Sumit Sharma

What critics may be missing about the iPad

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One of the challenges in making the web a more effective place for us is to provide the ability for aggregators and providers of products and services (be it physical, content or a service) the oppurtunity to get to know us better, in order to best serve our needs in the most relevant way. This is something that I’ve been harping on about over the last 3months on this blog.

I think the iPad takes us a step closer in this effort… by putting the web browsing experience away from our laps and into our hands, without sacrificing on user experience, the iPad will remove this notion of needing the formality of a computer to browse the internet. Browsing the iPad will feel like reading a book, and the freedom that comes with that will impact our activity and browsing experience…we’ll be more likely to carry this iPad into obscure places of our house, and possibly multi-task while in the lounge, while cooking, while sitting on the couch …and its user interface will allow us to explore areas of the internet much more efficiently as well. If I’m sitting with the iPad in my hand, watching TV, and because I am using my fingers the rate of my browsing websites and catching links and contributing towards user generated content such as digg.com, delicious or facebook posts etc increases. As a result of the iPad, my mom, who is scared of computers because of all the pop ups that come with Internet Explorer, and because Microsoft provides a crap user experience in general, for whatever reason, at least when compared to Apple, will be able to freely browse the internet and discover a whole new world online – all without sitting on the computer desk and instead sitting on her favourite couch, or on her bed before sleeping – there is no way she would’ve have done that with a laptop …its just too formal and culturally she won’t be able to adjust her habits to freely using a laptop.

I think the iPad will usher in a pyschological shift towards browsing the internet, we’ll feel less bound and more prone to exploring more freely…while this may contribute towards lots of dust and clouding out what our real interests are, I believe our browsing patterns will normalize and over time we’ll have discovered passions and interests that will make our surfing experience much more enjoyable.

If you buy into my argument… this will enable more information about our activity to be recorded about us – which will enable the analytics engines to provide greater relevance to us. This may sound quite pie in the sky at the moment, and maybe I’m having a tough time putting it into words…but I do feel that the iPad will gradually enable us to break open some gates…lets see…

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Written by Sumit

January 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

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