The single most notable phenomenological residue of spending a few hours with the iPad is what it does to my perception of the iPhone. The minute I picked up an iPhone back in 2007, other smartphones that had seemed remarkably capable (Treos, Blackberries) suddenly felt dated and limited. To my great surprise, the iPad does, for me, the same thing to the iPhone. Whereas before today the iPhone felt like a capable, if diminutive, computer, suitable for web browsing, email, composing text, and running all sorts of applications, it now seems more like, well, a phone. A phone that can do lots of cool things, to be sure, but nonetheless, my perception of its primary identity is no longer “computer that also makes calls” but simply “phone that runs some handy utilities.” As of today, when I picture the “thing from the future that I take with me to do almost everything I can do with a laptop except write code,” I picture an iPad, not an iPhone — until, of course, the inevitable release of the device that changes my perception of the iPad.
April 3, 2010 By