iPad haters’ initial complaints seem ridiculous 5 years on

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The dream to give ever student in the L.A. schools district an iPad has officially come to an end. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPad is one of Apple's greatest inventions, but at launch, people couldn't stop complaining. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Five years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad. A giant screen with one button, the iPad represented possibly the purest distillation of Jobs’ tech dreams. Yet at the time it was met with derision. “I got about 800 messages in the last 24 hours,” Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “Most of them are complaining…. It knocks you back a bit.”

Half a decade and multiple iterations on, the iPad is an established part of Apple’s ecosystem. While it’s had its ups and downs, nobody’s flooding Apple’s inbox with iPad-related hate mail anymore.

So what were people complaining about? We hopped in our time machine to take a look at the original criticisms — and what, if anything, Apple’s done about them in the years since.

CNN anchor denies using a Microsoft Surface as an iPad stand

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Forget the Microsoft Surface, CNN is all about the iPads. Photo: Steven Johns/Twitter

A CNN political commentator has hit back at reports that he was using an iPad on air, instead of the Microsoft Surface he was supposed to be using.

The gaffe occurred during the coverage for the 2014 Mid-Term elections, when it was revealed that CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper and others were furiously, err, tapping away at iPads behind the sold wall of Surface Pro 3s that Microsoft had issued the network.

Tapper doesn’t deny that he was using an iPad, but argues that he was just using it for tweeting, while happily using his Microsoft tablet for everything else.

“I liked [the Surface] fine, I just wanted to keep the screen up with exit polls,” Tapper argued on Twitter, branding the online response “idiotic” and a “false meme.”

Los Angeles school district puts $1 billion iPad rollout on hold

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The Los Angeles Unified School District decided to blow its entire $1 billion tech budget on an iPad for every student last year, but after security hacks and supply issues got the program off to a rocky start, the district has decided to adjust course and let on a few challengers.

Officials at the U.S.’s second-largest school district have decided to allow a group of high schools to choose between six devices instead of the iPad, effectively putting distribution of Apple’s tablet on hold district-wide.

Apple’s Next iPad Smart Cover Could Feature A Surface-Style Keyboard [Patent]

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Apple’s possible plans for an iPad smart cover reminiscent of Microsoft’s Surface were revealed in a patent application published Thursday. The design differs from Microsoft’s iPad competitor in that Apple’s keyboard would double as a Multi-Touch gesture keyboard, eliminating the need for a touchpad.

Drawings filed with the patent show how it would be possible to use the iPad cover in various configurations. Several hinges allow the iPad smart cover to fold away with the tablet and keyboard, while the cover would feature magnets to lock its various components in place. In one embodiment of the patent, Apple suggests that electromagnets could be used.