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Happy Birthday iPad!

One year ago today Steve Jobs announced a “magical new device” that would revolutionize the tech world. While his words may have sounded like hyperbole then, few now are arguing that the iPad was a failure. Apple sold around 15 million units during the nine months the iPad was on the market in 2010, leading some analysts to claim the launch of the iPad was the most successful launch of a tech device ever. Daily Finance Rumors are rampant about the iPad 2, expected to be announced soon,  but let’s take a moment to celebrate the success of the original iPad.

Happy Birthday iPad! *

Many people have asked, “What’s so great about the iPad?” In fact, I asked this until I got one. I was fortunate to have dear and trusted friends who, knowing my love of tech, insisted that I get one. Actually, that’s not entirely true. They insisted I get two, one for me and one for my husband. This couple had started off getting one iPad and discovered it was a danger to married couples to have just one iPad. Better to have two and a happy marriage. They were right. My husband, not a big tech fan, adores his iPad and takes it with him on his travels. I would not be very happy if I had to share my iPad with him.

So what makes the iPad such a powerful tech device? Naysayers will list all of the shortcomings with the iPad (no Flash video, no camera, no physical keyboard, etc.) and they are right. The iPad itself isn’t much to get excited about. When you first get an iPad, it doesn’t even have as much functionality as an iPhone or an iPod Touch.

What makes the iPad so great? The apps! It’s no coincidence that the 10 billionth app was downloaded from the iTunes App Store over the weekend. These apps are the powerhouse of the iPad.

Apps turn the iPad into a(n):

  • Viewer of movies and tv shows => Netflix, Sling Player, Hulu+
  • Ebook reader => Kindle and iBooks
  • News reader => Pulse, Newsy, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today
  • Magazine reader => Zinio, Wired, Time, National Geographic, People
  • Game player => Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Plants vs. Zombies, Scrabble, Monopoly
  • Phone => Skype, Vonage, Fring, TruPhone
  • Word processor => Pages and Evernote
  • GPS (the iPad may be the GPS device with the largest screen)=> Navagon, TomTom,  Garmin and Motion X
  • Photo editor => Adobe Photoshop Express, tinker Photo, Photo Delight
  • Weather forecaster => Weather Bug, The Weather Channel
  • Dictation device => Dragon Dictation and Voice Memo
  • Musical instrument => Pocket Piano HD, Ocarina, Magic Fiddle

The list just keeps growing as new apps are added to the App Store daily.

Many new tablet devices to compete with the iPad were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month and more are expected in 2011. But what makes tablets so useful is the apps they have. With over 300,000 apps in the App Store, 60,000 just for the iPad, the iPad has a huge advantage over any other tablet which may be why iPad now commands over 95% of the market share for tablets.

When the iPad 2 is released soon, the reasons for getting an iPad will only increase. So, think about it, save your pennies, and look forward to the  iPad 2 launch coming soon!

Are you considering getting an iPad? If you have one already, what do you use your iPad for? What are your favorite iPad apps?

*Photo by Michael Surran