I heard the question many times last week: "Have you got your iPad yet?" I guess people assume that since I write a column about the Internet and its ancillary technology I must have hustled to the Apple Store to stand in line, or waited for a United Parcel Service delivery with the anticipation of being one number away from yelling "bingo" at my neighborhood casino.
No, I don't have an iPad yet. And I don't plan to get one anytime soon. I've taken an iPad for a test-drive a couple of times, and think Apple has built something really cool. It's a game-changer for how people interact with data and entertainment. It's really, really good -- but not great.
The iPad oozes coolness. What's missing is the "wow" factor.
Unlike the nearly half-million people who have already paid at least $499 for an iPad, I'm waiting for a later version. If Apple follows its history, you can look for an iPad2, or iPad Pro before the end of the year. The new one will be much better. It may evoke "wow."
Here's what I'm hoping for in iPad2:
■A decent camera that shoots stills and video. It should be 5 megapixels or more. This will enable video calls using Skype, the popular voice-over-Internet protocol application.
■Ability to play Flash. Adobe Flash is used in more than half of the animation and video presented on the Web. Apple's refusal to work with this file type is causing others to scramble to output video in multiple formats. There are a lot of white spaces in iPhone/iPad browsers where video should be playing. (Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Thursday reaffirmed Apple's decision to not enable Flash to play on his company's mobile devices.)
■Addition of a universal serial bus port, or two. This would make it easy to attach the iPad to a printer, scanner or other peripheral device.
■Expandable memory. I'd love to be able to slide a 16-gigabyte micro Secure Digital card into the iPad to move files between devices, watch more video or listen to more audio.
Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4.0 operating system Thursday. The new OS has 100 upgrades, including multitasking; a new way to organize applications; a unified e-mail inbox; and the addition of iBooks to the iPhone.
Don't look for the new operating system soon. Jobs said it will be ready for the iPhone this summer; the iPad version arrives in the fall. Apple is expected to show off new iPhone hardware during the World Wide Developers Conference in June. Dates haven't been announced.
A final reason I'm delaying my iPad purchase is that I'll likely be updating my iPhone first. Most of the benefits of the new operation system won't work on my iPhone 3G. I'll be waiting to see what's new in June, then deciding how to best spend my Apple dollars.
I'm hoping to swing a two-for-one deal.
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