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It was “a wholly new product,” a “futuristic gadget the likes of which we’ve never seen before” that would somehow “soon be viewed with the same nostalgia-tinged contempt we have for the original iPod and iPhone.” After months of debate and speculation in the aftermath of its announcement, ten years ago this week the original iPad arrived and I finally got to review it.
Anniversaries are an opportunity to look back in time and ponder how much has changed. I’m happy to report that despite spending a bit too much time dewlling on how the iPad didn’t run Flash, my review from April 2010 does a pretty good job of encapsulating the potential of that original iPad. Re-reading that review today also reminds me that we’re still debating a lot of the same issues that the iPad brought up when it was introduced. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I don’t have to go back and read words I wrote a decade ago to access my memories of that era. They’re permanently etched in my mind. No piece of Apple hardware save for the original iPhone was as revelatory as that original iPad. As I wrote back then:
“The iPad may be the most impressive piece of Apple hardware I have ever handled…. It’s a fantastic piece of hardware, inside and out, but more than that, it’s the apotheosis of Apple’s design philosophy, synthesizing cutting-edge hardware design with innovative system and application software into a single, unified product. Holding the iPad feels like you’re holding the future, and not in a hazy dream-like way, but in a I can’t believe I’m actually here kind of way.”
That last part is my overriding memory of the occasion: The iPad felt like the future, like a prop from a science fiction movie, something that we’ve assumed would eventually be invented—at an indeterminate point later in the 21st century. And here I was, sitting on the edge of my bed, pulling it out of its box and powering it up.
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COMMENTS VIA TWITTER
@chris_lawley I just got the magic keyboard and like what you mentioned happen to you, my hands hit the ipad pretty… https://t.co/gRDfaH8lBD
RT @JoannaStern: Please, Instagram don’t change a thing about how you work on the iPad. Everything is perfect just the way it is. https://t…
@tarasis I bought that app in 2017 when I got my first iPad Pro (the 10.5”) because it was so incredibly cool. Inst… https://t.co/ePcHSUFaQP
RT @TheStephenRalph: 9/10 He just about finishes up but decides to go back to Camera 1. At this point I'm switching to me filming with the…
9/10 He just about finishes up but decides to go back to Camera 1. At this point I'm switching to me filming with t… https://t.co/cK4WOaO66s