Apple iPad - helping say goodbye to Cannonball web formats in travelNewsBy Kevin May | January 27, 2010Share This article was originally published on Today's long awaited and widely speculated announcement from Apple to launch its new tablet-style iPad product has set the tech world's tongues wagging furiously.It will probably be also causing a few furrowed brows in the higher echelons of Google and Microsoft, given how irritatingly successful Apple appears to be at marketing almost everything it produces.Indeed, Amazon and those behind its Kindle product are probably shifting extremely nervously in the seats.But why?Firstly, by virtue of the iPad being yet another funky Apple product means that it will automatically be the must-have device for later this year, or at least amongst those in the tech community.Those with experience of Apple products will no doubt wait for version 2 of the iPad - shipped bug-free and often at a far cheaper price.Secondly, if the convergence of devices (laptop-to-TV-to-mobile) is to take place, then something like the iPad is obviously well placed.[Product review from Engadget]The implications for the humble traveller are far too difficult to determine though.Many parts of the travel industry are still struggling to get their heads around simple mobile devices being a de rigeur gadget for travellers - a device they want to use continually throughout a trip - although the penny has clearly dropped and iPhone apps are now the tech software product of choice within development labs across the sector.To make the extension that travellers will want to take a iPad-style device with them is yet another compelling idea to ponder.For business travellers, iPad and its ilk seems like a home run.The argument that leisure travellers, at least within the next few years, will take a tablet on holiday is less certain.Take four executives close to the touch, design and trip content parts of the sector and you get pretty interesting answers: Toby Cunningham, Sabre Travel Studios: "Apple’s iPad is a further example of how consumer devices are taking digital interactions past the web. Paying attention to the expanding ecosystem of usable “access points” for travelers to shop, plan, book, and retrieve travel information is going to be increasingly important. With all of the new, efficient interactions for travelers available through these devices, I think we can say start saying goodbye to the standard web “cannonball” formats."Andrew Owen-Jones, chief executive of Traveltainment: "President Obama said in his State of the Union speech that Jobs must be our number 1 priority. Apple has not provided a channel for distribution before but with the Ipad this may now change. An attractive personal medium which gets the right balance between media distribution and customer control will make us all think differently about how we reach customers. For the first time Steve Jobs may be a priority in travel distribution. At least he will make us all think about how we interact with consumers."Paul Dawson, experience director, EMC Conchango: "I think that the choice of device when you travel is a matter of huge personal preference. Some of us type faster than we write, so a netbook and a mobile is the lowest level we'll stoop to when travelling. The key for anyone providing an in-between device, especially if it uses touch, is to make sure that it seamlessly integrates and synchronises to all the other devices we have. If it does, and allows us to do all the things we can on those other devices, but with a battery life and form-factor to die for, then in-between touch devices only have to solve the speed of input problem in order that we all use them as a matter of personal preference. But will they? Doubtful.. so in the meantime, their applications have to be carefully crafted in order that we don't try to do things on them we really shouldn't. I'm talking about writing long emails by the way... nothing else."Justin Cooke, managing director, Fortune Cookie: "The combination of a screen larger than a mobile on a device smaller and lighter than a netbook with a touch-based interface and the beauty of Apple's product design opens up massive opportunities. Launching the product at a time when the travel sector HAS to reinvent itself and when consumer's demands and expectations of mobile technology have never been higher will result an entirely new layer of applications, services and entire business propositions. Global roaming and digital services that I consume while on holiday for starters. Am I excited? You bet I am."Peter Harrison, vice president of marketing, TripIt: "We're really excited about the new iPad. TripIt already powers many of the top travel apps on the iPhone and lots of travelers use our free TripIt iPhone app every day. We'll be looking at how the new iPad can use the existing iPhone apps, and new ways to deliver TripIt travel plans, TripIt Pro flight alerts and even more detailed trip information on the iPad."Matthew Cashmore, innovation ecosystem manager, Lonely Planet: We've seen great success with our iPhone City Guides, and now our Augmented Reality Guides on Android, anything that allows us to better serve the traveller is brilliant news. We know there's a huge hunger with our users to access our content digitally, wirelessly and when they need it. The new Apple iPad will open up new opportunities for us to bring the rest of our portfolio to travellers with the device's new book reading capabilities."Gerry Samuels, managing director, Mobile Travel Technologies: "It would seem the form factor, fragility and lack of a camera and real keyboard means that it is more suited to digital media consumption than creation. It seems like something that users would enjoy better in their living/hotel room rather than walking down the street. That said the fact that it comes with GPS, compass and 3G connectivity (3G only on the more expensive models) would seem to indicate that Apple hopes for it to be used on the go. In terms of travel we see it more useful for planning either pre-trip or during the trip (e.g. turn it on mainly the evening, to collect all the pictures, notes , GPS positions recorded during the day with my iPhone, and then publish e.g. to my Facebook or Flickr account). The iPhone and other more traditional devices would seem to be more suited to actual "on the go" travel activities." Agree?