What the Apple iPad Doesn't Have

Let's take a different approach. Instead of looking at what the Apple iPad has, and what can or can not be done with it, let's take a brief look at what it doesn't have, but probably should have:- Webcam.

Let's take a different approach. Instead of looking at what the Apple iPad has, and what can or can not be done with it, let's take a brief look at what it doesn't have, but probably should have:

- Webcam. Come on, this is a complete, total, absolute no-brainer. The thing absolutely screams for a webcam. Was the basic unit already so expensive that they couldn't stand the incremental cost?

- GPS receiver. This is just about as obvious as the camera. One of the basic apps is a map utility... and it isn't able to figure out where you are? Maybe I'm misunderstanding or overlooking something...

- An original name. Note that I have said "Apple iPad" everywhere above, to make sure there is no confusion with any of the several other devices already available with the same name. I can't imagine that this was carelessness, that they didn't know the name was being used already, but the only other explanation is arrogance, they just decided what name they wanted with complete disregard for the others. That would surprise me just about as much, though, if they knew they were going to have to battle Fujitsu for the name - another company with a lot of lawyers on the payroll.

- Normal/Standard external connections. The use that springs to mind is digital photography, getting pictures from a camera to the Apple iPad. No SD/MMC slot, and no USB port? I have heard there is an "iPod port", whatever that is, and one will be able to buy an "adapter" for either flash card or USB connection, or perhaps both, but how much will that cost, and who wants yet another dongle to have to keep track of?

- Keyboard. Yes, I know there is (or will be) a "dock" which will have a keyboard, but how much will that cost, especially compared to the base cost of the unit itself, and while that might be ok at home, who wants to have to take a dock along when traveling? There are a lot of nice, small, light, portable keyboards available - see previous comment about lack of standard connections.

- Normal phone calls. Am I correct in understanding that although this thing has a 3G Broadband Wireless chip included, you can't use it to make ordinary phone calls? Here we go again - are we assuming that everyone who buys one of these already owns an iPhone, so they don't want telephone capability?

- Adobe Flash playing. Steve Jobs might choose to ignore the huge blue square in the middle of the web page he was showing, but a lot of other people noticed it. A whole lot more will notice the lack of Flash capability when they start using it, too, and the number and volume of howls will increase.

- Multitasking. I've ranted about this already, so I will just add here - who thinks the first users of this thing won't want to have Twitter/FaceBook/MySpace/Browser all active at the same time?

These are only the most obvious things I could think of. Add to the list less common but perhaps equally desirable things like some sort of protection for the screen, and a changeable battery pack (I'm assuming the battery pack is sealed within the unit, as on the iPod and iPhone). I know that at least a few of the things I mentioned above can be "solved" by purchasing add-ons, but if getting what are essentially the basics doubles the cost of the unit, that needs to be taken into consideration when making the purchasing decision, doesn't it?

Have a nice weekend.

jw 29/1/2010