The thing about the Internet, and much of media, is that opinions are like change – sure we have some, and it can make some noise, but that doesn’t mean its enough to change anything without having signifiant value to someone else. To that end, I am sitting on my iPad in Evernote, thinking about the iPad2, and what kind of value that it should mean. I mean, since I have one, the new one should matter to me in some account right?
My God-kids (daughter and son) are inline to get an iPad/iPad2. My God daughter (Beauti – isn’t she beautiful) has had some time with mine, and probably a few others’, and its as natural a computing interface for her as anything else. She and I played with Adobe Ideas. And though she mainly had fun with colors and painting – 2yr olds painting on digital canvases are lovely kids according to parents – it was an interesting and engaging time for her. It was nice to be sitting with her and us sharing many hours together just drawing, coloring, and later looking at videos.
For her, the iPad will be closer to what she’d interact with as a composition book than most else. And even if not (ya, know, something about learning how to write with a pen is valued more than writing the same letters with your fingers) she will have a space where she can and will learn about the world around her in a way that even her parents are still coming to grips with. In that funneled perspective, the iPad2 represents life with a PC that acts in a manner that I think of – engaged from the outset.
It didn’t take the iPad for me. I was hooked way back in the day with the Etch-A-Sketch. The ability to have a screen in front of me that I could see a story and then craft my own occupied all kinds of productive time for me. When that screen evolved to a Speak-and-Spell, I went from making abstract lines of content to something that presented to me abstract and concrete items (words, math problems, sentences/small stories) that I could learn how to manipulate and create my own iterations of the worlds and stories around me. And then (much) later, to see how a handheld computer could not only be a means of recording stories, re-visualizing stories/math formulas, to creating new experiences. For me, things evolved quickly, and became similar and a lot more engaging than that Etch-A-Sketch could ever be.
For my God-kids, an iPad is merely an Etch-A-Sketch. Its a place where she can and will create things that I will have some idea about, and other things that I will have no clue about. And like my youth and watching some artists pull off some amazing things with Etch-A-Sketch devices, she too will be sparked to imagine and take hold of life differently because of how people have and will continue to manipulate the digital canvas that has now become more fun, more accessible, and more usable by a lot of others.
The iPad2 is just a means of smoothing the edges a bit. We are still a long way from what will be the amazing device, service, engaged-interaction that she will see in roughly 30 years time. And when she gets there, she too will make the observation that there’s some neat things happening with this technology that – for all of its small, iterative growth – plays a role in helping a world of little people who don’t yet have their voice/legs in this world, to figure out how best to walk, run, and be creators of their own stories.
So yea, there’s a new iPad out. And unless she wants to video-chat, chances are that I’m not getting one (the other features don’t impact my ability to get work done in the least in a way that matters above the first one). All the other opinions about it don’t really matter. It will be her telling of the story that makes the case if this was a solid product or not.
Image via Apple website.