The Ipad. The new swiss army knife? Not yet…

The Ipad, macs “magical” little swiss army knife for all things techie. Or so the master minds at Apple would love you to think. Ahhhhh “There’s an app for that”. Such a short sentence has never promised so much to an entire world of consumers. First, let me make two confessions. A) When the Ipad launched I was excited and then immediately disappointed. B) I bought my wife an Ipad, so even though my tone may seem be judgmental, it’s not like I don’t have one just like everyone else.

As I continue going to video shoots and projects, the wafer thin technological oddity keeps popping up, like the reminders on my macbook to update Itunes… “I don’t want to update Itunes! Leave me alone ghost of Steve Jobs!!!” But I find myself asking, what are they trying to make this thing do now and what was wrong with the way we used to do it?

Sure, that question resonates angry tirades of my grandfather, but maybe he had a point (I must be getting older). The thing is, I am all for progressing technology and moving forward when it works. In these cases, however, the Ipad was not a tool, it was an icon imitating a tool. It “technically” worked in each scenario, and by technically I mean barely and after much confusion and screen pushing.

So, here is my honest opinion of the Ipad in the professional realm. It could work, if Apple would let it. The fact is, the Ipads hardware is pretty amazing. It has the immediate potential to do a number of valuable tasks that professionals would love to have in one convenient, portable, tablet. But Apple doesn’t play that way. They have rules. Rules that are strictly enforced and so the Ipad in all it’s glory is rendered ultimately useless as a real tool for the trade.

You could jail break your Ipad which unlocks all the amazing potential the Ipad already contains, but that will void your warranty and since this is a public entity, I can not say I condone this action 😉 I am talking about the Ipad as it sits fresh out of the box. It’s fun and it’s great to travel with, and my wife loves her Ipad… but it is what it is. Until, Apple or a competitor is willing to let the cat out of the bag (insert OSX Lion pun here), the frustrations with trying to make it do something it wasn’t meant to seems to only hinder the production process.

To clarify, I don’t hate Macs (I have many in my production set up) and I don’t hate the Ipad. I simply encourage the thought of productive efficiency over “look what I can make it do… sort of”. My hope is that one day the industry will have a tablet pc (be it mac or android or something else) that will stream line many of the tedious tasks needed in a production. We aren’t there yet… be we are getting close.

-Lee Kebler

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