Our Thoughts On The IPad


The iPad, announced earlier this week,  has been a massive media extravaganza. Some people were elated, and some let down. We’ve been asked over and over what our thoughts on the device are. Join us after the break to find out.

[Caleb]–My grandma would love this. I really think that she is their target. It is easy to use, portable, and has a custom interface that removes all of the windows style interface cruft. Personally, I don’t need one. I have an iPhone (yes, I know most of you hate them). The iPad offers me nothing that my iPhone doesn’t, except a larger screen.

I am excited though. I’m excited at the prospect of a mid level touch screen tablet with an appliance style interface becoming common. I can’t wait to see the knockoffs that can run Linux with a custom interface. The knockoffs that will actually have USB ports, and a non wobbly back. Those same knockoffs that will most likely have a front facing camera. I want one of those.

As far as hackability goes, this might actually be fairly hackable. The processor isn’t actually as proprietary as some would think. It is ARM based, and not too different from some other devices we’ve seen. It appears as though they planned for a camera. There might even be a spot on the motherboard for it. I fully expect to see it “jailbroken”, but what I WANT to see is the guts modified. I want to see home hackers add external storage (card slot), load a different operating system, up the storage. Then again, I thought the same thing about the iPhones and iPod touches, but haven’t seen hardware hacks at all really.

[Mike]–This is the first I’ve heard of the iPad. I got soooooo tired of all the apple tablet rumors that I quit paying attention. I run Linux only and unless this device will sync out of the box with my Linux systems I’m not interested. I also don’t usually do hardware hacks on anything that cost me more than $250 but buy so I’m not going to be cracking the case open on this thing anytime soon.

[James] — The iPad has the opportunity to be a great product, but probably not for me, and probably not for most of our readers. It markets itself to the casual internet user who wants to listen to music, browse Facebook, or watch Youtube on the couch rather than the hardcore photo editor, writer, or programmer. I am excited to see someone like Apple really push the market, and cant wait to see the responses, especially from people like MSI and Asus. Personally, I’m waiting for someone to make a really great convertible tablet netbook with native support for Linux.

[Jakob] — I hate Apple products, I mean almost with a passion. But I actually do own an iPhone – and I admit, it is one slick nice device. Small, powerful, convenient – all things the iPad is not. Its like Apple couldnt decide on making yet another iPhone revision or a full tablet PC and decided to give us a semi nerfed iPad instead. From what I’ve heard, there is no multitasking and several other features that – if can be included on the iPhone – why did they remove it from the iPad? Final note: being an apple product, its  about $500 more then it should be.

(And it doesn’t even come with wings for extra absorption)

[Devlin] — Meh, I don’t think there is going to be much to do with hacking the iPad, I won’t buy one because I don’t see a reason for having it. If others have the same thought, not many people are going to be buying the iPad and therefore not many people are going to be hacking the iPad.

162 thoughts on “Our Thoughts On The IPad

  1. iPad is to netbooks what the iPod was to mp3 players. If they make it pretty enough and easy enough to use, it will succeed.

    On a side note, it can act like a phone with a bluetooth headset and a VOIP application.

  2. Jeez hack a day, keep on the ball much?

    anyway, its a nifty toy with no market, designed for dumbness who get confused pushing the time in on their microwave

    what else can you say, other than the normal apple stuff of “it looks pretty” and “i better sell the car if i want one”

  3. This is a lame product simply because it’s really behind the curve already. Really, it’s almost like the iPad is knockoff. Look for web tablets that already run android and have been on the market for awhile. You can get them with screens from 3.5″ up to 12″, and nearly all of them are cheaper, have more features(multitasking), and are more open.

    I’m not an apple fan, but I was hoping they would do some impressive things with this like they usually do whenever they enter a new field. I’m sure people will still buy it though because a lot of people just go with whatever apple makes.

  4. Another thing to think about: it’s going to spread the innovation-choking cancer of “Made for iPod” and “Works with iPhone” licensing. You cannot make a device that officially connects to this product without including Apple silicon in your design, for which you pay. Device manufacturers are (anonymously) already complaining about the price of entry into the Apple market. Hobbyists and hardware hackers are written out of the picture entirely. The iPhone could support Bluetooth SPP and connect with many devices, but it doesn’t. It could talk to devices over serial port through the dock connector, but that’s not allowed unless you are a big manufacturer and can pay $4+ per device to Apple. The iPad is the same thing, but the difference is it’s intended to take over a good chunk of the computing sector. There will be people who have only the iPad. I cannot independently make a device that these people can use without Apple’s approval.

  5. I sold my original iPhone a while ago to buy an HD2. I love it but the browsing just isen’t as good as on the iphone(flash aside), altough the ressolution makes a huge difference. When i want to do a cassual browse in the couch, I grabb my netbook, and that is just not a great expierience with the little mouspad and keyboard. I had an Acer C300 convertible tablet, it needed a stylus, but for browsing it was perfect. To bad the touchscreen broke down.
    I would love to see a more affordable alternative with windows 7 or linux that has usb and does multitasking in a 2 month timeframe, like the Lenovo U1(no pricing yet, guessing it won’t be cheap) otherwise I will buy an iPad and get screwed next year with all the extras apple waited to add in.

  6. IPad is almost all about hype, but Lenovo and Microsoft are going to bring similar devices in the next months. Apple has outrunned them with all the viral marketing which has surrounded the ipad all these last months. From the technical point of view, the ipad isnt anything marvelous, its just an arm with a “decent” screen and a fairly nice battery. No webcam? You have to upgrade the internal USB bus to add a new port. Thats no big deal.
    The big score of Apple is the deal with all the editorial world. They have showed with the ITunes store that they are serious people to the music editorial houses. Almost the same thing about the software developer world with the AppStore. Why not with books?
    I think those are reasons that are different this time with this tablet PC, and why it may finally boost the launch of this technology.
    And anyhow, the design is really high-tech.Havent we watched plenty of movies/tv-series these last years that show people with these devices?

  7. Honestly, to me, it doesn’t look bad at all. It does all the thing’s I’d want out of the device. VoIP, taking note’s at school, reading books, play causal games, watch HD video. At $500 it’s a steal if you think of how much buying a book reader, iPod, and netbook would be, and it runs much better than them. I don’t have any of those already so it’s really aimed toward people like me, sure that audience is limited, doesn’t make me rage.

    The only thing I’d want is multitasking of course, so I can VoIP while doing other things… and maybe a stylus to come with it to draw.

  8. i heard it doesn’t support flash?
    the only thing i would do with an ipad is pour spaghetti sauce on it and upload it to youtube “Just how absorbent IS the iPad”

    Apple Fails. ( to sell me their products because they want to control too much. like “i’ll sell you this mp3 player but you can’t put your mp3s on it, you have to buy content from our store” and “I’ll sell you this phone that is supposed to be all awesome but you can’t use a memory card with it and you can’t bluetooth your friends to get music & stuff, you have to buy them from our store”
    iCantWait until they release the iGiveUP, iHaveRunOutOfProductNamesBegginingWith’i’.
    Steve Jobs, are you iRate?
    isn’t it iRonic? lol (are you mad?)
    but seriously, if you’re gonna make something like that, why not just make your standard netbook, with the standard netbook Atom processor, minus the keyboard, touchpad, hinges, plus a touchscreen, bluetooth, and USB PORTS?
    suggested names for new apple devices: iFail, iSuck, iAmOverpriced, iAmLimited, iDontworkwithgloves.

  9. “”When have they ever gone into a new field? They just make quality versions of what is out there.””

    no they put them into quality cases, their products OMG, seriously I cant understand how a company that started the major pc revolution is still around and cant solder worth a crap

    ask my g4 with its cpu half self desoldered, or any macbook user in the last few years getting 3-4 repairs cause their gpu keeps poping off, or every other freakin model bursting into flames

    and the G5’s nuff said there, 10 grand for a computer that cant keep from self destruction?

  10. @prince
    I agree.

    There are cappacitive styli available.
    Multitasking probably will come after jailbraik.
    Yes i does hd but on a non hd screen, my netbook can’t.
    Lcd is way faster than e-ink.
    I dissagree on the ipod part, you just can’t pull this out of your pocket to chance what song is on.

  11. @Oler
    It does have an HD screen, it’s 768 tall, perfect for 720p content. HD has to do with height not width last time I checked.
    But on your other points, I do agree with you. I probably will buy a capacitive stylus and jailbreak it, and you’re right this does not fit in my pocket.

  12. I’m really really not going to buy one of these. I’m really disturbed by the trend that apple seems to be putting in place here. In addition to positioning themselves as the gatekeepers for all richly interactive content, Apple continues to drive a wedge between users and developers. Every programmer I know started out because they were raised with devices which lent themselves easily to the practice. Now we have a platform on which any sort of development environment is outlawed! This is not in the spirit of the internet that I was excited about back in the 90’s.

    So, what I want to see out of this is jailbreaking go mainstream. Someone needs to write a killer app to kill the app store. I’m not sure what said app should be, but if someone could get a viable flash player running on this thing I think it’d go a long way towards proving that it pays to actually control the devices you pay for.

  13. @prince
    My bad, 720p indeed just refers to horizontal lines, 1280×720 is just a common resolution used.
    and 768 is often paired with 1366.
    You do get huge black bars or the sides hiddden when you zoom in due to the 4:3 format.
    I guess 16:9 or 16:10 isn’t verry handy in a tablet.

  14. So does this freeze and give you twirly bananas too? just like a MAC when being asked to do anything more than power up, but my tip is save yourself some money and way till 3rd gen ipad comes out in a couple of months, one more question, is it upgradable like other apple products? i mean throw it away and buy a new one

  15. “Today, Apple launched a computer that will never belong to its owner. Apple will use Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to gain total veto power over the applications you use and the media you can view.”

    “The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution.”

    Listen this time it serious and dangerous for all of us. People this is historic moment, this event will affect our future, if Apple will get away with this soon everyone will follow their path and we will be doomed to have TV like computers and internet, with out right
    to “own” them.
    So please show Apple that you are not little Kids who need supervision all the time because they too stupid to be individual and make own decisions.
    The critical time to resist is now, in a month or even few weeks it will be too late, show Apple that they crossed the line this time.

  16. While I must admit I’m not too happy by what was revealed (or lack of what was revealed like a camera, flash, sd slot, etc), I’m probably still going to purchase one of the lower-end 3G models because of the prepaid pricing plan they’ve developed with AT&T.

    Due to some financial mishaps after graduating college and not being able to pay my student loans (which has been remedied, but my credit still suffers) my credit isn’t the best in the world. AT&T (and Verizon, others were slightly cheaper) wanted/wants a $500 deposit for me to get an iPhone, which pushes my first month’s bill to just under $1000 when you figure in the cost of the phone and the first month’s bill. The ability to buy 3G internet access “when needed” is VERY appealing to me and I really wish there were other options like this out there.

    I can definitely justify $660 for a mobile internet enabled browser and SSH client for accessing all the various switches/routers at our remote clinics. It’s smaller than my laptop/bag combo that I normally have to lug around and there’s quite a variety of RDP clients in the App Store that could essentially turn this into a 10″ thin-client laptop terminal.

    Does anybody else know of any other way to get month-to-month 3G+ w/o costly (less than $100) hardware to buy? Hardware being a modemcard of some sort, I already have a laptop/netbook.

  17. I might have been impressed if it ran a real OS,
    but the ipads just a gimmick laden screen with little else. Personally I don’t even like the look of the thing it looks dated cumbersome and just waiting to fall behind a couch down a storm drain or get cracked in a back pack filled with books. Why are there books in the backpack when you have the Ipad? Why because the majority of books people use or read that aren’t a new york times best seller probably won’t be readily available. Why can’t they actually put forth some effort into making what they have more robust and modification friendly instead of loading poor IT people with devices that suck at integration. I can’t wait to see our students figiting with these and wondering why they can’t hook it up to the projector like the other students with real netbooks and laptops.

  18. I’ve been looking for something like that, not for me but for my parents. They don’t understand how to use computers and even after long hours of trying to tech them they can’t cope with all this double vs single click debacle. The bar on the bottom showing windows is impossible to comprehend (win xp), no matter how many times I explain it they will never get the concept and are confused then a mail program opens a word document.

    This is ideal for them to check photos, witch they can’t do themselves but sometimes ask me to put on for them… No flash support kinds kills it though as a web browser though – can’t play video on news sites… If I here in that keynote, when steve had that no-flash-plugin on the screen I would just stand up then and there and shouted “a browser without flash support this day and age? fuck you Steve!” and walked out. Maybe some bad press about that on release day make them think next time…

    $500 it’s a lot for a digital photo album, but no other product on the market I seen would bring it even close to being computer-illiterate friendly. Of course I will need to upload pictures for them.

  19. wow, I’m really surprised by all the negative response to the iPad. I am beginning to wonder how many of you people are shills for the competitors and if you aren’t, you are all a bunch of fucking tools.

    How excited were people when the crunchpad was being developed? This device is 10x better in every way and will absolutely dominate its market. It’s offered in two versions so you aren’t forced into a 3G tax.

    My god how blind are you people? Can you imagine going to the doctor and the receptionist hands you an iPad to fill out your information on? Or any other service oriented place?

    I do plan on buying one, probably even the 3G version considering how cheap the bandwidth plans are. I might wait until the second or third generation, but I kind of doubt it.

    As for hacking, I think an hd upgrade is in order, but i think i’ll let someone else figure it out first.

  20. @Prince
    Actually, it does not have an “HD” screen. The lowest resolution HD is 720p. 720p is a 16:9 resolution. Being binded to that aspect ratio, your max scalability is governed by the vertical lines. In this case 1024. 1024 with a 16:9 counterpart is 1024×576. This resolution is called 576p and is considered EDTV (enhanced definition). So the ipad technically scales 720p video to it’s 576p display.

  21. “1976: July – The Apple I computer board is sold in kit form, and delivered to stores by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Price: US$666.66”

    Do you see twisted game Steve Jobs playing? he encrypt message himself in price and name of device, that we will be doomed if we use Apple, just like biblical meaning of fruit

  22. @therian
    Steve Wozniak chose the price on the Apple I. He was Atheist. He liked repeating numbers. He didn’t know what it meant until people pointed it out to him.

    I still don’t like the iPad.

  23. @anon
    Yeah, a $1000 fabrege` glass tablet instead of 25 cents worth of paper, pen, and clipboard to be handled by people who may not know how to tie their shoes. I can see this saving lots of money for an already messed up healthcare system. Better get a launch model before Blue Shield buys them all up for all their providers. HD upgrade hack? Really? Better check the shed again and see if there’s a missing pitchspoon.

  24. I guess a lot of guys miss the point on the product. For the entry level price, it is just $10 more expensive than a Kindle DX. Kindle R.I.P.

    I see the iPad killing the Kindle, and selling millions of units to the same market that already bought millions of Kindles (and lots of kindles in the dumpsters or waiting to be hacked). I see iTunes selling books, and Apple making a ton of money out of the book market… plus music… plus movies…. they are just expanding the intellectual property they can sell on iTunes, and creating the product for it.

    Seriously, the guys at amazon, and barnes and noble, and sony and every other e-book reader be really worried now.

  25. Wow, this topic was perfect for revealing the ratio of adults to adolescents in the Hack-a-Day community.

    If you don’t like Apple products just don’t buy them. Some of us like Apple products, and not because we’re drones. We like them for the usability, the great software and attention to the human interface.

    So, to the point, I love my MacBook Pro and my iPhone, but I’m not sure I see an iPad in my future. In truth, I was hoping that all the rumors of a tablet would turn out to be false and that something more interesting would have been revealed. Then again, when the iPod first rolled out I was disappointed as well. However, I think that the user space for the iPad is going to grow because I’m sure the iPad will iterate fairly quickly just as the iPod did.

    I also would have liked to see the iPad be more of a computer than a large iPhone that will be more difficult to develop for.

  26. All the fussing and fighting! Initially i was unimpressed with the bubblegum looking apps that were demo’d, however imagine the apps that could be developed on this platform!

    Come on, it looks like a solid piece of hardware, could be used for all sorts of multitouch midi hardware control. Think of the lemur!

    Yeah apple have lost touch with the creative people but apple products are far from unhackable, just try harder!

    Its interesting how angry people get about apple products i think most are just closet fanboys! Hiding in their cupboards wishing they had that macbook pro!

    flame on!

  27. I am not really sure where this fits in within the sphere of computing devices. Without its add-on keyboard it is essentially an iPhone with gigantism without native voice support (Yes I know it is possible to use the 3G radio and voip but that is cheating) and with the keyboard it is a netbook without any of the advantages (like multitasking, USB, free world apps etc).
    That said it probably wont stop the device selling like hotcakes – I fully expect to see people tout these on/in public transport and coffee shops/bars in the near future.
    As for copycat devices not constrained to Apples cult-like restrictions it would still seem to me like someone snapped the keyboard off of a touchscreen netbook…

  28. really? really? i cant believe people that go to a site like hackaday could possibly like this device. its over priced, the highest model only has 64gb. no ports, no custom software. everything this device is, a cheaper tablet does better save for weight. what can this thing do for the hacking community? nothing. it would have to be unlocked and even then the hardware is limited and overpriced. its just disgusting to see fans of this device calling anyone that doesn’t love it derogatory terms. no thanks. i already hated the new inexperienced posters of content (heres looking at you mike) but now the community has gone mainstream and falls for hype. hacking is not about what is pretty or useable. its about what you can do with it. its about taking something cheap and turning it into something powerful. no i for one am done with this site. this site lost its way when it lost its veterans. anyone remember when this first came out and it was a true hacking site. i do. i remember when they posted the best macintosh wifi hack on the net. bet nobody here remembers that. the audience has changed to consumers, not creators and tinkerers, and i am not part of the new audienec.

  29. I’m glad to see this finally get under way.

    Once apple manages to pull in enough market share with a pure DRM play, Microsoft will quickly follow. The biggest difference between Vista and Windows 7 is pretty much that they’ve worked out the bugs in the DRM so that it doesn’t cause issues for people who don’t file share.

    How many people know the story of the netbook maker who captures the built-in webcam photo on first log-in… and sends it home while checking for updates? Yes, now your dossier has a picture. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

    What I really look forward to is widespread IPV6 rollouts. IPV6 = no nat required – finally, we’ll be able to absolutely track where you go and what you do on the internet with you… And no more browser tricks required.

    Run firefox? It has unique per install IDs.
    Run IE? Even worse.
    Any browser that runs flash has uniquely trackable information. Even if you’re crafty, the first time your wife, son or brother-in-law checks into hotmail, yahoo or gmail, you’re no longer anonymous.

    You cannot hide your tracks anymore, little mice!
    So be very, very good!

  30. I honestly don’t understand the point to it. If I’m at home I can use one of my computers/tablet/netbook if I’m somewhere else I can use my iPhone where does this thing come in as practical use?

    Don’t get me wrong its a cool gadget but it just seems like an iTouch with a bigger screen.

    ps I think it should have a webcam and a larger hard drive

  31. Marketing 101, he took it.
    How he describes it is quite lulzy IMO, but either way its pretty sweet, i wonder when an open source clone of this will be manufactured, preferably heavier duty than this.

  32. Think about all the good brought to our world by braindead and pretty software and hardware: without braindead, zombie-proof stuff we’d be here surfing the web on emacs. By pushing the boundaries of simplicity you have the chance to go hardcore when you want to, and feel proud that chanllenged people can enjoy tech as well

  33. Starfleet Command is laughing at this right now. “We’re we actually that stupid and redundant in the early twenty-first century?”

    Yeah. Apple, DOES have the most advanced technology on this planet, but it’s not perfect. On this note, how is it that Microsoft got the Tablet PC concept right and Apple did not?

    I have always wondered this in Earth history. Fascinating, indeed. Wait till you see what Apple comes up with next. I can’t tell you, though.

    Temporal Prime Directive.

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