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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hi-Tech Studio: The iPad

It’s not even available yet, but we think the new Apple tablet will be the next must-have tool for professional photographers

iWork For Photographers
One of Apple’s surprises for many observers was the inclusion of the iWork suite of applications for the iPad. After Photoshop and email, the three applications in iWork are probably the most used tools for any professional running a business. Being able to write a document, create a keynote presentation and make a quick spreadsheet on the iPad is huge. For a lot of users, a laptop is suddenly looking a lot less indispensable. The iPad has the same sort of pop-up “qwerty” touch keyboard as the iPhone and iPod Touch, and with the larger screen, it should be much easier to use efficiently. An optional keyboard dock gives you a full-sized keyboard (without a number pad or arrow keys) for maximum ease of use.

Okay, you probably don’t need to be told about the huge number of apps in the Apple App Store, but where this really helps pros is in the number of apps that are available for helping run a business and the constant stream of new apps for photo manipulation. They won’t replace Photoshop anytime soon, but think of the iPad as becoming a sketch pad for new ideas. With a touch screen and photo manipulation, this becomes your spot for jotting down a quick visual idea.

It’s the potential of the unpredicted functions that
becomes the most compelling reason for professionals to own
the device.

Downloading Images
Professionals working in the field have become accustomed to bringing auxiliary storage devices to download images, and often they will have a laptop to process and sort photographs while away from their home base as well. Using an optional connector, you can download image files directly to the iPad from your camera, giving you up to 64 GB of storage (for this reason, photographers likely will opt for the highest-capacity iPad). You can open those images and get a good look on the large screen, sort and organize, and then transmit via Wi-Fi or 3G (yeah, we’re all collectively crossing our fingers that AT&T’s renewed effort to boost its 3G network performance pays off).

The Unknown
Everything we’ve listed up to this point didn’t take a magic crystal ball to imagine, but the most exciting thing about the iPad is what we haven’t thought of and what Apple hasn’t thought of. Releasing the iPad and the SDK will give rise to unforeseen apps that will make us think about and use images in new ways. It’s the potential of the unpredicted functions that becomes the most compelling reason for professionals to own the device. Instead of unintended consequences, there will be unintended benefits.

The Cool Factor
Apple has a flair for making devices that not only are functional, but also beautiful. MacBook Pros, iPhones, iPods—all of them are tools and fashion accessories at the same time. There’s an elegance to the industrial design that other high-tech gear makers don’t have, and as photographers, we naturally gravitate to high-minded design. The cool factor of the iPad (its name aside) is undeniable.

Go to the Apple website for full pricing information. Contact: Apple, www.apple.com.


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