A couple days ago on Twitter I made the statement that what Apple ”would announce [today] could change the face of the design industry.” After seeing the official announcement, I’m more confident than ever of that fact. Apple’s new device has the potential to make even more of an impact on those of us in the creation industry than the iPhone.
1. Jobs. No, not that Jobs, new positions
The number one way I see the iPad affecting these two industries is the creation of jobs. New positions will be created specifically for designing for this device. Much like there are designers for email marketing only and designers who specialize in iPhone apps, there will soon be the opportunity for a whole new platform to be designed for. But I’m not just talking a designer for an app or a game. I’m also saying that The New York Times, Time Magazine, and plenty of other companies will be hiring new designers to format their site and their content for this device daily. It’s extremely exciting!
2. Comic book subscriptions.
While not yet annouced, I predict that we’ll see nearly every major print media company moving quickly to this device, including comic book distributors [Edit: I found this site today. Looks like they're working on a marketplace for artists]. All comic book artists need to jump on this thing, especially those who produce their own content. Hopefully we’ll see the new iBook store open up to small companies as well as the big guns. To give you an idea of what’s possible, check out this youtube video by Sports Illustrated and image the possibilites.
3. A Transformed Portfolio
Scott Bourne has just done a quick article on how the iPad will rock photography. He brings out the idea of handing over your tablet with a portfolio open. This could just as well apply to anyone with a visual portfolio. Handing an open laptop just doesn’t seem as graceful as giving someone a flat touchscreen device. They can view all of your artwork with you in a way that I think is far more intimate than even a laptop can accomplish. All the while, you are explaining each detail of your work.
4. Finger Painting
Brushes is an app that’s currently available in the iTunes store for the iPhone/iPod that was demoed today during the Apple keynote and has been re-written specifically for this device. I think we’ll see many similar apps show up (Adobe has release a version of Photoshop for the iPhone) that will enable portable painting and drawing like we’ve never seen.
5. Killing the ModBook and the Wacom Cintiq
The iPad is an ultraportable tablet. Right now, there aren’t too many artists who would willingly tote around a laptop and a tablet whereever they go. The only device on the market offering comparable portability is the ModBook. If you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you hurry before it becomes extinct. The iPad could potentially eliminate the need for a Wacom cintiq (drawing tablet with built-in screen) and save hundreds you’d spend on a ModBook IF it can support a pressure-sensitive stylus and someone makes it.
Am I Crazy?
What are your thoughts? Do you think I’m a crazy fanboy? Or do you see some potential killer feature that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.
Some really good observations for designers
How iPad Affects the Way we Design Websites?
The Unofficial Apple Weblog did a nice write-up with more thoughts on comics on the iPad
“iPad in the family: What it’ll take”
Ivan has a similar write-up on creativebits.org that takes a different approach
“What Does the iPad Mean for Designers“