Tuesday, April 13, 2010

iPad -- the New Computing Form Factor! (xWinLib announces support of the iPad!)

Today I released support for the iPad in my xWinLib cross-browser library. But first:

Hello, I’m a Windows dude and I LOVE THE iPad.

That’s not a sacrilegious statement or my introduction at Apple Anonymous, it’s a statement based on anticipation, excitement, and realization. Yes, I had to have it the day it came out. Yes, I am a geek, but I also consider myself more of a Window’s guy than an Apple dude. Still, I do own a Mac Air, a bunch of iTouchs, and of course a Macbook Pro (all [mostly] for testing purposes[;-)]) --- but the iPad is truly different.

I like to think that I obsessed on owning the iPad because it represents a new “form factor” – a new paradigm in the computing world – and as a software developer it opens all kinds of new avenues. And while all of this is true – and I do think that the iPad creates an entirely new market that previously did not exist (and we didn’t even know we needed…but we do need it) – there’s more to it… the iPad is COOL!

The day of the iPad release, lines went around the block. I called my local Apple store in the Galleria mall and they told me the line went outside into the parking lot. Best Buy at Pembroke Pines had a line that exceeded their inventory. Double bummer. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait in line to get my iPad. My local Best Buy in Sunrise somehow didn’t get their UPS-delivered shipment of iPads the day before --- and boy were they stressing! I went there the day before and talked to the dude responsible for the iPad rollout at that store – he was totally stressing. The morning of the launch, the guys answering the phone were even more stressed, and they probably went something like this: “Hi, this is Best Buy, no we haven’t gotten our iPad shipment in yet but we are hopeful that it will happen today. Please call back and we’ll be happy to tell you this again.”

After lunch I went in anyway and the “iPad dude” gave me a number for “when (if) they did come in” --- I got number 18, “just make sure you come in to pick it up before 5pm” – no problem! And it wasn’t – I rolled in at 4:30 --- the shipment arrived – no line – they swiped my credit card – and I left with the goodies. S-u-w-e-e-t.

So, what’s all the fuss for what many are calling an oversized iPhone?

Would you leave your personal computer or laptop on your coffee table for others to play with? No friggin’ way. Would you pass your laptop around the room in a magnanimous gesture of sharing? Seriously? Not a chance. Yet the coffee table is exactly where my iPad sits. And that’s just one of the things that makes the iPad so radically different.

The iPad is a household computing device. A media interface. A computer DESIGNED FOR SHARING. And, as a gaming device it adds a layer of SOCIAL INTEGRATION that transcends virtual to, dare I say it, reality!

How many remotes do you have? In my house I’ve got the cable box, blue-ray dvd, TV, surround sound, and an HDMI splitter – and that’s just the family room. Yeah, I’ve tried the “smart remote” -- my son bought me the Logitech model 10billion -- and my wife still shops for wicker baskets to hold all of the remotes.

More so, are we really approaching “the year of home automation”? OK, I already mentioned that I’m a geek – and, yes, I was playing around with creating APIs for X10 device 2 ½ DECADES ago – but TRUE automation is way cooler than turning on and off your Christmas lights with a key fob.

The iPAD IS PERFECT FOR ALL OF THIS. My laptop… not so much. My desktop… definitely not. My server farm… get real…. Hence my belief that the iPad is a completely new form factor for computing – and THAT is why I had to have one… NOW. For all these reasons and more, I made damn sure that my xWinlib library (www.xwinlib.com) provides support and recognition for the iPad platform – TODAY.

And now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got to excuse myself so I can test my credit limit in the APP STORE… and I’ve got a few planes to land as I play “drag and drop” air-traffic controller…


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