In a few short days, the next version of Apple’s iPad will hit the shelves. We own two of the original versions, and one son has asked for the new one as his sole birthday present, so i know at least one version of the iPad 2 will be joining the family.
I use my iPad daily, even more than I thought I would. It’s my mobile computer, that goes with me in the car, to Doctor’s appointments, to the treadmill, to bed. It’s where I read books, email and more. I wrote a large portion of my own book on it this past fall. It’s my presentation tool of choice when sitting with clients, allowing us to share and generate ideas on the fly.
While I love the fact that the iPad has become a universal book reader, whether the book is available in the iBook store or on the Kindle, I’m finding I love the annotation and bookmarking features in the iBooks app, and the lack of that feature in the Kindle app frustrating. I’m finding the more I read, especially business or education books, the more I want to take notes to help remember key points, or jot down ideas for blog posts.
This theme of making content more interactive looks like it’s been taken to a new level with the new Garage Band and iMovie apps for iPad. No longer will the iPad be seen as a content consumption platform, but one that excels in creation as well. I’m looking forward to it becoming an interactive podcast production studio, with just about everything I could want to create awesome content (and edit the same) on the fly.
The iPad has changed the way I use my desktop, and feed me up to do other things while still being connected- whether that’s playing with email while spending time with my family in the living room rather than locking myself in the home office, or reviewing email while on the treadmill, the iPad keeps work and content consumption more social.
I’m looking forward to seeing how my kids use all the iPad 2 features, and how this evolution in computers will change the way they learn and present information. Once a powerful computing machine can fit into their book bags, and when they can take notes and interact with text of all sorts in a meaningful way on a screen, will bulky text books be able to survive? For how much longer? The iPad has already been integrated into my younger son’s school day, as his note taking device, home work machine (he emails his assignments to his teachers), his interactive calendar and time management system- why is a paper agenda more useful?
We’re on the verge of a huge change in learning, creating and consuming content which will no longer require huge bulky devices but will interact with us in a seamless way and just do what we want. The question just becomes- what happens when it’s no longer hard to create anything you want? Does creativity explode, or does it fall back because once you can do anything, the blank page becomes even more intimidating?
Regardless of the other tablets out there, the way the iPad makes creativity not only easy but almost temptingly irresistible may change the way we think and create and there may be no going back.