iPad is for family

We all sit huddled together on the couch, my two year old son, my wife and I. Between us is the iPad, glowing and changing colors.

We all take our turn with Adobe Ideas, each of us building upon the others creation; it’s a collaborative effort, more like a board game, a constructive group activity with seemingly endless possibilities. We quickly change to the Eyewitness photo app from The Guardian and we can’t believe the quality of the photos and the resolution, stunning simplicity, even our son can operate it. From there, we move on to the Netflix streaming app and we watch Kipper the Dog, because once my son sees the red Netflix logo he starts chanting “Kippy, Kippy, Kippy!” He usually watches Kipper on the iMac, sitting by himself in the chair, strait up and alone, but this time we are all involved together, attentive and engaged on the couch. The intimacy that this new device creates falls into a new sociological zone. The zone is engaged family togetherness.  Your iPhone is for you, the computer is for lean forward, super focused, often hunched and cramped one on one activities and the iPad is for collaborative group sharing with friends and family. No more huddling around a desktop computer while one person holds the mouse and keyboard, this is a smooth and productive social activity. We are looking at the very beginning of a new category of digital interaction - the family social device category. A category that Microsoft has tried and tried again to get people to jump into over the years, but this time, as in the iPhone, it takes Steve Jobs to revolutionize the category and get people to buy into it.


Here is a list of my ten favorite iPad apps.

  • NYTimes Editors Choice
  • Netflix
  • The Guardian Eyewitness
  • Early Edition
  • Zinio
  • iJournaler
  • Adobe Ideas
  • Good Reader
  • iBooks
  • Free Books

What are your favorite apps and how do you use your iPad?