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BoSacks Speaks Out: iPad Not Effective for Work, Fine for Play

Due to a series of mishaps I didn'

By Bob Sacks
Published: April 7, 2010

Due to a series of mishaps I didn't get my iPad till early Monday evening. So I am digesting the issues at hand (pun intended), with some slowness. I don't love it and I don't hate it either. For a digital work junkie like myself it is clearly not a work tool. It is designed to push content at you and not the other way around.

I tweeted this yesterday:

BoSacks My Review of iPad-More TK. Heavy w/sharp edges that prohibit long holding. Great screen, easy istore, not effective for work, fine for play.

As I sit here now that about sums it up. I will be writing a full review of my experience soon. For now I will tell you this. With all my gripes about this product, it is surely the start of something newish. The real winner will be iPad like but perhaps not the iPad, unless the iPad is willing to change too. The winner must be lighter and softer on the hands. It must have a reflective substrate(Not LCD) and I think it must have USB connections. It has to be able to print if I wish it to, and it has to multi-task. All these "necessitates" are not rocket science and are already available in the wepad. But as I stated last week all these product are mere antiques. The devices that are just around the corner will blow your mind.

The iPad's greatest strength and its greatest weakness is the very tightly closed environment. Nobody sells anything as easy as the Apple iStore. The one button system is a masterpiece of capitalistic simplicity. Special Note to all you kids in the garages of the world trying to invent the next big thing, well there it is. The completely universal and simple one button shopping experience. You kids get that licked and goodbye Apple dominance of everything digitally buyable. There are or will be better touch pads but there aren't yet better stores. Amazon is pretty good but not great. Try it and see how many actual clicks till you can buy something.

I will write a full review of my ipad experience soon. Right now we are both still flirting with each other and neither of us is has made the commitment of a full time relationship. I'm still looking over my shoulder at all the other cuties.



By Michael Jahn on Apr 07, 2010

I am not sure I can align my self with your "not effective for work" verdict.

I have already seen people using it as a kiosk;


and quite a few vendors are using its much smaller cousin the iPhone as medical devices.



Perhaps you have not actually had a chance to view the iPad SDK (Software Developer Kit)

HTML5 and forms are just around the corner !

You can look at other devices, but it is the Apple and the SDK that enables us developers to build business solutions.


By Bob Raus on Apr 08, 2010

My initial impression is that the iPad is designed for entertainment and not business. As such it becomes an additional gadget to carry as one travels - with sexy but limited value.


By Rod on Apr 08, 2010

Not sure how this review fits in a print context. However, the Ipad is at least better and more effective than printing to read critical business documents, whitepapers, and PDFs during travel--at least more than print pieces anyway...


By Noel Ward on Apr 08, 2010

Give it time. It is a new category of product that will surely evolve. Right now it's just kinda cool and interesting. But it's just the first version. For instance...

In 1992 cell phones were tethered to your car or were awkward bricks with high costs per call and seemed best used by self-important yuppies and guys with $2,000 suits. Now they are inexpensive, tiny, have still and video cameras, and connect to the web. And most people have one.

Less than 10 years ago the iPod and MP3 players were novelties with limited capacity. Now there are things like the iPod Touch (and even phones) that play music, video, store photos, have thousands of apps, and can even be used as a phone if you load the Skype.

I'm betting three generations from now (about 24 months) it will start replacing the laptop as a road warrior's companion of choice and be almost ubiquitous in homes, offices and airliner cabins. It won't replace a more powerful laptop, but for many business uses it will likely do just fine.

And no, I don't have one. I'm waiting for the 3rd gen, about 18 months from now.


By Chuck on Apr 08, 2010

It's an amazing machine that will have many business and commercial applications. It can't be compared to an ipod or an iphone. This is not a toy. It's groundbreaking and revolutionary, and will likely change how people work as much or more than laptop computers did. Much sooner than 18 months from now. It's useful for work now. The spreadsheet on it is absolutely incredible. Stay tuned for more.


By John on Apr 08, 2010

I agree with Noel - give it time. With everything it takes to concept and mass produce a product like this, it's already 3 years old.

You can bet the second generation has already been designed and the production facility and vendors are gearing-up. Gen3 is nearly designed and the software group is involved, and the Gen4 team has already submitted the concept and features to Jobs...

Apple knows how to sell the "sizzle."


By TimD on Apr 08, 2010

I've been using the iPad since this past Saturday and must say that it truly is a game-changing device. Effective for work? I think it will be. Will it ever replace my laptop...not yet, but it will some day. The combination of the larger real estate vs. the iPhone or iPod Touch combined with the fabulous multi-touch interface and I've got a device that does just about it all for me. I can run my company's browser-based applications, effectively use my email, and stay connected to all of my social media accounts. It's 10-12 hours of batter life keep me untethered from an outlet. But it's limit to wifi only, keeps me tethered to a hot spot.

I'm betting on it.


By Michael j on Apr 08, 2010

I read recently somewhere that the thing about the iPad is that it makes the computer disappear. My take is that play is a much,much larger market than work. And I agree with Bo that while it can be used for work, that's not the focus.

This vid at Youtube showing a 2 1/2 year old with the iPad makes it pretty clear why it's such a big deal. http://ilnk.me/2284

To me it's about personal shareable TV and reading books in a whole different way. From what I've read the simple business model should make it a big deal for book and magazine publishers to get a revenue stream with very little marginal cost of production or distribution.


By Heath on Apr 12, 2010

I appreciate the candid thoughts and following comments.

Whether the device is usable for business is pretty subjective and it certainly isn't a laptop killer. There are some serious limitations- even with some web based application right now. Google Docs, for example, can only be viewed and not edited at the current time. It is, however, still a great way to crank through some email on a flight when some 'Biggest Loser' candidate has the seat in front of you extended all the back and groaning with every bounce of turbulence.

Ultimately, what concerns me about your post is that it seems to be coming from a position of "What holes can I poke in this?".

Stating that it is "fine" for play is liking saying that Disney World is "ok" for kids. Really?

In this industry, our cutting edge devices are smashing melted plastic or spraying ink onto pieces of trees.

Technology that threatens our industry and livelihood is easy to resent but our challenge is to be as fair as possible to it so that we don't become blinded to the realities it will bring.


By Noel Ward on Apr 15, 2010

As for whether it can be used for business is also a bit subjective. What business? What uses?

The wife of a close colleague is a graphic designer and art director at Disney World in Orlando. Lots of interactivity and graphics on a screen are in the DNA. She holds patents on some of the stuff she's designed.

She learned yesterday that her entire department is being issued iPads because so many things can be done with them. OK, I know they'll write a lot of custom code, and how it will work is still TBD, but if someplace like Disney sees business applications with iPad 1.0, you gotta think there's a whole lot of potential.

I saw two in the United Airlines club in ORD yesterday and three at the GUA conference in Vancouver this week. Surprised to see them so quickly.


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