Most of the industry has been underwhelmed with the iPad launch. I for one, actually think this is a great device. It may not be for us, techies, but for rest of the world, it is going to be a great device.

This is a device I can hand it my grand father and he won’t have much trouble using it. Compare this to handing him a laptop and training him about how an OS works, what a drive is, what a file system is, why he needs an anti-virus software etc. Ease of use is the key here. Infact, we have seen this with iPhone already. Every day I see many 2-3 year old having absolutely no problem using the device. That makes a HUGE difference.

In a country like India, there are over 500 million mobile phones. But there are less than 15 Million computers (connected to the internet). Why is this the case? One of the reason is, PCs are complicated to use/learn for non-techies. I think this device can address a broader market as it hides the details from the user.

Ofcourse, mobility is a another huge factor here. India has less than 40Million landlines compared to 500Million mobile phones. Morgan Stanley report on mobile internet says mobile internet will cross desktop internet usage very soon. It is through devices like this we will see this happening and it is through devices like these the internet will reach the masses worldwide.

Sure, for techies, it can be yet another device between phone and a laptop solving a specific need, but for the rest of the world, I think this will be a great device and mostly their primary computer. Yes, there are some missing features initially, but they’ll be addressed and that is the evolution of any product. We have seen this with the iPhone and I am sure we will see this with iPad.

Overall, I see this as a first major step in the evolution of mobile computing. We will see a flurry of devices in coming months and years. But end of the day, it is all about software. In this case, iPad has the software dumbed down to the masses in a great form factor and in my view, it’ll be a winner.

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Connected car

October 3, 2009

I have long been waiting for a connected car – one that is connected to internet all the time (3G or EVDO or Wifi). Ideally it should include a Solid State Drive (Hard drives fail frequently due to motion) to store content (music, primarily).

The idea is, my car should connect to my home WiFi network and Sync music from my iTunes (or whatever the music library is). I hate burning CDs and I am not a fan of sync on my iphone and then connecting it to the car as these things need cables.

I finally achieved the first part – being connected on the go. First, I ordered a Sprint Mifi. This is basically a WiFi access point at one end and on the other end, it is connected to the Sprint EVDO network. This way, I am always connected as long as there is a Sprint signal. Because it is a WiFi network within the car, all passengers in the car can now be connected to the same wireless network.

One of the drawbacks of this device is the battery life which can only last for 4 hours. To have it permanently connected, I purchased a PowerLine Power Inverter. This basically connects to the car charger on one end and on the other end, you can connect any device with the standard power outlet or even USB.

A combination of connected power and connected internet makes my life better and the passengers happy.

Now, I am looking for ways to connect a hard drive to my car and sync it with my library.

Sync between iTunes?

March 18, 2008

I am trying to find a simple Sync utility that synchronizes all my music, podcasts (atleast the configuration of podcasts), videos etc across multiple iTunes instances running in different machines. Do you know if there is any? If so, please let me know. I have been looking for something like this for a while.

Interestingly, Apple’s Sync functionality, that comes as part of the .Mac subscription, works for most of the other applications except iTunes. While it could be because of copyrighted content Apple doesn’t want to enable sync for iTunes, Apple certainly allows us to share/copy music manually between multiple instances (3 instances) of iTunes. May be they don’t want to make it easier to sync the copyrighted content?

I am essentially looking for a simple Sync tool that keeps my music etc synced between my iMac, MacBook Pro and Windows PC. Do let me know if you have any ideas.

If we look at this broadly, the Sync issues exist only when the apps/data reside on the desktops. If everything is on the cloud, we certainly can overcome these issues. Can we expect a weB-based iTunes? May be it is too much to ask from Apple….atleast for now.