The iPad

So… let me get this straight…

You can only run programs that Apple has authorised.

It comes with 16G (woo! A whole 16 gigabytes!) flash memory. (You know, that really good kind of memory where if you write to it too often it stops working).

It doesn’t have a keyboard.

You need to buy extra adapters if you want to be able to use any USB devices or SD cards with it.

It won’t run Flash, or Skype, or Netflix (none of which are programs I run, BTW, being a Free Software kind of person, but I believe some other people might wish to use them).

You can run one – *one* program on it at a time, so you can’t, say, IM and listen to music at the same time.

Yet this is ‘better than a laptop’ and ‘the most exciting thing Steve Jobs has ever worked on’?

The ridiculous thing is, it’ll sell millions, and the people buying it will actually think they’re being rebellious and edgy and cool.

Will someone please give me billions of quid for giving them bits of white curvy plastic that aren’t as good as real computers ?

(Magical Mystery Tour post shortly, but trying to write about both I Am The Walrus and Strawberry Fields in the same post is almost impossible, so it may be tomorrow)

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27 Responses to The iPad

  1. Dave Godfrey says:

    Looking around there’s nothing to indicate that you can use the usb connector for anything other than downloading photos from a camera. I doubt therefore that you’ll be able to use it to print things, connect to scanners (I’d hope there’d be at least a basic photomanipulation app), or anything that people with real laptops do all the time. I do hope I’m wrong. Otherwise it really is a very shiny coaster…

  2. Dave Page says:

    I strongly suspect that the next version of Adobe Flash will supoprt ARM processors as well as x86 and amd64.

    I also think this will be a complete bugger for free software fans, because the loopholes we tend to exploit in things like iPlayer and YouTube, which were created for iPhones, will be closed…

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      But the lack of Flash on the iPhone at least is a conscious decision by Apple, who won’t allow VMs of any kind (no Java, and no z-machine or glulx, which got some text adventure fans up in arms last year) because VMs allow you to do what *you* want with your machine…

      I honestly despise Apple far more than Microsoft. At least Bill G doesn’t care what you do with your machine so long as you give him money – Apple want you to be their slaves.

      • Dave Page says:

        Oh, I’m sure they’ll find a way of sandboxing or whitelisting or whatever appropriately, but I think the lack of Flash on Apple portable platforms is starting to become untenable – even the most rabid Mac addicts I know are starting to think that maybe there’s something wrong with their platform rather than the majority of the Internet…

  3. grace says:

    oh dear you have got so many things missed out its not even funny use your head you can get the ipad in 65GB you can use youtube on it it has bluetooth and you know what im just going to give up telling you clearly you dont know enough about it to be writting an artical on it

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I was listing things it *doesn’t* have, not those it does. I don’t expect you to be able to understand this distinction, however, as you apparently can’t actually read or write English…

    • Holly says:

      For your sake I hope it fixes grammar too, because you don’t seem to have bothered to learn any yourself.

  4. Terry says:

    I think the new iPad is nothing more than an iPod for the elderly or visually impaired (larger print than the iPod). I have a Mac desktop, Mac laptop and iPod…I DO NOT need this. I’m watching the video now promoting this and Steve Jobs is demoing the same he did for the iPod, but in a larger version.

    • Holly says:

      I take your point that it’s just an iPod but bigger, but that really doesn’t mean it’s an iPod for the visually impaired. :) As such a person, I find touch screens the bane of my existence because I rely on tactile cues when I’m using computers and phones: the movement of the key to reassure me that I hit it, the spaces between keys to indicate that my fingers haven’t slipped between one and another, and so on.

      Touchscreens can be hellish for usability by anyone with issues like motor or coordination difficulties, as well as those with partial sight. Just as my friend Dave Page up there finds this approach to hardware damnable from a free-software point of view, I find it discouraging for accessibility by people who have disabilities.

      I already dread the day when phones without touchscreens will be hard to find, and if ever this became the standard for laptops, I would have to crawl in a hole and wait until they’d invented a time machine to take me back to the age this computer seems like it’s from, when 64GB cost you $200… :)

  5. Rabid Fanboy says:

    “You can run one – *one* program on it at a time, so you can’t, say, IM and listen to music at the same time.”

    Research dude.

    “It won’t run Flash, or Skype”

    The former is thankfully dying. The latter? Again, research dude.

    “Will someone please give me billions of quid for giving them bits of white curvy plastic that aren’t as good as real computers ?”

    No. You’re just a blogger.

    A rebellious, edgy and cool one….

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I’m going from what Jobs said himself, ‘dude’. And I’ve never in my life claimed to be or thought myself ‘rebellious, edgy and cool’.

    • Holly says:

      Thanks dude, you’ve totally made my day. The thought that anything about my husband is edgy or cool, or even that he pays enough attention to mainstream culture to appreciate what rebellion would be like, is amusing me greatly.

      • pillock says:

        Dude, you totally know you married him because he seemed edgy and cool at the time!

        Um…it’s just computers, okay? Why don’t you just calm down.

        Passive-aggressive PEACE.

        • pillock says:

          Oh, I feel even guiltier.

          Can you read comics on it? That’s really what I want to know. Or old Saturday Evening Posts. Or the Examiner. Is it GOOD for anything.

          • Apparently one of its principal uses will be as an e-reader, but only of stuff from Apple’s approved ‘iBooks’. Given that they banned a dictionary from the iPhone for containing naughty words, I don’t think it’s hugely promising on that front…

        • Holly says:

          Don’t feel guilty, you big softie.

          Ooh, I maen, you’re so edgy you’ve totally just given me a paper cut!

    • Oliver Townshend says:

      Flash dying? I don’t think so. Not being able to run it on an iphone which doesn’t have the CPU power might be forgiveable, but is it really that the iPad lacks the grunt? Or just that Jobs doesn’t like Flash because it takes control away from him? Or both? Either way it blows.

  6. Zom says:

    It’s so interesting to see people who never post here, and quite possibly never read this site (poor grammar and the assertion that you, Andrew, think of yourself as edgy and cool would suggest that they don’t), turn up to the comments to defend this product. Weird.

    If what you’ve written is an accurate description of the tech – and yes I think we all know that there is going to be a 60+ gig version, but it’s also likely to be really rather expensive – then I think it’s quite possible that the ipad will die a death, or at least won’t make much profit, if any, until the 2nd or 3rd generations show up. I can’t imagine anyone I know, and I know a lot of iphone devotees, wanting to shell out 350 quid on device that can’t run multiple applications.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      This post got linked by a popular blog, and I’ve already had more traffic today than any other day since the blog started, hence the unusual comments…

      And unfortunately it won’t die a death. Everyone at work is talking about *when* they’ll get theirs…

  7. Oliver Townshend says:

    The rumour was, that it was an big iphone, but that was dismissed as lacking in imagination

    After all the wait…

    a big iphone.

  8. Eric says:

    Is it me, or does all of the hype surrounding the iPad remind anyone of the South Park “Smug Alert!” episode?

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