This morning’s Observer column.
The essence of the iPad is that it's a good device for passive ‘consumption’ of preprepared multimedia content. That’s why the old media dinosaurs are salivating about it: it seems to offer them a way of regaining control of the customer – and of ensuring that s/he pays for content. And one can understand why they are so charmingly deluded about this: all apps have to come through the iTunes store and can be charged for. No wonder Murdoch & co love the device. They think it’ll rescue them from the wild west web, where people believe that content should be free. Yeah, and pigs will also fly in close formation.
It’s when one tries to use the iPad for generating content that its deficiencies become obvious. The biggest flaw is the absence of multitasking, so you have to close one app to open another, which is a bit like going back to the world of MS-DOS…
See also my diary of a week with the device.