With the long-awaited Apple iPad set for release on April 3, we sit on the edge of a tech revolution, argues Daniel Lyons, in the latest Newsweek cover story. The iPad isn't just a computer, writes Lyons, author of popular blog "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs." It's a "magical" device, capable of changing "everything," from the way we use computers and the internet to how we read or watch TV. But the superior simplicity of the iPad comes with a price: Our growing inability to escape the dominance of Apple. Here are two telling excerpts:
"What's the big deal about Apple's iPad, currently arriving in stores on the biggest wave of hype since, well, Apple's iPhone? The easy answer is that the iPad comes from Apple, and we always expect big things from Apple because it is run by Steve Jobs, whose California garage was the birthplace of the personal computer in 1976. Since then, Jobs has transformed computing by making machines people actually like to use. He's changed the movie business, buying Pixar and ushering in the era of computer animation, and he's led a takeover of the music business with the iPod and the iTunes music store. Then came the iPhone, and even now, nearly three years after its introduction, no other phone comes close.
"Which is why so many of us raced to San Francisco in January to get an up-close view of the miraculous tablet. Yet my first thought, as I watched Jobs run through his demo, was that it seemed like no big deal. It's a bigger version of the iPod Touch, right? Then I got a chance to use an iPad, and it hit me: I want one. Like the best Apple products, the user interface is so natural it disappears. The iPad runs on the iPhone operating system, so it's even easier to use than a Mac."