The Apple iPad’s Impact on Mobile, Gaming, and E-Books: Local Techies and Startups React

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it’s not as portable. It will, proportionately, spend more time connected to a Wi-Fi network than a cellular network, given how it will be used. I’m pleased there’s a lower entry point for data use—although it doesn’t take much to blow through 250 MB on such as multimedia-centric device.

[Regarding the threat to Amazon:] This is a year when content distribution and business models are being reshaped. Add Amazon to the tectonic battle already taking place between Google and Apple.

Mike McSherry, CEO, Swype, Seattle (the company makes text-input software for mobile devices):

We’re excited that Apple launched the iPad….it’s just further demonstrating how powerful and pervasive touchscreen interfaces are becoming. We believe we have a much better text input solution than existing touchscreen tap methods and a number of OEM partners will be introducing Swype on a variety of device platforms in the coming months. We obviously haven’t played with the iPad keyboard but we believe Swype would be a fantastic component on future versions of the iPad. Thus far, Apple has not allowed 3rd party developers to replace the default Apple virtual keyboard so we have been focusing on other OS platforms and OEM partners.

Greg Raiz, founder and CEO, Raizlabs, Brookline, MA:

We’re excited, and we’re still kind of soaking in the details. How existing [iPhone] apps will be moved over is particularly interesting to us…It sounds like they will run either centered in the screen or they double the width and height, essentially stretching the app out. That’s not perfect, but for some of the apps that may not have a chance to be ported over to support the iPad. It just gives them a much larger app library right out of the gate.

I think that app developers will be quick to add tablet support, especially for the apps that make the most sense, meaning apps that are very content-rich and content-heavy. Some of they apps that they demonstrated, like the New York Times—very media-centric apps—make a lot of sense in a larger format. I suspect those will be the first to get ported over. Also data-entry apps, things like that, where you may have workers walking around taking down information will be quick to be ported over. They showed some demos of artistic applications where you are drawing directly on the screen—those also make a lot of sense. Some of that apps that were truly designed for phones may make less sense as they get ported over. So I think you are going to see a new class of apps specifically for tablets.

We were all surprised by the price point. They are definitely going hard after the Kindle and that class of tablet, with the Web browsing and the applications, including some of the more powerful desktop apps.

It’s an interesting in-between product, and we definitely going to get a couple of these in the office and see what we can do with it. In many ways, it makes me think more of a big iPod Touch than an iPhone. The GPS functionality didn’t seem to be on there, the camera. I’m not sure this device is going to be as big as the iPhone. That’s my personal take. The iPhone was a replacement for your existing phone, and the phones that everybody had were terrible. This isn’t replacing something that everybody has. This is a new class of device. They’re still going to be very successful, but I would be hesitant to say that its success will be as big.

We were kind of surprised that there was no camera, front or back. Four of the people in our office thought there would be a Skype-style camera facing the user. But it sounds like it’s not a video-conferencing-style device, which was a little surprising.

I think the Internet connectivity is really interesting, because it allows you to buy 3G carrier connectivity on an as-needed basis. If you want one month of Internet for $20 you can do that instead of buying the hotel Wi-Fi, for example. I was surprised that Verizon wasn’t named as a partner—maybe they’re still working on that.

Wade Roush contributed to the reporting of this article.

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Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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