Sunday, April 04, 2010

The iPhone (iPad?) iDont care about, redux


Yep, you'd figure that after this post in January 2007, I'd have basically moved to Yemen to avoid one of the greatest inventions ever.  Boy am I the hypocrite.  At least I waited until Summer 2008 to buy my iPhone, that device that has now taken its place amongst fire, the wheel, and Oco Time sushi as the greatest inventions ever.

Seriously,  I never thought I'd use my iPhone like I use it now, or like I used it on trips.  Let's forget the fact that the MP3 player podcasts keep me going every day, and on long plane flights to the East Coast.  Let's also forget the game apps (Worms anyone?) that are weaselly addicting.  The GPS Map function basically owned us while we are on trips almost anywhere.  Not getting lost is cool.  So are the excellent directions and the times that public transit will be arriving.  The Yelp app found my wife and I a perfect beach in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, and the way I get instant news these days?  Twittie for Twitter.

So along comes the iPad, the "next great device" that is being hyped up to take over everything from simple computing to print novels.  I've been watching the development of the iPad for a long time and watching the reaction for the last couple of months.  Like my initial reaction to the iPhone, I won't be getting one.

However unlike the end result, I'm pretty positive I won't be getting one for a really long time, as in at least five years.  Why?  I comment in an iPhone related blog said it perfectly.
"I own an iPod, a laptop, and plenty of written books.  What the hell do I need an iPad for?"
I'm asking myself the same question.  I can see the iPad on a college student or a public transit commuter, but not in the current condition that it is in.  The main reason for a college student would be textbook only, and right now the interface is the only thing really going for the iPad.  Amazon's Kindle has battery life beat by a mile, and the iPad is hardly for creating things, even written documents.  Score one for a netbook or laptop.  Plus, with all do respect to Apple, the iPad looks fragile.  I won't even be glancing at the iPad until I see a monster size Otterbox Defender.  

The iPad is all about consuming.  I don't need another thing that simply distracts attention away from productivity.  I need something that enhances productivity and allows me to create with efficiency.  The iPad doesn't really do that for me.  Never mind the lack of USB, no Flash, and no camera.

The final warning to people is the "Geekdom" review.  Mainstream media doesn't sway my attention as much as the computer geeks out there that jailbreak, hack, manipulate, and create the stuff that I use all the time.  Screw Newsweek and Wired, even C-Net.  There are other places on the net where the real professionals break down the "greatest" technical achievements and praise or pounce on them.  The Geek reviews aren't all that raving.  That concerns me.

It should also concern the Berkeley High School Chemistry teacher I saw on the news that said that he was making an iPad mobile website for his students.  Inital sales might seem promising and exciting, but let's remember:
1.  Do you know a lot of inner city youth that can put out $600-$800 for a device that is untested?
2.  If you are a teacher, shouldn't you wait before you implement the device?  I don't know about you, but I wait for at least a year before I put forth the great technology into my classroom.  Let the bugs get sorted out and let the mistakes be made by someone else.
Or in this case, let the hype die down. 
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