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Why the iPad changes everything for computers

You can say it in one word: touch.

Maybe not this year or next, but in the next several years, computers will be transformed with “touch” interfaces like the one on Apple’s iPad (and, of course, its iPhone). That’s pretty much the gist of a column I wrote for The Star-Ledger about the iPad and what it means for the future of computers.

Here are three reasons why the iPad will change computing.

  • Touch
    Even if you never buy an iPad, the device’s innovations—namely, the way it brings a touch interface to a full-fledged computer—will likely make their way into lots of other computers over the next several years. Using a glassy touch-screen is something like holding a pad and a pen, or a book. It’s an extension of you, rather than this heavy, clunky thing that you’re trying to operate.
  • Intuitive
    You pick up an iPhone (and, we expect, an iPad), and you just know how to use it. These devices are changing our expectations for how user-friendly and easy to learn software should be.
  • Handheld
    Computers will now be devices you can hold in the palm of your hand and carry around a room. Sure, I do that with my MacBook, but is it ideal? No.


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