The IPad’s Not For Me

On virtually every other computer the software you use is a decision left solely to the user. Not on the iPad.

Tomorrow is iPad Saturday. I did not order one. I will not rush out and buy one. Though the concept of tablet computing seems very appealing, Apple’s modus operandi is stifling and backwards.

First the good news. I’ve grown more used to typing on my iPhone. A virtual keyboard isn’t as much of a problem as it once was (though it is decidedly nowhere near as good as a full tactile keyboard). With that in mind the idea of having a ‘slab’ of computer in my lap seems logical.

And, of course, the iPad is beautiful. Apple has perfected beauty in computing. They have no equal. There aren’t even pretenders!

My problem is I know what a computer can do (as do you). The iPad does not live up to modern expectation.

It cannot multitask. It cannot run any programs but those you download (usually purchase–but not always) from the iTunes Store–only the iTunes store. It has no camera. It is not a cellphone. Its battery isn’t replaceable.

When users clamored for Adobe Flash to be included on the iPhone, Apple said no. Too much battery strain. Too buggy and prone to crashing. Maybe, but that should be my choice. With the iPad “my choice” doesn’t exist unless it’s “their choice” first.

There are many who believe Apple doesn’t want Flash because it will allow downloadable apps to freely compete with those from the iTunes Store. That’s what I believe. That’s sad.

On virtually every other computer the software you use is a decision left solely to you. Not on the iPad. Because owners are dependent on the iTunes Store every installation has to be approved by them before it’s even considered by you! Apps have to be more than good. They have to be good and good for Apple.

Do I want a tablet computer? Yes. It seems a logical step.

I am willing to put up with a lot of these shortcoming on my iPhone because it’s main utility is being a phone. Right or wrong I am used to less choice with phones than with general computing devices.

It won’t be long before Asus or Dell or some other smart computer company releases their own tablet computer. Maybe it won’t be quite as pretty as the iPad, but it will be a lot more versatile. That’s when I’ll be ready to buy.

3 thoughts on “The IPad’s Not For Me”

  1. Agreed! The internet is supposed to be a democratizing force. Apple is trying to setup a business model that supports paid apps versus freeware ubiquitous on PCs since the 90s.

    David Pogue’s review from the New York Times

    It sums up the reason why you wont buy the iPad- you are a techie. Your use of technology is not constrained to the mainstream of applications of simple browsing of cute apps and interesting articles. For those who love to tweak and get under the hood of their devices – the iPad is not for them.

  2. I’m not a techie, but I don’t see why I’d want to spend the money on an iPad. It’s pretty, but both the US Economy and MY economy are pretty slow right now, and I don’t see many advantages over my laptop. I know it will be better/cheaper in year or two, like the iPhone and iPod.
    If the techies (early adapters) don’t buy it, and neither do I, it may be a pretty slow take-off.
    And I really resent/fear buying a computer that only runs programs made by that computer company. Monopolies leave a bad taste in my mouth. No contract? Of course there’s no contract. Why would they need one? You’re essentially pledging your business to the app-store for as long as the battery holds out (at least).
    Here’s a take on it
    The Don Corleone reference seems apropos, as does “Incumbents don’t make good revolutionaries”.
    It looks slick, but it just seems like an intermediate step to me. One I can probably skip.

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