With the iPad announcement, Apple set the stage for a new product category, one that according to Apple is the mobile device missing in its product lineup between the iPhone and the MacBook. Although it wasn't said explicitly, it seems the iPad was to be a product that melded some features of each into a new product type.
Did Apple succeed? Well, only time will tell, but from my viewpoint, it missed at least four important features that would have set the iPad apart from the iPhone. As it is now, the iPad is just an iPod touch with a larger screen and a 3G option
Multi-tasking: By using the iPhone OS, Apple has doomed us to the single-app-at-a-time routine that bugs iPhone and touch power users. If the iPad is a step up from the iPhone, then I would have expected an improvement here.
No User Accessible File System: Once again, the iPhone OS, which hides its underlying file system from users, proves to me that an OS for smartphones does not belong in the iPad. Without access to the file system, you're stuck being able to only access files from within applications or to sending files to apps a developer thinks is suitable. For instance, while I can send a photo from the Photo app to Mail, can I send a photo to application abc? Only if the developer thinks I should.
Camera: Let me be clear here. I think a still camera on the back of the iPad would be a bad idea. I can't imagine how unwieldy it would be to use the iPad as a primary still picture camera. But a forward facing web cam is a different thing altogether. With a built-in web cam, the iPad would make a great video conferencing platform. Being able to sit in your big comfy chair and chat with friends and family around the world would be a great application. Think mobile iChat.
I/O: Aside from a docking connector and earphones, there really is no input/output on the iPad, at least nothing like the MacBook. I won't hold my breath waiting for that add-on camera that could have clipped to the top of the iPad. It would have been nice to at least have a built-in SD card slot. Without robust I/O access, hardware developers can only turn to Bluetooth and the docking connector. Some micro USB ports would have been a nice touch. Or maybe that SD card slot could take a USB adapter.
" ...And without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web."