In this New York Times photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has in his hands the latest and greatest mobile manifestation.
Today as Steve Jobs announced Apple’s new iPad, Geoffrey A. Fowler live-blogged the event from San Francisco for the Wall Street Journal. Early in Jobs’ presentation, Fowler posted:
1:10 | The bar is high
The bar is pretty high — those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks, he says. Better than the laptop and better than the smart phone. It needs to do browsing, email photos, video, music, games and e-books, he says.
I picked this quotation by Jobs because the first feature he mentions is “browsing.” The fact that the iPad browses the internet places the open global commons of what is known into the iPad owner’s hands. (The image to the right is from Apple’s new iPad video.)
Jobs said in his presentation that iPad’s virtual bookshelf is “a great reader, a great online bookstore…we think the iPad is going to make a terrific e-book reader not just for popular books but textbooks as well.”
As I write this post, Jobs’ presentation continues: Now being highlighted is Pages, Apple’s wordprocessor with which iPad is equipped.
The flurries of hype around the new iPad announcement have included speculation that it would make laptops obsolete. Perhaps so. For students who own them, iPads will make their backpacks obsolete. Maybe they should keep a backpack to carry their lunch, but in iPad they will have a mobile to transport them to online knowledge, display reading material, and connect them with notes and reports that they write and file.