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Ten years of the iPad: Some things never change

Ten years of the iPad: Some things never change

It was “a wholly new product,” a “futuristic gadget the likes of which we’ve never seen before” that would somehow “soon be viewed with the same nostalgia-tinged contempt we have for the original iPod and iPhone.” After months of debate and speculation in the aftermath of its announcement, ten years ago this week the original iPad arrived and I finally got to review it.

Anniversaries are an opportunity to look back in time and ponder how much has changed. I’m happy to report that despite spending a bit too much time dewlling on how the iPad didn’t run Flash, my review from April 2010 does a pretty good job of encapsulating the potential of that original iPad. Re-reading that review today also reminds me that we’re still debating a lot of the same issues that the iPad brought up when it was introduced. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The future is now retro

I don’t have to go back and read words I wrote a decade ago to access my memories of that era. They’re permanently etched in my mind. No piece of Apple hardware save for the original iPhone was as revelatory as that original iPad. As I wrote back then:

“The iPad may be the most impressive piece of Apple hardware I have ever handled…. It’s a fantastic piece of hardware, inside and out, but more than that, it’s the apotheosis of Apple’s design philosophy, synthesizing cutting-edge hardware design with innovative system and application software into a single, unified product. Holding the iPad feels like you’re holding the future, and not in a hazy dream-like way, but in a I can’t believe I’m actually here kind of way.”

That last part is my overriding memory of the occasion: The iPad felt like the future, like a prop from a science fiction movie, something that we’ve assumed would eventually be invented—at an indeterminate point later in the 21st century. And here I was, sitting on the edge of my bed, pulling it out of its box and powering it up.

jason snell 2010 ipad 1st look 01 IDG

Jason Snell with the very first iPad in 2010.

The original iPad still feels great. (I still have mine.) It’s got a combination of traits that no other iPad has ever had, thanks to the curved aluminum back and flat sides. Apple redesigned future models to have flat backs and tapered edges, though the flat sizes are back in vogue thanks to the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro. Yes, the bezels are enormous and the screen—impressive for 2010—now just looks grainy and weird, because Retina resolutions have ruined older screens for me forever.

But it’s still a solid piece of tech, through and through. What was a document from the future a decade ago is now a piece of retro tech, charming in how primitive it is. So it goes.

Get ready to accessorize

Something I couldn’t understand until I first held the iPad in my hands was just how important accessories would be. “One of the biggest challenges to using the iPad is simple logistics,” I wrote. “Where do you put it, and can you see and touch the screen comfortably from there?” I quickly found myself getting uncomfortable using the iPad, and declared that Apple’s original ugly iPad case was going to be more useful than I had expected. Propping up the iPad for typing or for using as a video viewer were necessities.

via Macworld https://www.macworld.com/article/3535220/10-years-ipad-some-things-never-change.html#tk.rss_all
link : https://www.macworld.com/article/3535220/10-years-ipad-some-things-never-change.html#tk.rss_all
April 4, 2020 at 04:25AM

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