Apple’s new iPad: will it change movie-watching?


If you are of the Net News generation or have any means by which to know anything when it happens via the Internet, than you’ve probably already heard about iPad, or at least saw a friend make a joke about iKotex on Twitter, were confused and then linked that to your knowledge that Apple had a tablet-style product in the works. Well, it was unveiled today and it’s beautiful – it’s the visual accessibility of a laptop with the intimacy and functionality of an iPod touch or iPhone.

But what does it mean for movies?

Apple has been a big force in film with regards to two things: trailers and online purchase or rental. At the iTunes store, as you well know, you can buy movies for your computer and iPod or rent them for a number of days. For those looking for a more private movie-watching experience, this is perfect. No one has to see or hear what you’re watching but you. But now, with the iPad, you can have that same portability and privacy, only you don’t have to squint so damn hard.

Personally, I’ve never watched any video at length on my iPod. I own an 8 GB iPod Touch and I’d much rather pull it out and use a game app for 20 minutes during a boring car ride (when I’m not driving) or when I have time to kill. A plane ride might be the only time I’d want to watch a movie on it and I’ve always got my laptop in tow, so I never have to.

Although not the product’s focus, I have to say that I might be more inclined to watch a movie from iTunes if I owned an iPad. When someone else is using the television, watching on my laptop is restricting with only a couple hours of battery life. I can’t watch any Lord of the Rings movie, for example. With an iPad, I could theoretically watch all three of those movies in a row thanks to its 10-hour battery life. The truth is probably that movie watching would drain it a lot quicker, but watching any single film on the iPad would be possible whereas on my laptop it’s not.safari_hands_20100127

In my hypothetical iPad fantasy, someone’s stolen the TV to watch hours of recorded Oprah shows, but I don’t have to worry, because I can access my Netflix account on my iPad, curl up in another room and watch something on Instant Play. Currently, I’m stuck watching that movie in my bedroom where I can keep my laptop plugged in and I end up on my bed where the odds are 40 percent that I will pass out during part of the movie.

Undoubtedly, the features of the iPad are more suited for web-browsing, photo sharing and reading with the new iBooks function that – along with Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook — I will limit my comments to how we don’t need to read any more on screens than we already do. But as far as movies being a way to spend alone time, this is a huge step. You can certainly watch with someone else, but there are many ways to do that already.

The short of it is that the iPad is your coffee table computer. I recently had the idea to keep my old laptop in the basement so that if anyone in the family needed web access from the basement, they could get it. iPad is that idea’s replacement.

Is iPad the future for movie-watching? Probably not, but should it be successful at all, it highlights another place in our lives where technology is utilized, where we can absorb information. It’s entirely possible that the future of watching movies is not something that takes place in one singular location, that it’s somewhat mobile. More than ever that is now a distinct possibility.

***Photos from, visit here for details.


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