One of the new apps that I am most looking forward to on the iPad is the Keynote application. The reason is simple. The app looks amazing, and I have been using Keynote more and more over the last two years. Having it available for both creating and presenting material on the über-mobile iPad will likely be a terrific step forward for me.
It all started two years ago when I was playing around with iWork. I looked at Keynote and thought it might be interesting to use it to teach instead of printing up a series of handouts. I had a class coming up, so I prepped it on my MacBook and then, when the time for the class arrived, I connected it to a projector. What I discovered was pretty amazing. Because everyone was focused in the same place instead of on their handouts the conversation was livelier. Because I controlled which slide showed up next, no one was able to read ahead. As a result the entire class stayed together as a class. Mix in the lack of paper-shuffling and the waste when handouts are left on the floor at the end of class, and you can see why I now use Keynote all the time. Having it on the iPad? Well that is just icing on the cake.
So perhaps you can imagine my surprise when I read a post by JKOnTheRun’s Kevin Tofel which included an explanation on why he won’t be buying the iPad version of Keynote. He writes:
I can’t remember the last time I had to create a presentation, but I can assure you it was done in Google Docs. Clearly, I don’t have much need for Keynote and therefore I don’t foresee myself buying it.
Back when I was first getting into Tablet PCs, Kevin was one of the people I read on a daily basis. His advice and tips, along with his successes – and failures – in using new hardware and applications was key to my tablet exploration. And when I was caught up in the UMPC craze (okay, it wasn’t a craze but I was crazy to get caught up in it), he was always one or two devices ahead of me. So now both of us are getting iPads, yet one of the apps I am most looking forward to is one that he won’t even be getting.
Simple, what gives is the fact that people may use the same device, but we all use our devices in different ways. Our needs, our approach, our work style is often unique, and idiosyncratic. Stated differently, the “personal” in personal computing is more than just an adjective. What may work well for me on a device may not work well for someone else. Moreover, what I expect from a device as a result of my needs may be vastly different than what someone else expects (and needs). Case in point… the iPad. I am looking to the iPad as a work device, and I have little doubt it will serve my needs just fine. How do I know that when the device hasn’t actually shipped? Simple, I already use my iPhone for a good deal of work, and in a great many ways that others use their netbooks. The iPad will be a huge improvement because it will serve me the same way only in a manner vastly better. Others are looking to the iPad solely as a gaming device. Yet others are just looking to it as a media consumption device. The same device will be used by different people in myriad ways… and each of us will draw conclusions about it based on those ways. In other words, if I review the iPad and someone who is using it for gaming reviews the iPad we are, to a large extent, reviewing different devices. I may love it and she may hate it… or vice versa. How we view the device, and the conclusions we draw about it, will depend on how we approach and use it.
At the end of the day Kevin won’t be getting Keynote, but he is impressed by the way the iPad uses multitouch. Me, I’m impressed by the way in which the Keynote app will make my life easier. Same device + different users = totally different perspectives.