Unless you’ve been trapped in a cave for the past year you’ll no doubt be aware of the feeding frenzy surrounding the launch of Apple’s iPad this week. The chances are, even if you had been in that cave, your first question upon emerging into the sunlight would have been “has Steve Jobs made his keynote yet?”
Where’s the camera? What about multitasking? Why no Flash yet?
If you want to hit the $499 mark, something has to give. Apple didn’t forget to add a camera. We all wanted video conferencing but at this stage the major cellular networks are struggling to keep up with current levels of demand – imagine the bandwidth required for millions of video calls! The technology’s there – just not the infrastructure.
As the new SDK has revealed the facility to add photos to contacts with a built in camera, you can bet this will be addressed on a later revision when costs allow, also making augmented reality, er, a reality.
Multitasking? It’ll be there with Mobile OS 4.0 alongside the next generation iPhone. Expect that one in June or July.
Flash? Still painful that Apple are dragging their heels and a device that’s supposed to place the internet at our multitouching fingertips (along with the iPhone) is severely handicapped when we’re denied access to the full digital spectrum.
So what has it got? You’ll find bilions of pixels devoted to the full spec of the new iPad, including Apple’s own site, but here are the highlights:
- 9.7inch MultiTouch screen
- 1Ghz processor, with up to 64GB of Flash storage
- Full screen 1024 x 768 resolution
- 10 hours video play, 1 month standby
- WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, optional memory card reader
- iTunes, App Store, iBook Store
- £300 > £500
The iPad is not a communications device like the iPhone – it’s a digital hub. Many have been disappointed that the iPad doesn’t make your bed, do your washing or teleport you from one Apple Store to another – there will be Apps for this! And this is the point, Apple have provided an incredibly intuitive, brilliantly designed UI that showcases stunning content from the App Store, iTunes (both music and video) and the new iBook Store.
This is more than a one person, one unit product. Within a family, everyone might own an iPhone as they all need to keep in touch. With the £300 starting price (although good value) this will become a ‘group purchase’ with an iPad shared amongst several users.
This makes the job of “who’s going to buy this?” (demographic) much easier as we’ll effectively gain an audience of 3 – 93 yr olds without worrying if the 3 yr olds can afford it or if the 93 yr olds can operate a mouse. Brands will have access to this diverse audience in one place without the need to make an obvious distinction with advertising as users will naturally seek out information – seemingly on their own terms.
At Brandwidth, we’ve been on top of iPad developments for quite some time, putting us at the forefront of content development. Our iPad platform R&D began nearly a year ago with our thinking based around “why do I need a bigger iPhone?”
As much as we would have loved one, we weren’t supplied a test unit by Apple as widely reported. Our development has been based on a solid understanding of Apple’s human interaction and hardware potential plus an indepth knowledge of touchscreen technology (and a few industry ‘insiders’).
We thought about our technical response but wanted to ensure we communicated our message effectively to the digital community in the run up to the launch of the iPad. We achieved this with a series of viral videos catering to the hunger for ‘leaked’ Tablet sightings.
Our first showed a user browsing a Tablet version of the IKEA catalogue – with added functionality such as the ‘Kitchen Kønfigurator’ and ‘randømiser’ function for the chair range. This kicked off a storm of comment over the legitimacy of the product whilst providing vital feedback on the content of the App itself.
Our second video followed hot on the heels of the IKEA footage, appearing to preview the 2011 edition of the Guinness World Records. Again, some serious comments from a Tablet-starved audience and excellent anecdotal evidence for our ongoing consultation on the future of GWR’s digital publishing output.
Part three signalled a change of tack from us with a caveman spoof of the ‘iSlate’ where a frustrated neanderthal attempts to get to grips with the new device.
Our final leak broke cover a few hours before the official launch, showcasing Brandwith’s forthcoming iPad App range. This successfully placed Apple, Brandwidth and various clients in the same digital media space.
Backed by an effective social network dialogue we have amassed more than 2 million aggregated video views to date, received global coverage from Mashable, Wired and Sky News and highlighted our new range of iPad apps due for release over the next 6 months – from simple-yet effective picture viewers, to high end gaming, all optimised for the iPad’s larger digital real estate.
Apple will always have its detractors. The original iPhone was lacking in many areas when it launched but was still in a league of its own. It started a communications revolution with no previous industry experience but the fundamental difference with the iPad is that the millions of Apple multitouch users, now familiar with the ease-of-use of the OS and an appreciation of great design, are already signed up to the brand.
This is brand-extension at its best. Now it is the content providers, not Apple, who must deliver. Watch this digital space...