I am sure many others are debating whether or not to buy an Apple Ipad (Apple is already taking pre-orders for April delivery). There are many features that we would have loved to have in the Apple Ipad but i still think there are several which can make this a good buy.
1. Pretty Robust ebook platform:
Ipad probably is the best and most robust option that you have for an ebook reader (others – Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Sony ebook reader etc). There can be three sources from which you can buy and read ebooks
a. Directly from IBook Store using IBook App : I am sure Apple biz dev folks are talking to all the top pubishers to include them in the book store
b. Using Other Apps (KIndle, Nook etc) : If a book is not available on Ibook you can download a Kindle or Nook App to buy the books
c. Access Books from cloud (Google Editions): There is a very high probability that many international books are not available through IBook, Kindle or Nook. Google has done a great job of working with thousands of publishers/libraries across the globe to make these books accessible to users (through Google Book Search program). I am sure Google will be talking to these publishers to include these books in Google Editions (Google’s cloud based ebook platform)
d. Read freely available ebooks (epub format): Apple Ibook app will allow you to upload any epub fomat ebook that you might have (many free ebook services like project Gutenberg provide book in epub format)
I dont belive any other Ebook device can provide you with such a robust solution. However, It will be intersting to check out other factors:
i. Size/Weight of the device: The device definitely is bigger than Kindle. Which might be good for a better Newpaper/magazine reading experience.
ii. Battery backup : The color screen will definitely use more battery as compared to Kindle so more frequent charging of your Ipad
iii. Reading experience: Apple Ipad will not use e-Ink format that Nook and Kindle use. E-Ink based devices are supposed to provide readers a better and more comfortable reading experience. Reading in sunlight might be problematic too.
It seems Apple will not support Flash. There are many rich media sites (Hulu etc.) that use flash. However, I believe that these companies anyway will have Iphone App.
2. Form factor:
Apple Ipad has a huge form factor advantage. This huge screen would be great for viewing TV episodes and movies on the device. There are already various apps available on iphone App store to view your favorite TV shows on the move.
3. Access to thousands of Apps through Itunes:
Since the device can connect to internet and will have itune store available on the device there will not be any hassle of synching the device to your PC/Laptop. And you all of a sudden have access to thousands of Apps available through App store.