Twenty-four hours after the introduction of the iPad, I’m already tired of the commentary–and I can’t get enough of it. The most sensible response I’ve read so far is from David Pogue, who says withhold judgment of the device until the applications come out for it.
I now work at a large publishing house that’s a major player in the U.S. textbook market–exactly the type of company for which the iPad was conceived. However, while there are some teams here that create interactive web and software applications, they’re meant to be supplements to physical textbooks. A team that would create the kind of textbook that takes advantage of the iPad platform–fully interactive, multimedia presentation of material–is only just now being formed. Most likely it will take at least one to two years before iPad content can be developed and released.
In other words, it may take a while before truly useful iPad applications emerge.
Update: David Carr makes a similar point:
Not that long ago, I was talking to a publisher about tablets and their ability to play embedded video – recipe books where the chef can be beckoned for an appearance come to mind – and he looked at me with big cow eyes. What if the tablet caught on? After seeing the tablet today, it looks like a big player in the book space, but the book industry will not have anything built for the tablet for several years to come.
In the meantime, work on tablet-based periodicals is much further along. See this elegant prototype by a British company.