Friday Buzz: Happy Birthday, Apple iPad

Five years ago, the tech device that redefined what it meant to use a computer got its start—and we've been tapping our iPads ever since. Also: how HBO cleverly used social media to take advantage of critical comments.

It was the last major new product Steve Jobs helped launch, a device that redefined the role of computing at events. And it’s given pads of paper a run for their money ever since.

On April 3, 2010, Apple released the first edition of the iPad—the first mainstream tablet device, and one that’s become a fact of life for many business users ever since.

“That first iPad, like all of those that followed it, felt like a picture frame to me; an interactive window into the world of apps and websites,” noted ZDNet contributor Kevin Tofel. “The basic design intent was to get the technology get out of your way so that you could immerse yourself into whatever task, app, or media you wanted to view. Apple essentially delivered a large screen that just happened to have a computer behind it.”

That’s not to say the device has always been the same. The first model, unlike more recent ones, had a slightly rounded back and weighed a pound and a half—tiny compared with other computers of the day, but huge by modern tablet standards. The current version of the iPad Air weighs less than a pound and is half as thick as the original.

But as a product line, the iPad faces challenges. The device has proved to be a slow seller, leading some to suggest it may eventually fade away like the iPod Classic did.

Perhaps the iPad isn’t as “magical” as it was back then. Perhaps sales are down. But maybe that’s because it’s become so woven into the fabric of our lives that it just seems normal.

And normal is still pretty cool.

Remind Your Critics

In recent years, HBO has gotten a lot of guff for not offering a direct Netflix competitor, requiring consumers to buy a full cable subscription to get HBO GO. Some of those cord-cutters have said that if it were untethered, they’d pay for it.

Now, with HBO planning to offer a standalone version of HBO GO called HBO NOW, the Game of Thrones masterminds are going back and tweeting the people who, in 2012, asked HBO to let them pay for a streaming package.

The lesson? Sometimes customer service is about giving your critics a nudge when you change your ways.

Other Links of Note

Give your association’s database a nice spruce-up. Meagan Rockett of Greenfield Services has a few tips on how to ensure that the task gets completed.

App of the day. Microsoft’s new Office Lens app makes it easy to turn images and text into Word or OneNote documents, as well as PDFs or photos.

Trend check. According to Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, these are the big trends driving event growth.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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