Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Apple iPad makes me want to Vomit

A few days ago, Steve Jobs stood proudly on stage and announced the new product that everyone in the industry had been lusting for and that he and Apple Computer hope will bring sexy back to the mobile computing space. Amid rounding applause and wolf whistles, Jobs extolled the virtues of the new device, called the iPad, and tried desperately to position it as the next 'Big Thing'.

I have to admit that, as I watched the announcement, I was impressed. I found myself really wanting an iPad and justifying to myself all sorts of reasons why the device would be a well spent $500. But, as I continued to watch the presentation, it dawned on me that the iPad is really nothing more than a cleverly packaged, greatly hyped, much larger and less convenient, version of the iPod Touch with a feminine product sounding name.

As the days wore on, I realize just how big of a fraud Jobs was perpetuating against the electronics buying public. Here was a device that was a repackaged version of another device but made bigger and less portable. Now, only a few days of hype later, hearing the very name of this useless piece of electronics waste simply makes me want to vomit.

Yes, I'll say it: the Apple iPad is useless. It's not portable, it's not innovative, it's not convenient, it has no standard USB ports, and it forces you to run everything through iTunes before it can be installed on the device. Oh, just to make it more fun, they didn't include a camera either - not even a crappy one that takes blurry photos of drunk college girls on Spring Break.

Still, all I see on Twitter is how "innovative" and "game changing" the device is. How? What does it do that the iPod Touch doesn't do? One would think such a sexy, cool, and game changing device would at least, oh I don't know, have handwriting recognition? You would think it would have some new take on the technology laid down by the iPod or maybe have a ubiquitous data connection like the Amazon Kindle does. Something, anything that sets this apart and makes it better than just a sexy design.

You would think that, being an Apple product, one of those statements would be true. But you'd be wrong. The only thing this device has on its side is the battery life and the built in graphics. And I'm not so sure about the graphics.

If I had not seen it with my own eyes and only read the specs, I'd say the iPad was a clever hoax designed to play against those who will eat up any kind of Apple propaganda; that Steve Jobs was sitting back with his feet on his desk and saying "Got em!". The sad fact is, that's only half true.

Jobs is indeed sitting back at his desk saying "Got em" but the joke isn't just on Apple fanboys. No, this joke is on the entire industry and we're all seemingly buying into the Jobs dog and pony show without any question or challenge.

Want a real modern tablet? Look at the stuff from Dell or Acer or HP. Those are the true innovators in the space. Those are where the sexy devices are. Compared to them the iPad is just one big iWannaBe.

Don't get me wrong: I want to love the iPad. I want to write glowing reviews about how everything is different now because of the device. But how can I? This device has already received this sort of press - 3 years ago when Apple introduced the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The only difference this time is the Jobs hype machine is in better form and more people are willing to buy the dream.

In reality, there's nothing to see here.


Chris said...

Steve Jobs declared that this was the most important thing that he had ever worked on.

Why might you think this is? It's about control.

Tech-savvy guys like us find it less than appealing if useful at all. I for one, enjoy building my PCs, multibooting with Linux and Windows (where I play with the registry), program, tinker, and I also like to overclock/benchmark with my PC. I'm sure you enjoy working with your PC as well.

What about the general public? Lets think about what the general public needs a computer for? Broswing the web and checking their email and a few special apps.

For that, this device does the job. While true that a laptop is a far more useful device (and a laptop with 3G makes this thing obsolete), mobility makes this device very, very appealing to the public.

But why, is this is the most important thing? Consider on Windows, Linux, or even Mac OS X. Anybody can write an application for it. What about Apple's App Store? Apple iS GOD. And if this thing can indeed replace the PC for most techphobes, then what implications does this have on intellectual freedom?

This is why this is the most important thing that Jobs has ever worked on.