Becoming Mainstream… with the help of Apple -Tablet Computing

It is common to think that the first main tablet to come out was the iPad. However the idea of tablet computing has been around since the 1980s. While it took a couple years to finally get one out to the public, AT&T eventually released the first tablet in 1991 called EO 440 Personal Communicator. From there on out tablets kept evolving and becoming more and more marketable by adding features like software compatibility and cleaner hardware design. Each major company had a tablet, all unique in their own right with features like handwriting recognition.

However, in 2010 the biggest event in the tablet world occurred when Apple released the first iPad. Up until the point of its release, all other tablets never were as successful as promised. The iPad was revolutionary, in an article by Matt Buchanan, (2013) he describes how the iPad managed to succeed in a industry that has shown no success. He highlights that the success of the iPad starts withe the iPhone. By incorporating the same operating system as the iPhone, on a bigger device the iPad not only allows for the iPad to communicate with the iPhone but expand its versatility. The iPad had a significant impact on other industries, such as newspapers and books. No other tablet before the iPad was as versatile and efficient, it was marketable in a way that had not been seen before. However, the iPad also received some backlash when it first came out. There was some confusion as to what the purpose of the iPad was to be. When looking at the following article, we see that the author, Adam Frucci’s critiques are rather harsh. When reading his problems one can see that he is comparing it to a computer/laptop, which is understandable but mistaken. We have seen in previous articles that the iPad, was originally not designed to be compared to other products but rather to be a new type of technology. In the following abbreviated video we see Steve Jobs, show this comparison when he introduces the iPad for the first time.

2 thoughts on “Becoming Mainstream… with the help of Apple -Tablet Computing

  1. Daniel Kelly

    The IPad’s revolutionary qualities did not seem to me, at the time, as being this new technology or completely new idea but a reinterpretation of older ideas synthesized to perfection on a single device. Certainly the idea has existed for a very long time with science fiction shows or movies like Star Trek creating fantastical technology, but the IPad brings out a more interesting revolution. What I see as the most important innovation of apple was not its hardware but the software advancements that make the IPad so useful. When I send my email on a computer, I can receive that reply on my Ipad or update my music simultaneously and while this existed with the IPhone before it, never before was the technology so integrated and unified through similar cross platform user interfaces. It is an idea so powerful that Microsoft has started with cross platform integration between their Xbox one, windows 8/10 and their windows phone which all use a tile interface system. More importantly, the technology has seen widespread integration in the business world where the office space no longer binds work and individuals can take their business to the skies and beyond. Of course, the use of the IPhone or smaller laptops could nearly achieve this but the convenience and design of the Apple IPad made the shift more conclusively and truly unified the user to their world with a book sized piece of technology. Interestingly, the technology has made a recent foray into the gaming world with the release of Fallout 4, made by Bethesda Gaming Studios. An app available for free on the ITunes app store allows users to use their IPad or IPhone as an in game menu known as the “Pip Boy” named after an in game piece of technology that was essentially an analogue computer strapped to the user’s arm. However, the seamless manner which the app works allows users to directly influence their character in game, by changing their weapons or tech, almost without delay which while not directly responsible for in game success. Proves the point of cross platform integration as a viable means of doing work if done correctly. One could extrapolate a certain method of integration where emails started on one computer can be completed, files beings shared cross platform without haste and general connectivity for convenience.
    Is any of this truly new? In some ways the method of integration has changed drastically since the IPad was released and a large portion of credit should go to Apple for this. But it is following a long tradition of integrating technologies and even the basic design of the internet which links computers together. Using the internet for its connective properties and principals, has influenced the growth of technology from singular pieces of hardware to unified platforms, perhaps back to singular units as growing fears of hackers arises, but more likely not because few understand the dangers of the internet. The internet and the IPad has had a truly revolutionary effect on technology and the way we interact with it. Hopefully the future holds even more for us. Hopefully the future of encryption will allow for completely safe multi-platform development. And hopefully I’ll be able to swipe an app from my IPad to my television with the flick of my wrist. Because that would honestly be the coolest use of a tablet I can imagine. Perhaps they will come up with even more creative uses for it.

  2. Rushil Gandhi

    The iPad, when it first came out was the ultimate device that matched the technology needs of the human being. The iPad did what a mobile phone could necessarily not do but something a big clunky computer was too much for. For instance, web browsing is the perfect example of this kind of a task. Web browsing on a mobile phone can at times be a little challenging but pulling out a notebook computer to browse the web on the go is very inconvenient. However, when we use a tablet the need for this notebook to browse the web is erased and the experience becomes a very fulfilling and efficient task. This utility matched with the legendary built quality and ease of use that Apple conveys in its products meant that iPad, though a new product in an existing market, was going to revolutionize the tablet as we know it. At first, the criticisms held against the iPad were harsh. Like the author mentions, many compared it to an actual computer which meant that they felt it was a downgrade in technology rather than an upgrade, as it could not do everything a standard computer could do back in 2010. Fast forward to 2015, and the iPad is viewed to be a revolutionary device that can effectively replace the laptop or desktop computer that most people have at home.
    Through the increased development of new apps and minor tweaks from Apple like the software updates and incremental hardware updates means that the iPad can compete with the PCs of today. But, it really should not. The iPad and other tablets are part of a market similar to computers but are here to serve entirely different needs than what the PC will do today. The iPad and other tablets are generally bought and used for media consumption and entertainment. With its perfectly sized, bright and clear screens the tablet is a “walking entertainment center” so to speak. Though it can perform the tasks a PC is generally responsible for, like generating word documents or creating emails, it cannot perform these tasks well enough to really be compared to a PC. The areas that it does exceed the PC is in terms of ease of use and on the go entertainment. Comparing the tablet to a PC or laptop and then complaining that the tablet cannot do all the things a PC does is bit like comparing a car to a truck and then complaining that the car does have the same amount of power or the storage space as the truck. When it comes to tablets, though they can perform the tasks of a PC they really should not be compared to PCs because they mostly used for media and entertainment consumption on the go.


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