So, is the iPad the savior the newspapers hoped for?

In the run-up to today’s announcement of the iPad by Steve Jobs there was some quiet rumbling in the newspaper industry that this could be the magical moment they were looking for. Some believed that the iPad could end up being their new delivery system and deliver them from oblivion.

So now that the show is over and the pundits have had – for the most part – their say have the newspapers been saved from their own ineptitude courtesy of the iPad?

The simple straightforward answer is – no.

I am pretty sure that now the Jobsian Glow has dissipated reality is setting back in and it looks suspiciously like yesterday and the day before. There is no white knight in a black turtleneck coming to save their asses. In fact one simple example shows exactly the contempt that Steve Jobs has for them.

It was actually Paul Boutin over at VentureBeat that caught this but if you look at the following graphic, and think back to all the publishers who were lined up for this shindig – notice something missing?

You see that used to be a nicely balance graphic that had six logos on it. That was before Harold McGraw III got all talkative in a news interview the night before the announcement. The thing to remember here is that McGraw is the head of one of the largest publishing companies around, McGraw-Hill, but word is that as soon as Jobs heard about the interview he had the company cut from the presentation.

In other words you don’t screw with Steve Jobs’ game which was precisely the mistake that McGraw made. He obviously hadn’t heard of Jobs’ reputation or if he had he didn’t believe that Jobs would mess with a company the size of McGraw-Hill.

What McGraw didn’t realize is that Jobs isn’t doing this to be nice to content producers. they are a necessary evil that Apple has to suffer in order to change the world into their vision of technological perfection. That doesn’t mean though that Jobs will play nice with them as that concept just isn’t a part of his make-up. It’s the Jobs’ way or hit the highway.

The iPad wasn’t created to rescue the newspaper and magazine industry regardless of what they may have hoped. The iPad was created as Jobs’ perfect trifecta of world changing technological wonders. What better way to bow out of the game.

Now that said I do believe from what I have seen and read that there is one industry that could very well blossom under the iPad. That would be t he text book industry and now it makes perfect sense as to why there were rumors of Apple reps at the different universities and college lately.

The fact is that the iPad could very well revolutionize education from the textbook standpoint. Again I point to another Paul Boutin post about a new technology that when combined with the iPad brings a new life – literally – to textbooks.

“The book will never die. But the textbook probably will,” says Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis. Inkling is working directly with textbook publishers. First, they’ll port their existing tomes onto Apple’s iPad as interactive, socialized objects. Then, they’ll create all-new learning modules — interactive, social, and mobile — that leave ink-on-paper textbooks in the dust.

In the end though I find myself still wondering if this is really something that is as momentous as everyone seems to think it might be. Unlike Apple’s other innovations there is no problem – other than the one being created by marketing hype – that the iPad solves.

In fact when you sit back and look at the whole thing the iPad seems to cause more problems than it mythically solves. As Alex Wilhelm said in a post

No flash. Come on, Apple, why are you still kicking this horse? No flash on the iPhone was barely tolerable. On a device that you call internet specific to not have flash is more than annoying, it’s insulting. Flash, love it or hate it, is one huge slice of the internet. This is not optional.

Guess which new mobile non-laptop Apple product cannot multitask? Well, all of them, but the iPad loses here as well. Even with an Apple designed chip, the iPad cannot handle what every other companies product offerings do already. You can of course jailbreak your iPhone and run things in the background, but not natively. Why not? Beats the hell out of all of us. Again, this problem is annoying on the iPhone, inexcusable on the iPad.

And just because the software is not flawed to hell does not mean that the hardware cannot be broken as well. It can! The iPad has no camera, meaning that many of the nifty things that you wanted to do on the device you cannot. Skype on the couch? No! Tinychat? No! Again, Apple, what were you thinking? That we don’t?

I am a bit let down. I suspect that you are as well. Perhaps version two is what we really wanted all along. See you all in a year.

I don’t know about a year but I do know I’m looking forward to seeing if Microsoft has something called Courier up it sleeve and if we’ll see it sometime are the MIX10 conference.

Share this article: So, is the iPad the savior the newspapers hoped for?
More from Inquisitr