I’ve been following today’s announcement about Apple’s new iPad, and wondering what all of this means for travelers.
I should start with a disclaimer: Although the critics have declared the iPad the best computing device since the invention of the PC, it could be a dud (remember the Newton?). But chances are, it isn’t. Chances are, you’ll be seeing one in the lap of the guy sitting next to you on a plane in a few weeks. And yeah, you’ll want one.
Can we go paperless, finally? If the iPad really is a better e-reader — and I’ve tested a lot of them, and they’re pretty awful — then it could free travelers from the need to haul books, magazines and newspapers on their trips. That would be a welcome development.
How ’bout them photos? I haven’t seen any device handle photos the way the iPad does. Ever.
Better, more interactive maps. At the introduction of the iPad, Steve Jobs showed a variety of maps displayed on the iPad’s large screen and demonstrated how they could be more interactive. That’s great for travelers who have been constrained to the small maps displayed on their phones, and had to switch to a paper map when they needed more detail.
A superior communication device. It isn’t that any of the technology on this version of the iPad will be radically new. It’s that the packaging will enable people on the move to make better calls and send better emails and IMs. Oh, and there’s the battery life issue, which this device seems to have addressed in an elegant way.
What do you think the iPad will do for travel? Does it have any applications that we haven’t thought of yet?
(Photo: Incessant Flux/Flickr Creative Commons)