I’ve felt much the same way about where all of this is going. Let’s hope.
I won’t lie to you—it took two weeks with my iPad before I knew whether I loved it (or, to be more accurate, why I would inevitably love it). There was this uncomfortableness after the purchase. I’d known for weeks that it was to be a miraculous addition to my life. I’d enumerated why, publicly and obnoxiously. But part of the process of becoming an iPad user is that awkward period where you stare at it, and it stares back at you, you notice its relative heft and your indelible greaseprints across its giant touchscreen and you wonder to yourself just why the hell you’re in each other’s lives. So you put it on your nightstand and sleep on it.
And then it hits. The iPad is for the nightstand. And for the sofa, and for the places between where you stand in line and where you sit at your desk. That’s why every iPad poster and billboard features it on a lap or a knee. They’ve stopped short of showing it on a chest in bed, but that’s where mine gets its most use.
A new thing
My chest is where I first noticed that the iPad would make the most impact on me as a Video device. You see, despite Apple clearly signalling, by orienting its logo in portrait mode, that the iPad is for holding like a book or a piece of paper, it’s meant the most to me turned to landscape mode, where its dimensions replicate the video screen I’ve known my whole life. Turned to landscape, the iPad offers me the most comfort, the most passive participation, the feeling of Home.
The following may be a bit hyperbolic, but follow me: The iPad is the world’s first truly convergent TV/computer. It’s the device that’s been promised us for years, and its time has come, in 2010, within reach of a couple generations raised on TV and one raised on the computer. Yet it is neither a TV that computes nor a computer that shows TV. It is a new thing. The new thing, in fact.