A guy named Brian X. Chen over at Wired has written an article praising the iPad as the savior of the computing world. I think this guy’s been wandering around the desert of Apple propaganda too long, eating Steve Jobs’ brand locusts and wild honey. Or something.
Anyway, I was done ranting about the inadequacies of the iPad and had found peace with it. But I read this article and got spun up again. So I left a comment for the article in a futile attempt to speak sense to the Wired authors and get them to stop drinking the Apple Kool-Aid and come back to reality for awhile.
My comment is below. Read some of the other comments on the article if you get time. Most are in much the same vein as my own, but they do bring up other points of interest.
Others have said how tired they are of Wired being an Apple FanBoy site, so I’ll just say I agree with them.The author claims that the iPad is the computer for everyone, the future of mobile computing, etc. The first claim is clearly untrue. Let me count the ways:1. The iPad is not the computer for the growing number of people who believe strongly in free and open source software and hardware, because Apple is notoriously controlling of their hardware and software.2. Contrary to the author’s contention, the iPad is not the computer for those of us who like to hack, because Apple goes out of its way to discourage hacking of its devices. The iPhone is exhibit A for this.3. The iPad is not the computer for those who like to control their content and to avoid DRM. Like the iPhone and iTouch before it, the iPad is designed to force you to use the proprietary iTunes software to access content (games, music, video, etc.). You have to be a tech-savvy person, the kind least likely to buy an iPad, to avoid going through iTunes and putting up with DRM-laden content.4. The iPad is not the computer for those who need to do serious work with computers, whether that be engineering, digital content creation, complex analysis, or any of a number of other common tasks.
It’s clear that Apple intended the iPad as a lighweight entertainment device, to be used for consuming content, not creating it. A creative person might buy an iPad, but only for communications, light PDA duties, or entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with creating a device for this, but let’s not pretend it’s going to save the world.