The announcement was totally expectable. Actually, the only surprise was the omission of a 'ah, just another thing...' moment. The device looks exactly like an iPhone, the UI is a mix of iPhoneOS and MacOS. No cool new gestures, no innovative methods of collaboration, no new experiences. The most interesting part of the announcement is the A4 SoC silicon, but hey, CPUs are a commodity these days.
The eBook reader was a major let down. I expected a revolutionary new format for Books or, at least, PDF versions instead of plain ePub. And what about magazine/newspaper subscriptions? To tell you the truth, I am not sure that iPad is a Kindle killer. Kindle is more suitable as an eBook reader, mainly thanks to the eyes-friendly ePaper display (I really hate these 'i's and 'e's)
Thankfully, the iPad is a netbook killer. In a year or so, crappy netbooks will be part of history. iPad looks like a great way to surf the Web, write emails, edit documents and ..play games. The price may be relatively low, but the base model does not include 3G, a camera, card slots, etc.
A missed opportunity, if you ask me.
To tell you the truth, I would prefer to get the DX version (PDF or an equivalent open standard is the future of e-reading if you ask me).
But I can't help it, I have to place my order right away!
Don't get me wrong, I truly admire Google's technical achievements. However, I am afraid that Google's '20 percent time' scheme may have negative side-effects. Different teams work in isolation without a solid engineering framework. Their output is often convoluted and incompatible: multiple VM's (V8, Dalvik), inconsistent coding conventions and different implementation languages, overly complex specifications (OpenSocial), non standard approaches to common problems, NIH syndrome, etc. Have a look at Amazon's (AWS) services for a stark contrast: well engineered, standards compliant APIs, 'genetically engineered' to work together. A developer's nirvana.
I was blown away by the first promotional videos of the forthcoming Nokia N97. The hardware looks irresistibly sexy: the screen 'pops open' with a clever and efficient mechanism, the diagonal button is an ingenious touch, and (being an old hacker) I love the full-size keyboard. But the real surprise is the software: I strongly believe that an iGoogle style (and allow me to say 'Wii channel'-like) User Interface is the way to go. The old 'desktop' paradigm used by Android belongs to the 70's.