The intuitive iPadI recently had the pleasure of picking up an iPad and continue to be amazed by its awesomeness. I did not participate in the iPhone craze, so this is the first time that I have used an Apple product since back in grammar school on the Apple IIe, or something like that. I loved Lemonade Stand & Oregon Trail back in the day, and now I can download apps for those games, or about 185,000 other apps  in seconds if desired. Amazing. The commercials aren’t kidding – there really is an “app for that”.

The revolutionary iPad is great for surfing the web, gaming, reading, navigation with live traffic, sports updates, real-time stock quotes, or just about anything you can imagine. At home, the kids love it and often fight over a chance to play on it. On that note, the apps for kids are absolutely incredible. They are engaging, educational and usually very cheap or even free. In fact, it is so intuitive that my 2-year old, pictured above, can use it. She walks around the house looking for it, saying “iPad… iPad”. It is crazy. She just loves the app that lets her click on an animal and then hear what it is and the sound it makes. Simple, but amazing. There is truly something for everyone. Plus optional 3G makes it totally mobile, which can certainly come in handy. I still can’t get over the fact that I can search for a game, or app, find it, download it, and be using it within a minute. Apple has really hit the nail on the head with this device. Sure it has some limitations, like not being able to view flash, and the glare that is sometimes caused on the reflective glass, but overall, this thing ranks right up there among the most amazing things I have ever seen. Plus it is just 1 1/2 pounds. This is not something that people “need” to have, but this is certainly something I suspect everyone will want to have.

On a side note, I recently saw Amazon’s Kindle. This device is pretty nice for reading books, but I suspect will likely become obsolete if not completely updated. Kindle’s technology is superior for reading a book outside, where the glare might be annoying on an iPad, but otherwise, no comparison in my opinion. The Kindle books offer simple text and an occasional black and white image. iPad’s books provide full color images and often the ability to modify font type and size. Furthermore, there are book related apps, like the one for Toy Story, that bring books to life, offering the story, along with color animations and video inserts. Plus there is also the option to play Toy Story games, listen to Toy Story music, or color Toy Story pictures. Quite simply, the iPad blows the Kindle out of the water, as well as any other device for that matter. People seeking a new home PC, laptop, e-reader, DS2 or gaming system should first at least consider an iPad.

Apple is gearing up to launch its iAd interface to enable advertisers to reach app users via interactive ads. However, current buzz suggests that a $1 million budget will be required to be included, so this keeps out the small and medium sized players for now. However, in time, I suspect that iAd will go the route of Google AdWords and open up advertising to the masses. Time will tell as the mobile and app markets continue to explode.