T3’s Gadget Personality of the Year Stephen Fry, who recently decided to drop off Twitter until he’s finished his latest book, last night rejoined the web fleetingly to blog about the Apple iPad.
A long time Apple fan, Fry actually attended the event last night and got a chance to play with the device in question. “I know there will be many who have already taken one look and pronounced it to be nothing but a large iPhone and something of a disappointment,” He begun. A fair assessment; reaction from the web has been far from overwhelmed.
“There are many issues you could have with the iPad,” he continued. “No multitasking, still no Flash. No camera, no GPS. Too big for my pocket, not big enough for serious use. Don’t see the need. It’s a solution looking for a problem.” Again all true, but Fry then changes tact and fights the iPad’s corner:
“Like the first iPhone, iPad 1.0 is a John the Baptist preparing the way of what is to come, but also like iPhone 1.0 (and Jokanaan himself too come to that) iPad 1.0 is still fantastic enough in its own right to be classed as a stunningly exciting object, one that you will want NOW and one that will not be matched this year by any company.”
T3’s talks to Stephen Fry:
“In the future,” he continues, “when it has two cameras for fully featured video conferencing, GPS and who knows what else built in (1080 HD TV reception and recording and nano projection, for example) and when the iBook store has recorded its 100 millionth download and the thousands of accessories and peripherals that have invented uses for iPad that we simply can’t now imagine – when that has happened it will all have seemed so natural and inevitable that today’s nay-sayers and sceptics will have forgotten that they ever doubted its potential.”
He suggests that any issues you might have with Apple’s newest baby “all fall away the minute you use it.” He says: “I cannot emphasise enough this point: Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it. The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class.”
“This is a different order of experience,” he urges. “The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. Bond will have one. Jason Bourne will have one. Some character, in a Tron like way, might even be trapped in one.”
He concludes with: “You may decide to stay your hand for version 2.0 or 3.0. But believe me the iPad is here to stay and nothing will be quite the same again.” …Even if he does concede that it’s “slightly annoying that the iPhone autocorrects ‘iPad’ into ‘upas’.”