iPad: Most Magical, Most Needed


Like you, I’ve read, heard or seen a number of iPad articles and reviews. What single feature (pro and con) was mentioned most often? Here’s my summary. Yours may be different. 

Most Magical: The NUI – Natural User Interface 

Touch, multi-touch, gestures, speed of response and the ability of end users of all abilities and ages to quickly use the device. In a single word – Usability.

Geekspeak: More on NUI 

(Yes, I know NUI is often associated with Microsoft, and Bill Buxton of Microsoft Research in particular. Let’s not get parochial here.)

 

Most Needed: Improved Multitasking 

I say improved because the iPad does have some multitasking and it does support background processes. You can listen to music playing or receive new email while using other apps. However, this capability is currently reserved for Apple’s applications on the iPad and is not availability for third party apps.

Apple’s recently announced iPhone OS 4.0 will offer improved multitasking, including music, location-aware and voice over IP applications. The new OS 4.0 will be available first on the iPhone and iPod Touch (though likely not for the earliest models) this summer.  An update for the iPad will follow in the fall. 

Geekspeak: The technical among us may argue that the multitasking of the upcoming OS 4.0 is not true multitasking, since app switching will often suspend apps rather than allow them to continue running in the background. Fair enough. More on this here.


About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, helps others make sense and make use of digital tools through his work, websites and social media. He has over 30 years experience in educational technology, including teaching, administration and professional development. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. He started this iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale to help others become more comfortable and competent with the iPad, in person and online. His latest venture is Teach About Tech, a resource marketplace for technology trainers.