iPad One of "Top 50 Inventions of 2010"
Time Magazine has published its picks for the top 50 inventions
of 2010, and the iPad is right at the top of the list. As the accompanying article notes astutely, though, the iPad is not an invention per se, but a reinvention
of a product that had pretty much been left for dead.
Tablet computers, after all, are far from a new invention. The pen tablet was developed in the mid-80s
at a Boston-area startup, and touchscreen PCs have been around since the early part of this century. However, the technology never caught on. “In theory," Time correspondent Harry McCracken writes in his article, 'the iPad is merely a follow-up to such resoundingly unpopular slate-style computers as Microsoft’s Tablet PC." However, he observes, Apple is good at "reinventing a product category that its competitors have given up on," and achieved success with the iPad because they were "the first company that designed finger-friendly hardware and software from scratch rather than stuffing a PC into a keyboardless case."
Including the iPad itself, three of the six best inventions in the Technology section had to do with iOS. The Flipboard
app - which combines updates from Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds in a graphically appealing magazine style layout - was also singled out for praise. Time also honored the Square
credit card reader for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android as one of the year's top innovations.