.

Updated April 5, 2010: Apple announced today that it sold over 300,000 iPads on Saturday.

I’m not an Apple fanboi. I love my iPhone (it is the single most useful gadget I own), but I have yet to give up my ThinkPad in favor of a MacBook. Nonetheless, I preordered an iPad, and I’ve had quite a bit of fun with it during the last 22 hours. (Documented in my tweetstream.)

Last night, a high school friend responded to one of my tweets via Facebook asking,

“So, dying to know- is it better than reading on a Kindle?”

The question indicates the misconceptions people have about the iPad. It’s a great book reader, but it’s so much more than a book reader.

In answer to my friend’s question: I can’t compare Kindle to iBooks, because I haven’t bought any iBooks
yet. (Note to self — pick up some public domain books from the iBooks
store and do a comparison.) But the good news is that I can read all my Kindle books on the iPad using the Kindle iPad app. I’m very happy that Amazon made (and Apple approved) a Kindle player for the iPad, because I don’t have to buy separate books for the two devices. Kindle on the iPad is a lot like Kindle on the Kindle. The Kindle is lighter-weight, and it works a lot better in bright light. So bottom line: If I want to read at the beach, I’ll take my Kindle. But when I go to
Prague later this month, I’ll take the iPad and leave the Kindle behind. And that’s because I can do so much more with the iPad.

The iPad comes with the same basic apps you get on an iPhone/iTouch:

Other apps I’ve installed:

Most of this stuff is free, although some require subscriptions for the content (Kindle,
WSJ, and Netflix.).

The only apps I’ve paid for thus far are DocumentsToGo (which I will use for work) and Elements,
which is an interactive “book” on the periodic table of elements
designed specifically for the iPad. This app is totally awesome, and it gives you a
sense of how tablets might completely alter the “book” industry. I can just imagine Grey’s Anatomy as an iPad “book”. Or any text book, for that matter. I fully expect the tablet industry to fundamentally change our teaching and learning systems. 

I also suggest reading Todd Biske’s perspective on “Why I’m Excited About the iPad” — particularly if you have kids that like to play boardgames.

All this on Day 1. And the industry has just barely started delivering apps that exploit the power of the tablet form-factor. The iPad won’t be unique in the industry. I fully expect other vendors to copy it, and I’m looking forward to a vibrant and competitive tablet market. But the iPad has shown us what’s possible.

really looking forward to seeing how this device will change the world.

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