The iPad is for those who like to buy all the latest toys. Don't get too carried away with the hype while keeping aware of what can be done at a reasonable cost. Even after 3 years+, iPhone has around 15-18% of the *smart phone* market (ie. not even the whole mobile phone market). iPad won't get anywhere near that, so be aware of that when considering time & budgets to dedicate to that channel.
We're actually finding that it can be far more valuable in terms of client outcomes and results to be looking at Facebook pages & apps before iPhone apps. And remembering that Facebook is also accessible via the iPhone so it's something to think about when assessing what to focus on.
Adobe worked hard developing CS5 with flash export tool, so that developers could use the java theology of coding once for multiple devices. Apple since famously said that all apps on the app store must be devloped using their API / methods (essentially). This means that all that work on CS5 flash export for iPhone apps is completely useless. Combined with Apples (imo justified) complete lack of interest in supporting Flash on iDevices has resulted in some very interesting politics between the two companies in the last month or so.
Since learning that Flash isn't on the iPad, for me until then I won't be buying one- and this is from an apple-die-hard. Even if the web moves toward HTML5 which I have no problem with, currently there is SO MUCH going on in the web that requires Flash- including games and other features, as well as some of my favourite websites already up and running. I just wouldn't find any benefit in using it- as a designer- if Flash isn't on it. I've only ever designed one website in flash, but I don't underestimate how often I come across something Flash on the web.
Now I'm going to answer some of the bizzare points listed in this thread..
"How does it work? I'm a print designer/magazines (and more), D"
Did you finish writing this sentence? What exactly are you asking, how does a touch screen device work?
"Apparently the iPad is for designers - how?"
In what context? For designers to consume or create for? Please clarify
"How do I get the magazine I'm designing to the iPad?"
You can create your own app using the Apple developer API, or release as an eBook to be read via the free iBooks app or other capable eBook reading apps, or find a development studio with a generic magazine app template you can modify / licence. You're really better off owning your own content and going with the first option. Also there are print magazine distribution apps like Zinio that provide effectively PDF versions of current magazines, worth a look but by now mean utilizing the technology to its full extent.
"Do I need to create a code or application?"
How is an application not code? I'm confused.
.. Dave, while I appreciate your opinion I'd be wary of declaring one closed system somehow victorious over another. Both are not without faults, plus I'm reminded of Ryan Block of GDGT's comment once in regards to how you can never truly have dependable business operation when it relies entirely upon another business support. In fact when he was making that comment on a podcast he was referncing hugely succesful Facebook developers Zynga (responible for Farmville, among others) who have recently been having alot of trouble relying upon another system (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20005269-36.html). Now they're working on apps for iPad, funnily enough, (http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/31/kleiner-perkins-ipad-fund/) which makes this discussion quite circular.
Dave - you raise some really valid points about market share and over-investment, but I just wanted to add the big catalyst for iPhone / iPad development for me is the idea of user user experience. I had the internet on my Windows mobile phones, but it was shit. There's a marketplace for Android (which is rapidly improving but still cannot touch the App store for depth) and ease of use on iPhone & iPad for users to install and use applications cannot be beaten at the moment. So even though it's a relatively small percentage of marketshare, Apple is making serious bank on the App Store and if I was going to invest money developing for any specific platform right now, it'd be something within that ecosystem. (I know that's a whole another discussion so I won't get us too side tracked there).
More generally I'd love to know where to start with bringing magazine content to iPad. It reminds me a bit of when I didn't really understand the web and just wanting a website but not really understanding what the questions are. I guess I'd love to know what the questions are.
I do a magazine right now that would benefit from what the iPad can deliver in terms of demographic and reach, but quick googling doesn't seem to offer many definitive answers on this. Looks like plugins is the way to take that content and put it on the app store, but it doesn't look like a simple process either. (My experience from the past tells me that anything which seems like it will be simple bridging of technology, in practicality, just isn't going to be that easy - but maybe I'll be proven wrong).