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Technically Geeking: OMG… iPad… Almost… Here…



a blogumn by Justin Time


As you can see from my Delivery Status screenshot to the right, both the new TiVo and the iPad are en route to my house right now, and I can’t say which one I am more excited about. The iPad is more of a work thing, so I guess TiVo has my heart. By the way, Amazon has a deal on the new TiVo that gets you a $50 credit toward movie downloads, but if you already own a TiVo, you can get an upgrade deal that may be more enticing. Mine will arrive¬†just barely in time for the last game of March Madness.

But let’s talk about the iPad. Game developers are making their launch announcements, Apple has released iTunes 9.1 with support for book synchronization, and Microsoft is saying “Hey, me too!

Will it be a “game changer?” Well, it won’t be the end of paperbacks, if that’s what you’re asking, but it could contribute to the demise of newspapers as we know them. They’ve already been spiraling toward a disastrous fate for the past 10 years, and now many local newspapers are going out of business or at least reducing their output to a few measly pages.

Rumors are that magazine and newspaper subscriptions will be able to be purchased on the iPad bookstore, which could mean that even more people bypass the tree-based-media in favor of the new electronic one. But how many of us are actually paying for news anyway these days? Reading the newspaper is so grandpa.

I would buy a magazine on the iPad, but only like I buy the paper ones – as a one-off, while I’m in the airport. That’s probably when I would buy a book as well, because I think at home, in the comfort of my bed, I want to bend the binding backwards, feel the coarseness of the paper, and smell the ink. And I don’t want to be tempted to just exit out and play a game of Trenches.

Another way the iPad may change the future is in the way that colleges distribute textbooks. Seton Hill University made headlines today when they announced they would be the first school to give an iPad to every new student this fall. I imagine the added expense will be offset by the lower health care costs due to students carrying around 50 pounds less of books on their back.