A few thoughts on Apple’s new tablet, and how we’ll be using it in a few months.
It should be terrific for reading scripts. Right now, the big Kindle DX does a credible job with screenplays. It’s $489. The iPad is only $10 more, and can handle mail, web, video and a lot more. A few weeks ago, I wrote about reading scripts on laptops turned sideways. The iPad is the elegant version of this solution.
While you probably won’t write write a screenplay on it, you could easily make minor changes to a script right on the iPad. If Pages and Numbers can run on the iPad, a credible screenwriting app should be possible. (There’s already a poky one for the iPhone that can handle Final Draft files.)
It will be useful for pitches. A few weeks ago, I was in a meeting and wanted to show the team what I envisioned for a specific monster. I passed around my iPhone. An iPad would have been ideal.
The touch screen feels ripe for an index card/outlining application. Virtual corkboard, virtual cards. Go.
One TV show will use it on-camera by the end of the season. I suspect it will be one of the CBS crime procedurals. We’ll notice it the first few times it shows up, then it will become commonplace, the way TV characters are always on iPhones.
While it’s never going to have the detail of a Wacom tablet, I can envision a lot of storyboarding and shot-planning happening on the iPad. A touch interface is a very natural way to approach angles and spatial composition.
Scaling up blows. While you can run any iPhone app on the iPad, things with text look pretty crappy. Most developers will want to do a new version for the iPad.
Comic books. They’re going to look great on it. Marvel and DC need to offer subscriptions and all-you-can-eat plans. (Update: Marvel already does.)
I don’t know that the iPad is going to save print media in general, but many film-focussed magazines would probably work as well or better in this format. Right now, I read DV Magazine in its online, Flash-based form, and it’s a surprisingly good experience.
There’s still room for the Kindle. The Kindle’s e-ink screen is great for reading traditional, linear books. Amazon’s selection for the Kindle is great, and the fact that they already make a good Kindle reader app for the iPhone means they’ll be able to bring that selection through to the iPad. I like that there’s going to be competition right from the start.
“Fine, but I’ll wait for version 2.0.” That’s great. I’ll enjoy using version 1.0 for a year, then get the new model when it comes out. Particularly since you don’t have to buy it with a wireless contract, there’s no penalty for upgrading.