The Apple iPad is a newly-announced tablet device that comes down somewhere in between an iPhone and a netbook in terms of its features and interface. There is plenty of buzz, both love and hate, for the new device.
One of the features that may attract some photographers is a built-in app called Photos. Bear in mind though that the iPad does not offer a built-in camera, oddly enough. However, the app for organizing, importing and sharing photos is worth a look on its own merit.
The Photos app sorts albums into stacks, which you open by simply tapping on the stack. Once open, you can view them as a slideshow or page through them one at a time by swiping your finger across the screen in the same manner as browsing photos on the iPhone. The iPad will also allow you to use it as a photo frame while docked or charging.
In addition to the Photos app, Apple offers a camera connection kit for getting your photos onto the iPad. Here’s what that kit offers you:
The Camera Connection Kit gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera. The Camera Connector lets you import your photos and videos to iPad using the camera’s USB cable. Or you can use the SD Card Reader to import photos and videos directly from the camera’s SD card. – Apple.com
What isn’t quite clear yet is whether you will be able to import photos from a USB-based card reader, which would be important to those of us who shoot with cameras using CF cards or other formats. It seems logical that a USB connector would allow the use of USB devices like a card reader. However, it would also seem logical to include a USB port on a tablet computer like the iPad – but Apple had other plans. That’s right, part of that Camera Connection Kit is a USB adapter that plugs into the iPad’s proprietary 30-pin port.
There has been much criticism of the iPad already regarding its lack of connectivity options, and I have to join in agreement on these points. It is 2010 and, while we can do without CD/DVD drives and even tactile keyboards to an extent, USB is how we connect our technology. Shame on Apple for milking us to the tune another $20 or $30 (as far as I know pricing hasn’t been announced on the connectors, so this is a guesstimate – Update: It’s $30) in order to get a USB port on our $500 tablet.
Gripes over peripheral inputs aside, the iPad is sure to shake up the tablet and netbook world for the foreseeable future. As mentioned above, pricing starts at $500 and goes up to $830 depending on storage capacity and 3G connectivity options. There is a more complete rundown of all of the iPad’s features over at Tech Tilt here: The Apple iPad is Official