Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Week after the Night Before

So we are now almost a week into the era of the iPad, the amazing new devise from Apple that is supposed to change how we look at a computer. I must admit it does look shiny, new and groundbreaking.

It has been reviewed and most people have thought it was wonderful. David Pogue wrote an article in the New York Times entitled "Looking at the ipad from two angles".

There is a lot to be impressed by the ipad, certainly it is a large ipod touch, but as pointed out, what's wrong with that? Right now it has bluetooth and wifi, plus the ability to download and install apps from the Apple iTunes store. No doubt by the time I'm finished this blog, there will be ten of thousands available for free or for a price. The screen and images are supposed to be gorgeous. It is a tremendous media player for people who want a straightforward devise that allows them to enjoy media, either music, movies, photographs, games or to surf the web and write email. or at least to tweet.

One person who thought the world of it was Jeff Jarvis. In the recent TWIg podcast, he and Leo were practically salivating over their ipads. I felt sorry for Gina Trepani, who was the lone member of the triumvirate who hadn't succumb to the temptation and purchased one. Seriously, it was embarrassing to watch them go on and on about it.

However, the next day, it seems he had a change of heart, he writes in his blog: "iPad Danger":
The iPad is retrograde. It tries to turn us back into an audience again. That is why media companies and advertisers are embracing it so fervently, because they think it returns us all to their good old days when we just consumed, we didn’t create, when they controlled our media experience and business models and we came to them. The most absurd, extreme illustration is Time Magazine’s app, which is essentially a PDF of the magazine (with the odd video snippet). It’s worse than the web: we can’t comment; we can’t remix; we can’t click out; we can’t link in, and they think this is worth $4.99 a week. But the pictures are pretty.

So we become consumers of media and not creators. This is a step back, since the dawn of the personal computer, it has been about creating. Now that applications are growing in number and ability and sheer computing power is also growing, people can create. They can post, write, create all the content they want, and now it seems Apple wants to bind us tight in a devise that controls us.

What I find annoying about Mr. Jarvis is all his complaints, such as the lack of the USB port, didn't exist prior to Saturday. In fact when he held it and gushed so openly, there was not a USB port to be found. However it wasn't until after the hangover of those 6 or 7 Apple Kool-Aids he downed did he realize the truth. This machine is lacking. I had complained to a person the lack of a card reader as one reason not to buy. If you take digital photographs, you're using a card, either SD or CF, but there's no place to put the cards. However I have discovered that you can buy an attachment for your digital camera and cards, for only $30.00US.

In some ways, Jeff hit the bottom of the tech reviewers and their love of all things Apple. As pointed out to me, Apple could stick its logo on a beat up garbage can and people would line up days in advance to purchase one. Perhaps this is true. Apple does seem to get a free pass when it comes to its products. Jarvis fell for it, and then wakes up the next day and realizes the hottie he picked up, who looked so good after a few beers, isn't that hot in the morning.

Now it has been reported that Jeff plans to return his iPad. No doubt he has taken the pledge not to be so gullible for the next Apple product. We will wait and see.

Perhaps the most honest person is Cory Doctorow, he wrote a piece in Boing Boing entitled: "Why I won't buy and iPad"

Right now the iPad is not available in Canada. It is supposed to come and of course, it will come hamstrung, this is Canada after all.

The question is this, is it worth it? Yes there are a lot of other questions too, such as why buy this when for half the price you can buy a netbook, if you want a small form factor, or for the same price a pretty good laptop. I suppose its up to the person what they want to do and with a full understanding what you can't do with it.

Perhaps the second generation will add what people want.