On Wednesday, Glenn Fleishman and I caught an early flight to San Francisco to attend Apple’s media event where the company introduced the iPad. It was fun to be there for the announcement, not just because it’s a new Apple product but because there’s a lot of energy and interest among the assembled journalists. (I put together a photo essay at TidBITS documenting the day: Photo Tour of Apple’s iPad Introduction, which you can also view as a slideshow on Flickr.)
The iPad is impressive, speedy, and responsive. It’s also very experiential: you get a better sense of it when actually using it, versus reading about its specifications and features. I think Apple will sell a ton of them, mostly to customers who aren’t “computer people.” Glenn and I wrote about our impressions in “Hands-On Impressions of the iPad” for TidBITS.
We had only a short window of time to use the iPads—those were unfinished prototypes, with some software features missing (such as the iBooks Store and many app preferences, for example). So as a journalist, I spent much of my time trying to think of what features to absorb and which questions to ask. At one point, I launched the iPod app and played some music. Since the room was filled with clamoring (literally, at first) people, I couldn’t hear the music well, so I lifted the iPad up to my ear.
(I couldn’t tell how good the speaker was, though I definitely felt the bass thumping at the back of the unit through my fingers.)
When I did, Justin Sullivan of Getty Images snapped a photo of me. I didn’t notice at the time, of course; as you can see in the photo at right, many people had cameras.
After the event, Glenn and I caught a 6 p.m. flight back to Seattle.
The next day, I received an email from a friend saying she thought she saw me on The Huffington Post Web site. And sure enough, there I was! No doubt the photo was chosen because it looks like I’m having a special romantic moment with the iPad.
Soon after, a bigger surprise arrived via Twitter: someone said the photo appeared on the cover of the print edition of USA Today. I jumped in my car and drove to the nearest grocery store to see for myself (and buy a half gallon of milk). Here’s a shot of me with the evidence:
You can view a PDF version of the cover here.
But wait, there was one more appearance: Not only did the photo appear in the Wall Street Journal, it occupied most of the above-the-fold first page of the Marketplace section.
(Sullivan also included another photo of me holding the iPad in the batch of Getty photos from the event, but it’s not nearly as good as the first one.)
I can’t really claim “fame” from the photo, just exposure. But still! There are plenty of unsavory ways to appear on the cover of a national newspaper. I like this method better.