I remember longing after those AT&T commercials back in the '80s - "Ever attended a meeting in your bare feet? You will." "Ever sent a fax from the beach? You will." I recently reviewed them on YouTube, and chuckled at how much was wrong, and what was spot on. No one calls home from phone booths any more, they all call from the plane as soon as it's off the active runway. And attending meetings in bare feet may actually happen in an office building, due to cultural changes as the Boomers aged up into management and brought their jeans and sandals along to the executive suite.
But the most far-reaching change, which will affect computing for the next decade or two, launched in early April 2010. Holding an iPad, using the same Internet we've been using for the past 15-20 years, you know you'll never be happy surfing with a limited phone browser or a netbook again. And that mouse is really looking long in the tooth!
In the few months that I have been using it, my iPad has become my Internet tool of choice. I'm irritated if a place doesn't have wifi so that I can surf with it. I take it to lunch and read, email, and catch up on writing articles in progress. With or without my Bluetooth keyboard, it's a great typing experience, but, then, I'm not a touch typist. The iOS which started powering the iPhone and now powers all manner of portables (iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads) is head and shoulders above the rest in user-friendliness and real-world usability. There are those who prefer tweaking things themselves, and, for them, the openness of Android and WebOS will be better, but for the majority of humans, the iOS experience is bringing us the future we've been promised since Uhurrah first handed a PADD to Captain Kirk in 1969.
Next up, flying cars!