When the iPhone came out a few years ago, I remember seeing a few people pull them out during church, and I would always lean in to get a glimpse of the mythically powerful device (see Modern Family for a hilarious take on iPad hype). Well, today I was that guy with the fancy device only this time it was Apple’s much hyped iPad, and I sat in the very back row of church so I’d only distract my wife.
I actually bought it as part of my work responsibilities as DTS (pretty sweet perk, huh?) to continue building out their online education initiatives as we move into other languages like Arabic. To the right is screenshot of the video player I’ve been working on. If you’re using Safari or Chrome you can test it out at http://my.dts.edu/player-html5, but please note that it’s very, very rough right now since I built it without actually having an iPad to work with.
Outside of my day job, I’m also very interesting in what the device means for the future of computing and human interaction with it. There are probably already hundreds of reviews on the iPad’s technical strengths and weaknesses (its pretty, but still no multitasking!), dozens of predictions about how successful it will be (my kids will take these to school in 5 years!), and lots of ideas about how to use it for ministry (it’s a Bible with Netflix!), so I’m not sure there’s much I could add there. But I will be trying to use the device quite a bit over the next few weeks in an effort to understand it from the perspective of media ecology and Christian spirituality. I’ll be posting some observations here and also writing an little article for Collide magazine.
Overall, I would say the device is just incredibly cool – everything is just so fluid and pretty and fun. There are some great free apps, and it looks like more are on the way. However someone asked me today if I would buy one for myself if it weren’t for the job. I told him, “No way,” just because it’s I don’t really have any personal need to carry around a $500 device along with my cell phone and laptop.
But right after saying that I pulled out my iPhone and instantly thought, “Man, this thing is so tiny – I can hardly read on it…”
Update: Believe it or not, this morning I read Zephaniah on the iPad – it basically says God’s going to destroy all this silliness quicker than a “Will it Blend” video.