The iPad announcement has come and gone. Years of rumours finally put to rest and a collective sigh of apethy from geeks and tablet makers who no doubt think it'll fail because it doesn't have feature X, Y and Z. I'll admit that when I first saw it I thought "meh" (partly due to the frankly horrible looking home screen, what were they thinking?) - then it crept up on me. Now, every person I've shown the video to wants one and being priced as low as it is, I'll bet that it turns into an impulse buy for most of them. Being realistic, it's still an expensive impulse buy, but I can imagine even low income families will go for one of these as the "house computer" to be passed around and enjoyed by the whole family. In fact, think about that for a second - surely that's a really important, and completely new, concept? Bringing families together a little bit more than little Jimmy just sitting alone in his room using Facebook. Now perhaps he'll be in the lounge sharing his various artistic creations with Mum and Dad. Anyway, that's just one of my possibilities. I see the iPad as just an empty shell - which is why people don't 'get it' now. It's the apps that'll make it something amazing. Apple know that and even (for once) the analyists know that; it's the average geek that doesn't. Of course, they'll still get one because they'll soon realise there's a lot of money to be made selling apps for it the iPad will sell more than the iPhone. But, I think it's time for some mindless speculation. Some of these things might have been mentioned already in other places, so apologies if anything here is plagiarised; it certainly wasn't intentional. Flash So, it's not got Flash. No big surprise here. What it has got, as we know, is great HTML5 support. Of course, you can't make games with HTML5, but this is where Apple will add something to their iLife (or perhaps iWork) suite. It'll be like Motion, but simpler. It'll include a scripting language - perhaps in an AppleScript style. It'll export in a format that'll make it work in any browser (okay, apart from IE). People will use it to make flashing ads, simple games (nothing too crazy - they wouldn't want people to stop buying anything off the App Store) and it'll be producing files in an open source file format. The bonus being that these apps will support multi-touch. Cue every school then getting these things and making custom interactive programs for the kids to use. It'll be like Flash was in the good old days (before ActionScript 3.0) when creative types could do something cool and clever easily. If Adobe has a clue, they'll turn Flash into something like this before Flash fades (slowly) into obscurity. Maybe Microsoft will take Siverlight in this direction? Perhaps Apple will work with them? (With the "Bing" rumours, I wouldn't rule it out although I imagine Steve Jobs washes himself with bleach whenever he meets Steve Ballmer). iBook maker Another part of iLife or iWork is going to be that they'll release software for making eBooks (perhaps an export function in Pages of course). Trying to get books published is a real pain and takes real perseverance to succeed. Blogging - or podcasts - is popular because it gives anyone that can write (myself included) the ability to publish whatever they want and be read by anyone. So, what if Apple's iBooks store featured a section for people like this, who write their own books? Yes, there'd be a lot of rubbish on there, but slowly and surely, the gems will rise to the top and a whole host of new, unknown, authors will have an income and an outlet for their books. Publishers would then let the public do the 'finding' and lucrative deals will be offered the most popular authors, the next JK Rowling might be discovered on the iBooks store for instance remember, she was a single Mum writing ideas on napkins before she made it big. Fancy trackpad The iPad will become the ultimate trackpad. Plug it in and (with an optional stylus perhaps - or just fingers) start drawing in Photoshop. Apple TV 'controller' The poor neglected Apple TV is going to get a new lease of life. They'll release a new version (using the same chip as the iPad) and iPhones and iPads will be the wireless controllers. Games you've bought for the iPad will obviously then work on the Apple TV. iPad advertising They might do something really innovative with the advertising, but I think it'll boil down to the basics. The iPhone, in the hands of most other companies, would have done something ridiculously abstract to make it seem "ooh, special". Apple just shows us how to use it - it's like watching a video help file or something. Then the apps came out and they focused on those (by which time everyone knew how to use it). The iPad - being a device they want to get into every home (and will get closer to succeeding in a way the Mac never can) - will have advertising that probably starts with an iPad on a desk with a kid playing a game, they put the iPad down in the kitchen, Mum picks it up and starts using it for a recipe, Dad picks it up and goes into the lounge and reads the newspaper on it. "Boom" - they've sold 2 million already. So they're my current thoughts. But - what's with that clumsy strapline they're using? "Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price". What happened to snappy Apple headlines? Hardly rolls off the tongue, does it?! I cringed when watching Steve Jobs say it at the keynote. Anyway, crap home screen and strapline aside, it looks like an amazing piece of kit and the magnitude of what Apple have done won't be fully clear until you realise, in a couple of years, that it's become as ubiquitous as the iPod.