Let me preface this by saying I have been waiting for a tablet, of some sort, to come out from Apple for years. I’ve used PC tablets (even while being strictly on Macs, other than VMs) in the past and loved them for being able to take notes in meetings, or create mindmaps with tools like MindManager with extreme ease and intuitiveness. But I will not be buying or supporting the recently announced iPad in any way. Why? Because I am sick of Apple’s bullshit app store control process, amongst many other issues with the device itself.

The iPad seems to be entirely underwhelming. Sure, it is claiming fairly good battery life, sure it is using a new chip which is better than what is available for iPhones now, but the iPad is a crippled and limited device, that fails at doing what it even intends to. It is nothing more than an iTouch with a magnifying glass.

This is a single-task linear device that is a locked down black box which an owner has no control over. Apple has perfected Orwell’s 1984, but for devices. The App Store is a mortal sin, and it is censorship, control, and limitation at its core, disguised as stability and safety. From the wide ranging lies and double-dealing with VoiP apps to the debacle with Google Voice, the issues go on and on. The App Store is even one of the reasons why Apple won’t let Flash onto the iPhone, because it completely undermines the entire walled garden of the app store. And the App Store is the main reason I’ve shelved building the 3 iPhone apps I was working on (2 smaller ones, and 1 pretty big one that has a lot of potential…maybe one day…maybe non iPhone-OS platforms).

But here’s my reasons about why I won’t be picking up an iPad, despite my former hopes that an Apple tablet would be amazing and an instant buy for me.

  1. Still tied to AT&T. Screw. That.
  2. No multi-tasking. Seriously? That is a fatal flaw. On the iPad, IMing: “Wait, hold on, I have to log off so I can send an email, brb.” No listening to music while browsing or writing or using iWork. No being able to even see a doc or website you need to comment on in an email (you know, what some people call multi-tasking)…good luck. Major letdown.
  3. The iPad requires an adapter to even use USB? Seriously?
  4. All that nice “HD” video you can get on the iPad? Forget trying to output it to your TV or another device. There’s no HDMI/HD video out. Oh, wait…maybe they’ll start selling a $99 adapter for that.
  5. $900 for 64gb. Wow. Amazingly overpriced for not nearly enough memory. This should have been a minimum 250gb drive for that price point.
  6. Micro SIM. Welcome to even more sneaky ways for Apple and AT&T to control you and your use of a device. Because there are going to be zero other providers supporting Micro SIM for a good while to come. So forget about swapping your SIM or unlocking to get on a network that isn’t dedicated to suck.
  7. Still no Flash. The iPad is supposed to be much closer to a netbook or laptop than something like an iPhone. Using the web is a highlighted feature. Yet there is no Flash support. Go figure, despite Flash being a prevalent technology for immersive and interactive websites. Oh, not to mention putting Flash on the iPad or iPhone would completely break the app store monopoly, but that has nothing to do with it, most definitely not. It’s because Flash is too heavy and Flash Lite is too light…sure, Steve.
  8. Where’s the camera? Oh, right, there isn’t one. This isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw, but this sure seems to be a missed step from Apple. And that point speaks to the iPad in general: this does not seem nearly as well thought out or designed as their other devices. They merely took their existing hardware and OS (even removing a few things the iPhone already has), and enhugenated it. Nothing more.
  9. And last, but certainly not least: It is still tied to the bullshit App Store regulation and control. Good luck making your device do what you want it to do or installing 3rd party apps (or real software), unless Apple has come down from their lofty clouds to take the time to approve some app that almost does what you want it to do, with Apple’s permission…unless they don’t like it or it conflicts or competes with whatever they choose to blame it on that day. You are buying into monopoly and control, and Apple is pushing this model far beyond just the iPhone and iPad. Don’t let them control your options so blatantly.

On a related, yet minor note, what the hell is with the bezel on the iPad? That thing is huge. All that screen real estate wasted for the bezel. Again, seems not nearly as well designed or polished as other Apple introductions.

Generally, though, the iPad seems to miss what we have all come to expect from Apple’s designs. It isn’t nearly as polished or feature-rich as what one would have, prior to this, expected from Apple. It’s a minor upgrade in only size, and a downgrade in some other areas (such as no camera). This is a misstep, and my only hope is that v2 of the iPad makes some significant improvements, as this first gen is just not what it should have, or could have, been.

I know people who are still going to get them, though, as I’m sure many people will. I hope those people like it, I honestly do. But for me, personally, I’m not buying an iPad at all, because it sucks.

On the other hand, as a friend of mine overheard an Apple Store employee say: at least it will be easy to jailbreak.

Update, 01.29.10: A friend of mine, cruftbox (whom you may have heard of) has put up his own thoughts on the iPad after actually getting a hands-on (he was lucky enough to be at the announce event), and offers some contrasting good points and perspective. Check it out.