Computers are personal, but tablets are deeply personal.

Because of this, competing with the iPad is not as simple as going head to head with all the tangibles: hardware vs. hardware; OS vs. OS; 3rd-party apps vs. 3rd-party apps; and so on.

The iPad is more than the sum of its parts. The iPad has an intangible: Likability.

To date, nobody has been able to compete with Apple when it comes to the combination of hardware, operating system, and 3rd-party apps. If competitors have yet to even compete with the tangibles of the iPad, how then do they expect to compete with the intangibles?

From what I have seen and read about the TouchPad and webOS so far, this may be the first likable tablet since the iPad. It’s buggy and has a poor app store like the rest of the other tablets. But what the TouchPad has that the others do not is likability. And that gives me hope that it could be great.


The embargo lifted last night and the reviews for the HP TouchPad are being published. And, for the most part, those with review units share the same sentiments about the TouchPad: it seems that HP did a lot of things right with webOS 3.0 and the future of the TouchPad has a lot of potential, but it’s still buggy and full of dark corners.

Jason Snell writes, in his review for Macworld:

Is there any reason for a prospective iPad user to buy a TouchPad today? I can’t see it. In a head-to-head comparison with the original iPad on launch day, the TouchPad might win out due to its dual-core processor and multitasking support. But today’s iPad 2 has both, along with tens of thousands of tablet-optimized apps and almost none of the quirks that the TouchPad currently exhibits.

Macworld’s TouchPad Review

Marshall Kirkpatrick also likes it:

Big picture take-away: Google has built an attractive, intuitive, intelligent service that’s fun to use and speaks to a deep human need for contextual integrity of communication. There is not just public/private, life is more complex than that. This need, unmet by almost any other social network today, is where Google is aiming to win the hearts of users. The app the company built towards that aim is smooth and pleasing to use.

Marshall Kirkpatrick’s Initial Google+ Review

MG Siegler’s first look at the iPhone app for Google+:

If you simply point your iOS Safari browser to, you’ll find a solid web app written in HTML5. You can’t do quite everything you’ll be able to with the native app, such as Huddle (group chat). But it the main parts of the Google+ functionality are there. Stream, Photos, Circles, Profile, and Notifications appear in the main menu.

And there are actually some other unique features, such as the ability to check-in to a venue and see Google+ message from users nearby to your current location.

The Google+ iPhone Web App

After spending several hours with Google+, MG Siegler really likes it so far:

Google has done a very good job with the early execution. Can they maintain that? Once the novelty is gone, will there be a reason to use it? And will the idea scale — meaning both in absolute size and in terms of moving beyond an early adopter market?

His mostly glowing review touches on all the major elements, as well as giving some insight into where things might be going with Google+ in the future. I’m not on Facebook or Google+, but after reading Siegler’s review, Google’s new social network actually sounds far more interesting to me than Facebook’s. Of course, the issue isn’t the features, it’s the users — will my friends and family be compelled to join Google+?

MG Siegler’s Initial Google+ Review