But not the ways it intends.
I came across this post on FB the other day:
The New Television: How the iPad Changes Everything by Kevin Wheeler on April 27, 2010
In it he talks about how “The iPad is just as revolutionary a device. In its simplicity and minimalism it morphs a computer into an appliance. Anyone can understand and use it. It requires almost no instruction. Everyone in my family has picked it up after being attracted to its sleek simplicity and started to play with it. Within minutes they were watching movies or doing something with no instruction from me. On the other hand, no one has even touched my laptop – ever!”
Great. I’m sure he’s telling the truth. Now, I’ve have been known to buy a new gadget the day it comes out if I think it has some potential. The only one so far that hasn’t disappointed me are my Nintendo DS’s. I now have 5. Starting with the original, the Lite, the DSi, and now also the XL. Know why I like them so much? They’re honest. They don’t pretend to be anything more than they are, AND their focus is on what they know to be their bread and butter – gaming.
My problem with the direction that Apple is going is that they pretend to be more than they are. Sure, their ads are great. I like them too (and btw, Microsoft, your “I’m a PC” ads TOTALLY missed the point).
The biggest problem with Apple’s devices is that they are CONSUMER only devices. To put it bluntly, they are for tool USERS, not for tool MAKERS. Sure, the iPAD is pretty – sexy even. But it is no more an active device than a TV, and LESS interactive than my DS (which has two cameras).
As much of the tech world marches toward more and more choice and customizability, both Apple & Microsoft want us to have less. The “amazing” ipad has no camera, no possibility for memory expansion, no USB ports, no flash, and you can’t really see the screen when you’re outside. But hey, it costs more than my netbook so it MUST be better, right?
Apple devices are expensive, pretty, somewhat fragile and designed for passive acceptance of whatever it is that Apple thinks we should want. And Apple thinks we want to let Apple control ALL apps (flash might allow people to create their own content, and Apple CERTAINLY doesn’t want that). In fact, they are even happy to remove apps that they used to support. Do people really think Apple has superior insight? What really amazes me is how many otherwise intelligent, tech-savvy people are actually willing to swallow all this top down control.
It really is all about control. Apple wants total control over everything anyone does with their devices. How arrogant is that? While some of us try to democratize technology to allow everyone to be a producer, Apple tightens its grip. Apple wants to make sure that the ranks of the B Ark continue to grow.
As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi says,
“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”