In a comment to I’ve Changed My Mind About The iPad, Joeflambe wrote:
yuck, an iPad, really?
not a real computer since there are no real apps that you use daily on your current computer.
This seems like an interesting exercise. Let’s look at the most used apps on my iMac and whether there is an iPad equivalent.
- Safari: Check
I have a Flash blocker installed on my iMac, so lack of Flash on the iPad isn’t much of a change for me.
- Mail: Check
- iChat: Check (AIM)
- iCal: Check
- Address Book: Check
- iTunes: Check
- iPhoto: Check
- GarageBand: Check (StudioTrack)
- Evernote: Check
Now, to be fair, the iPad equivalents of the above do not always have all the features of their Mac counterparts. The main functionality is there. The rest...well, the iPad isn’t even a year old yet.
- Preview (as PDF reader): Check
The iPad has PDF reading built in, but no specific app for it. I do most of my PDF reading/referencing in GoodReader.
- iWork: Check
Some people will say matter-of-factly that nobody is going to want to write a term paper or create a spreadsheet on an iPad. shrug
OK, Pages for iPad doesn’t have footnotes...yet. It can’t print directly from the iPad—though Jobs himself has allegedly acknowledged that printing is in the works. (Yes, I’ve seen the photocopier pic. I LOL’d...the first time.) With my Bluetooth keyboard, I can’t see why I wouldn’t write a lengthy document with Pages for iPad. Even if I currently have to move it to my iMac for the finishing touches.
The whole keyboard + iPad topic is fodder for its own post.
I’ve created a few spreadsheets on the iPad. No less complex than those I would have created on my iMac. Although, I’m not that much of a spreadsheet user.
The iPad actually seems like a fine platform for creating presentations. We’ll see how it goes when I next need to create one.
- GuitarPro: Strike
I recently bought this Mac app. In fact, I bought it—in part—to produce content for the excellent TabToolkit iPad/iPhone app. (The fact that I can’t use it for that at the moment could be another post.) This is another app—like Keynote—that might actually work as well, if not better, on the iPad.
- DrScheme: Strike
Unfortunately, Apple’s rules don’t allow for an equivalent to DrScheme.
What if? Well, if it were a fairly straight port, it probably wouldn’t work very well without a keyboard. (Which is OK; I have one.) I can imagine a visual/touch interface for editing Scheme source code, though. (I’m imagining something like what I imagine the Viaweb editor was like.)
So...only two strikes.
It might be interesting to look through my iPad apps and see which ones don’t have Mac equivalents...or those for which I wouldn’t want a Mac equivalent.
Is the iPad going to replace my iMac? No, I don’t think so. Not anytime soon. It can, I think, come astonishingly close, however. There is a lot of overlap between the Mac, iPad, and iPhone; but there’s also enough outside those overlaps to justify each. The overlaps mean more flexibility.
The iPad may not replace my iMac, but imagine an iPhone OS desktop device. That might. Of course, being a programmer, I might still want a Linux/FreeBSD system for tinkering. (One of the nice things—for me—about Mac OS X is that I can get to the BSD personality underneath it when I want to.) For getting things done, however, I’m happy to use “app consoles”.