2010 - The Year of Magical iPad Thinking



So this week I sold some Apple stock, but I think that may have been a mistake. I am so bullish on the much maligned iPad. Here’s why. I was at an entrepreneur round table reviewing an educational book company that was all electronic. You could replace the names of the characters and it would read or let you read the story to your kids. You could touch words and it would pronounce them for you. Not a very hard app, but great for kids.


How would you deliver that experience? On a kindle? Nope. Black and white is boring. On a LeapFrog, too hard to read and interact. The iPad is your best bet. Now if they added more interaction like choose your own adventure that would be even cooler (as I pointed out). Imagine a world you can explore, full of stories, interactive characters all in a learning environment. Would you really put it on a netbook? Probably not. Where are developers flocking? The iPad. Where will you have a rich library of these apps? The iPad.


Think of where else you would want an iPad in an educational environment. A while ago I wrote about FoldIt models.

Here is the YouTube embed:

On an iPad, this is a much cooler interface to understand organic chemistry. Anatomy: imagine exploring a 3D model of the body with your hands vs. a text book. iPad. Physics: demonstrations where you can change the variables and create interactive problem sets. Geometry: exploring shapes, symmetries, angular relationships. What about music and composing? The iPad already has some wicked DJ apps. Now let’s focus on music learning. Drawing and sketching?

But beyond that, let’s look at some of the more traditional, not so visual subject. I always hated history. Sure the stories were good, and I was ok at memorizing dates. But I was never good at synthesizing the whole thing together. Was the assassination of Archduke Fedinand a response to Russian involvement or did it trigger it? Imagine exploring history like a mind map with timeline interaction. See the events, drill down, see what’s next. Zoom out. See a related timeline of English involvement. What was happening in America at the time. When you can quickly navigate data with your hands, you create whole new ways to organize, present and interact with data of all kinds.

The iPad is magical – yes I said magical. Multi-touch interaction, a rich and large screen and a small footprint is revolutionary. Yes, it’s a big iPod Touch. But it’s the best platform by far for so many interesting apps. At the very least, it will be the leading portable gaming device within a year, which is a huge market in and of itself. The excitement given the wealth of possibilities is deserved. No one else in the market can pull this off. That's market leadership.

I think I may go back in. AAPL it up people!