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Anglachel returns to take down the iPad


Indeed, the iPad is not a productivity device. Personally, I liked it, especially the screen, and I didn't mind the weight, which made it feel like a book. But I see what she's saying. I can't imagining doing real work on one; it's clearly a consumption toy.

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gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I think some of Anglachel's criticisms about fingerprints and germs are mostly OCD type tendencies. That desk phone has as many bugs as anyone's cell phone...and the human body has more bateria cells than human cells anyway. Hey, I wash my hands many many many many times a day because I'm a germophobe as well, but I know its kind of irrational to be like that.

For me personally, I don't see the iPad powerful or convenient enough to be a true laptop. And its way too big to compete with a smart phone as far as sticking it in your pocket. One of the big reasons I liked my Blackberry so much was because it was light. The iPone weighs a ton compared to the BB so I'm not surprised that the iPad is heavy.

My laptop died on me and I've not bothered to replace it. I can do almost everything I need on my mobile when I'm at home so its hard to justify the expense right now. If I did get a knew computer like device it'd be a laptop that I could connect to my HD TV to stream sports with. Does the iPad do that? Does it have a powerful enough graphics card?

I'm anti-Apple because of their closed technology practices--and the fact that you need an expensive Apple adapter for everything it seems--so I'm biased. But if people want to dish out the money for a trendy device that isn't the most functionally convenient, I don't really care. I know I won't pay several hundred dollars for a fancy photo album. Haha

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Consumption toy" is a pretty fair description.

The coolest usage for me, so far, it is for remote video watching and e-book reading. It's a great size for that, for example something to watch or read while on the treadmill. It could also be a nifty low-end only computer for some.

The biggest downside is that it's directly targeted at (further) turning Internet users into rent-paying consumers.

Also, Steve Jobs's allergy to keyboards and buttons is pretty unfortunate. There is an optional keyboard dock, but it only works in portrait mode, which sucks for watching video.

I agree with most of Anglachel's criticisms, but I do find it an enjoyable on-the-go accessory.

Submitted by lambert on

... I thought that, for the first time, I was having an enjoyable reading experience on a computer. That is really not a neglible achievement, and just as one is physically involved with a book, almost to the extent it's a part or extension of one's body, I felt the same way about the iPad. So, Apple wins again on experience. (That said, all of Anglache's strictures are correct; but if a book were made out of glass, would she not read books? Plus, I expect UI inconsistencies to come out in the wash.)

However, I thought that the virtual keyboard was a joke, because I like to bang that return key -- but the twenty-somethings used it without thinking about it.

I use OS X at home not only because I like the Apple UI but because I need *nix under the hood, and not whatever lame-ass substitute Microsoft's got going these days. But that's exactly a condition of not being a toy.

How, for example, would a user add value to a document displayed on the iPad, say through posting or commenting or annotating? It's not at all clear that experience will be nearly so pleasant.

Submitted by gmanedit on

For me, the selling points are instant-on, fast, ten-hour battery, low carrying weight. When you're waiting on line at the post office, you can just pull it out, without needing to open a laptop lid and find a place to put the machine down.

If I had the money, I would buy it as a mobile browser (I don't have a smart phone). Also, I would hand it to the unproficient computer user in my household and say, "Here—use this instead of asking me stupid questions" (once I figured out how to word it politely).

The fingerprints are not a big deal; they go away when the screen is on. If it's your device, wouldn't they be your germs? (I had to laugh when Anglachel said she heads for the desk phone.) As to the light level, did she adjust it?

If I come into money, I'm thinking, maybe an iPod Touch in the fall, after the new (faster?) models and new OS come out.

gq, do you do all this tying on a phone keyboard? I'm impressed. If you weren't so anti-Apple, I'd point you to

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I type an occasional comment or post from work (like this one) or someone else's computer. The thing that sucks is composing link heavy posts and inserting images. I'd post a lot more posts if I had a computer at home. But so it goes. I don't miss the computer as much as I thought. it used to be the first thing I did in the morning and the last thing. I do read this site and some news orgs as well as follow various Twitter feeds and Facebook updates on my phone in the morning, but at night its usually now just reading a book.

I'm happy with the change, but I know its only a matter of time before I get a computer. Trying to write a book by hand is getting too burdensome for me and does stifle my creativity since my ideas/scenes are not necessarily linear and its a bit of work to make it so when using handwritten sheets of paper.

Oh, I need a full, non-touch screen QWERTY keyboard to type my long messages. If you think I type a lot on my phone at this blog (I really do), you should see some of my emails.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... painful due to the reduced quality of the typing experience.

There are many things I like about the iPhone, but it's incredibly obnoxious that (presumably by Apple's doing), there is not a single add-on real keyboard for it (and they made the iPad keyboard dock so it wouldn't fit the iPhone, lest any iPhone user want to actually be able to fucking type anything. Heck, they didn't even have copy/paste for the first year or so.

In many ways, Apple is the Obama of computers -- absolved for all kinds of stuff that would stick like superglue to its competitors -- but, in contrast, they do make generally good products.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

Not only because of the closed network issues--which are huge--but because of the battery/lifespan issue. The fact that you can't buy and replace the batteries in their small devices infuriates me. It represents a colossal waste of resources and money.

I have a 6 year old iPod mini, and that's about as far as I'll go with Apple.

HTC, a Taiwanese company, has come out with some very cool Android OS phones that have replaceable batteries and get better reviews than iPhones. When I feel the need to join the smartphone crowd, I may move to that.

As far as reading devices go, there's an interesting review of the Kindle vs. the iPad and the other one--forget the name--in the New York Review of Books this month.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

buy everything on cragslist
I just discovered Craigs list last winter and I buy everything but groceries there.

Cleaver's picture
Submitted by Cleaver on

until recently, and I'm not even virulently anti-Apple (I worked for Microsoft once upon a time, so I'm under no illusions about Microsoft being better). But I don't appreciate those douches who staff the so-called genius bar at my local Apple outlet, and I decry the cheapass earphones that now come with the iPod, the expensive ones that Apple expects you to buy as an immediate replacement, and the overall "Where you gonna go?" attitude of customer exploitation that has come to infect Apple's dealings with iPod-purchasing customers. So I'm not falling all over myself to buy an iPad.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I've gone back and forth between PC (starting with the original IBM PC) and Apple (starting with the LISA), and I'm currently in an all-Apple phase.

There is a Not-Invented-Here arrogance to Apple on the product side (for example, no Blu-Ray or HDMI, and their escalating war on Flash), that mars some really good products. But for the moment, it seems we're back in the late 1980s where Apple has a solid product line that commands premium prices.

They seem intent on creating a more proprietary consumer/appliance/subscriber model, and one wonders if there will be a meaningful reaction against it, or if they will succeed in the AOL-ization of the Internet.

Cleaver's picture
Submitted by Cleaver on

They seem intent on creating a more proprietary consumer/appliance/subscriber model, and one wonders if there will be a meaningful reaction against it, or if they will succeed in the AOL-ization of the Internet.

Yes, that reaction will be interesting to see as it plays out (or doesn't).

As far as Flash goes, and Adobe in general, I'm somewhat sympathetic to Apple, or at least to Apple's open source/spaghetti-code-phobic programmers and PMs.

Working in another field (print-based book publishing), I was involved in the whole question of whether it was better (1) to start by separating the content from its appearance (and therefore use XML, CSS, etc.) or (2) to concede upfront that most human beings would never muster the anality to follow coding standards (and therefore dumb the whole enterprise down by using Adobe Reader to create PDFs, thus ending up with a bunch of static files).

On the production side of book publishing, the question was whether tasks should (1) be streamlined early in the cycle or (2) be allowed to go their separate ways throughout the cycle, in deference to the human propensity for short-term outcomes, until it was time to "repurpose" the "content" for the Web (and basically have to go back to square one).

It's not a perfect analogy, but the in-house tension that arose over these questions seems somewhat related to the tension between Apple's programmers and the many others who want to create apps for the iPad but are constrained from using Flash.

Cleaver's picture
Submitted by Cleaver on

because the lowest common denominator almost always wins. Must be something of evolutionary value.

This tends to suggest, if the analogy is at all valid, that Apple will either have to relent on Flash or create its own version of Flash. And the latter approach seems like a lot of trouble even for Apple, not to mention a step that would further inflame the Flash wars and possibly put Apple back in the app boondocks where it lived at the height of MSFT's dominance.