Travel and The IPad – Some preliminary Thoughts

In an impressive presentation Steve Jobs introduced the world to the IPad.

What influence will it have on travel? Some preliminary thoughts:

In the preamble Steve explained that Apple is by now bigger than Nokia, Samsung and Sony profitability wise in mobile devices…It may be assumed that it will be rolled out big 60 or 90 days from now.

  1. My main question is: Will you be able to leave your laptop (or eee netbook) home for an Ipad? If so, it is a must have. You can e-mail, write, calculate and make key note presentations with it, browse the web, watch photos and videos with it and listen to your music library. It will depend on its touch screen typing capabilities, but even if that is substandard Apple has thought about a docking station with type pad.
  2. It seems that by its sheer browsing capability it will enable the travel community to forget about the hassle of adapting their websites to mobile devices with various operating systems.
  3. One aspect is that -as Steve Jobs puts it “standing on the shoulders of Amazone’s entry into reading e-books with its Kindle – It incorporates e-book reading. On the basis of the well known Itunes shop model, Apple has lined up 5 major book publishers to sell books through a new IBook shop. As of yesterday it will be start negotiating with many other book publishers. Hurray, back to downloading the good old travel guides onto your Ipad before you go. When I go on holiday, I usually take a couple of good books with me. Now I can carry those in my IPad, which will spare me a couple of kilos weight in my luggage: Poor Airlines who are just trying to get us used to surcharges for our luggage.
  4. Apparently Apple is also trying making a dent into the augmented reality scene. With a built in GPS and leaning on Google Maps, it will be amazing how fast you will get a bearing and will be able to collect tidbits in an efficient manner about the location where you are.
  5. First I published this photo on my significant other blog because it shows clearly you don’t have to sit at a desk to play/work with your computer properly anymore. I see it as the same sort of liberation the mobile phone brought us. No more desk sitting to await a telephone call. Now you can pute in the park – provided the park has WiFi off course:-)
  6. And you know what? No more need for a paper photo album anymore…you’ll now have a wedding album/slideshow/video on your IPad..and can carry it around the world with you.
  7. Less travel by it’s undoubted future video conferencing capabilities?…no more sitting in studios for those…
  8. No more need for hotels to provide papers to their guests

Interesting times.


  • Excellent tool for on the road board games! Via Rembuco
  • Would it influence the way News is spread? See Nieman Lab

Last edited by Happy Hotelier on January 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

10 thoughts on “Travel and The IPad – Some preliminary Thoughts”

  1. Thanks Darren for your thoughts, but I beg to differ:
    For me the presentation makes clear that the IPad format is much more readable and workeable than the Iphone
    The Itune like Ibook format makes it a readable guidebook and map holder as well. It will change the world more than we can grasp now on the basis of this presentation solely.

    I’m not so much an Apple fan, as I have two IPods that crash frequently and was able to crash a Mac at the WTm press room a couple of years agon within 2 minutes, but am now considering it…maybe its just a reading addiction that plays up.

  2. I think the iPad could eventually be a good travel companion but that will be by version 2 or 3 and the reasons:
    Steve Jobs said it would have to be better than a smartphone / laptop for key tasks but on first impressions I don’t see that this is the case. Take web browsing, there is no tabbed browsing so like the iPhone u will have to keep switching web pages – not ideal . It’s missing ports to make it easier to download photos from tour camera. Photo editing will not be in a par with laptop capabilities and the missing webcam is a major faux pas. If these get added to future versions then it might be something worth considering fir traveling.

    @Daren re roaming I actually thunk this will not be such an issue as they have gone for a non contract prepaid option, so u would just need to buy in the country where u will be.

  3. @Garry
    Fished your comment from my spam filter…
    What would interest you (and me) is it’s photo upload capability and connectivity and it should have at least a webcam to skype.

    I just was on a two weeks holiday with my netbook and had to set up a special desk for it to do at least a little bit of work…

    Do you now travel with your Iphone only?

  4. @Darren

    The point you make is the same as was made last year in Berlin when someone was asking (It was Stephen Joyce I believe) “Can you please stop twittering to each other and at least try to talk to each other for a moment?”… more a matter of gadget or twitter addiction, or – as my case – camera addiction.

    Moreover…In the past when traveling by car or boat, I used to have all the maps I could grab…now I have a TomTom or nautical navigation thingy…I’m sure they will converge into the IPad

  5. Anyone walking around while travelling with an iPad is asking for trouble. I see the iPad being more about tapping into the netbook and Amazon kindle market than anything else. It’s okay saying that the iPad will change travel, but why will it when roaming charges are so expensive when abroad, and then there’s trying to find places with a Wi-fi spot, which is near impossible even in cities like London.

    You have to ask yourself has the iPhone or iPod Touch changed travel – not really due to the G3/WiFi limitations, and I can’t see that changing with the iPad.

  6. Guido, I’m with you on this.

    International SIM cards will be available which will make roaming easier than with an iPhone. As I am traveling with an iPhone right now, I wouldn’t call it easy to travel with as it currently is.

    Many people also complained after the iPhone launch. Some of the complaints are legit, but the price will come down and there will be a 2.0 version.

    The first iPhone didn’t have a good camera, no 3G, and didn’t even have apps, yet people purchased them.

  7. Guido, I agree the larger screen makes for better userability but really would you want to wander around reading a guidebook and browsing a map on your iPad while walking around a tourist destination? It’s not safe.

    I love the idea of sharing experiences when travelling; last year in Berlin it was great to take photos and share them with people on Twitter and Facebook, but, I think it spoils the experience for you as a traveller because you miss so much.

    I do think the iPad could save newspapers and magazines. I would prefer to sit on the sofa and read on the iPad, but for travel, I think the big too problems are safety and expensive roaming fees.

  8. @darren, nothing says “please rob me” like walking around with a guidebook open. I can’t see having a large screen being any more dangerous than a small screen.

  9. While I really like this new tool, and I wouldn’t turn it down if someone gifted one to me, I think it makes travel a bit too easy. No more maps with creases right where you need to find a way out of the hills, no more guide books weighing down your backpack, no more confusion with currency exchanges and languages– then why leave home? The excitement of trying to survive abroad is what makes travel fun. I have to travel with my antiquated PC as it is for the website, thats about all the technology I want infringing on my escape.

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