The iPad; The internet . . . everywhere.

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1449735/



The iPad: Our shiny new ball and chain



Within a couple of months, we?ll be able to piss away time on the Internet everywhere.



Everybody wants to know what this new Apple iPad means. Is it the salvation of the media? The end of the personal computer? Is it merely the most uncomfortable product name in recent memory?



I?m sympathetic to the head-scratching. If all that hype turned out to mean nothing, we?d be cast into some kind of existential crisis. So I?ll tell you what the iPad means.



The iPad means that, within a couple of months, there will be no physical position in which we won?t be able piss away time on the Internet.



Let?s consider this for a moment.



These are the days of iPad backlash. It?s perfectly understandable ? before it was unveiled, people were routinely referring to it as the ?Jesus tablet.? Inevitably, the iPad didn?t prove to be as revolutionary as some had hoped. It amounts to an oversized touch-screen iPod, and completely lacks the ability to cure leprosy. (Though I understand someone?s working on an app.)



However, its size ? and its ability to work really well at that size ? is all the innovation it needs. With its 10-inch screen, the iPad will be a window onto the Internet and all its riches, to say nothing of the music, movies and books that Apple would like to sell you. The iPad will be a device for consuming content, consuming lots of it, and consuming it anywhere.



But don?t we have this already? It?s been pointed out, by pundits and thoughtful observers alike, that the iPad is a middle-child device. It?s not small and portable like a smartphone, or big and practical like a notebook. But like caulk, a well-designed tablet will fill up the gaps in daily life where neither antecedent quite fits.



Consider the couch. Laptops are still ungainly things; sharing what you?re doing with someone sitting at the other end of the couch becomes a dance of cradling creaking screens, avoiding hot surfaces, and not garotting the cat with the power cord. Smartphones, no matter how shiny, still require people to squint at small print.



A well-implemented tablet, on the other hand, offers screen space enough for two people to watch at once, along with the cordless, throw-it-around form of an iPod. It?s simple, it?s social, and it cuts down on the tiny real-world annoyances that prevent people from being at home with technology.



?The Internet is no longer trapped in a boxy monitor, on a table in the corner of one room in the house?



Apple knows this. Clearly, it?s pitching the product as an around-the-house convenience. Its centrepiece promotional video for the iPad is full of models on couches, using the thing in increasingly languid states of recline. As hands glide over the iPad?s surface, pinching, flicking and dragging, an Apple vice-president in casual wear pops up to share some thoughts: ?For the same reasons that it just feels right to hold a book or a magazine in your hands as you read them, it just feels right to hold the Internet in your hands? ? and here he pauses, his eyes going a bit googly ? ?as you surf it.?



As a rule, Apple vice-presidents should not gush about getting handsy with the Internet, especially when wearing zip-up sweaters. The man, however, has a point. The Internet is no longer trapped in a boxy monitor, on a table in the corner of one room in the house. In fact, it?s not even confined to cyberspace any more. The Internet is becoming palpable.



In the days of desktops, the only way to surf the Web was to stay sitting. But when laptops came about, one could surf while reclining, lounging, stooping, sprawling, loafing, and lying flat on one?s back, metabolizing. But this was nothing next to smartphones, which we now use while perambulating, stretching, strolling, sprinting, jumping, shopping, toweling, and, in especially bad cases, reproducing.



And even then, phones and iPods are still small and awkward, so now we have a tablet that's perfect for the couch, and the restaurant table, and the party, and the lecture hall; for reading in the bathroom, for floating in space, and possibly for using in the space-bathroom. Who knows ? the future is grand.



I think these will be successful machines, and I want one, irrespective of the fact that I don?t need one and can?t afford one. (Behold, the magic of Apple.) And yet I watch these devices colonize my waking hours with increasing ambivalence. Embodied in shiny Apple products, and the products of Apple?s imitators, the Internet follows us around like a determined terrier, loveable and impossible to put down. There is no escape; only abstinence.



The iPad isn?t a gadget: It?s the Web incarnate. Toteable, fun and painless, it will be the ultimate tool for scarfing down online content. And it arrives at a time when we?re only just starting to have the conversation about whether consuming vast amounts of online content is really any better than consuming vast amounts of television.



The question, in the end, isn?t whether you want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new tablet computer. It?s about whether you really want the Internet lying around the house like that.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    what you said.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Whoever wrote that is too easy to please.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Whoever wrote that is too easy to please.



    How so? After all previous attempts after all these years, Ivor Tossell finally has a tablet that he likes. Not being impossible to please is not the same as being easy to please.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    I think the key to success for the iPad is obviously media consumption. Think about the possibilities for books and magazines. Take a cookbook for example, not only will you have the recipes stored in the book on a e-page, there will also be multimedia built in with videos with Gordon Ramsey demonstrating how to cook a certain dish or even an "email ingredients to my iPhone" button so when you go to the store, you have everything. Simple, robust. Think more about apps and info being one touch away rather than having to input keywords, as in the current desktop or laptop experience. As long as the media companies jump on this and exploit the iPad's potential, this device will revolutionize how we consume media.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dolphyjazz View Post


    I think the key to success for the iPad is obviously media consumption. Think about the possibilities for books and magazines.



    At those price there's not too many possibilities really. Perhaps magazines will sell "ok", but at $13 to $15 for a book on an LCD screen--no thanks.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    At those price there's not too many possibilities really. Perhaps magazines will sell "ok", but at $13 to $15 for a book on an LCD screen--no thanks.



    Remember, it's up to the publishers to set their own price. Don't be surprised if some media is free but have advertisements embedded. Which to me seems to make sense.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dolphyjazz View Post


    Remember, it's up to the publishers to set their own price. Don't be surprised if some media is free but have advertisements embedded. Which to me seems to make sense.



    It also replaces 35$ hardcovers.



    I assume older books will sell as "mass paperbacks" for anywhere from 50 cents to five bucks.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dolphyjazz View Post


    Remember, it's up to the publishers to set their own price. Don't be surprised if some media is free but have advertisements embedded. Which to me seems to make sense.



    Ads in a "book"? Yuck. The prices are a ripoff, anyone who doesn't see that is either loaded or a fanboy.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    It also replaces 35$ hardcovers.



    I assume older books will sell as "mass paperbacks" for anywhere from 50 cents to five bucks.



    Assuming? That's your first mistake.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Ads in a "book"? Yuck. The prices are a ripoff, anyone who doesn't see that is either loaded or a fanboy.



    Probably no ads in books you pay $$ for but other media for sure. It's your choice not to buy an iPad, I don't see myself using one. By the way, I'm not an apple fanboy, I'm a computer programmer and use Linux.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Ads in a "book"? Yuck. The prices are a ripoff, anyone who doesn't see that is either loaded or a fanboy.



    A lot of books in the 1960s through the 1980s (at least) had ads in the back of the book.



    Now I see excerpts from other books in the back of books.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dolphyjazz View Post


    ... I'm not an apple fanboy, I'm a computer programmer and use Linux.



    I'll alert the media.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    I'll alert the media.



    Thanks! Just remember, you heard it on AI first!
  • Reply 14 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Assuming? That's your first mistake.



    oh shut up. You assumed apple would release a tablet for years now, it just so happened you were right.



    I could use the word "predict" next time if it made you happy.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    oh shut up. You assumed apple would release a tablet for years now, it just so happened you were right.



    I could use the word "predict" next time if it made you happy.



    march madness

    no one

    not even SJ knows how inventive the pad will be

    the future is now



    the revolution starts
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    The iPad means that, within a couple of months, there will be no physical position in which we won?t be able piss away time on the Internet.



    Nail on the head. It's the couch computer for when the laptop is too far away and the phone is too frustratingly tiny.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Nail on the head. It's the couch computer for when the laptop is too far away and the phone is too frustratingly tiny.



    You realize that laptops are not bolted down to your desk right?
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solarein View Post


    You realize that laptops are not bolted down to your desk right?



    Most certainly do. And with 60% or more of computer sales being laptops, few people actually need an iPad; it doesn't do anything people can't do already. It just does a few things better, is all.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Most certainly do. And with 60% or more of computer sales being laptops, few people actually need an iPad; it doesn't do anything people can't do already. It just does a few things better, is all.



    The only thing I see the iPad to be better for is when using it while standing up. Laptops are pretty unusable in that case and the iPad clearly comes out ahead. Everywhere else I think laptops are easier to use, because everywhere else there's somewhere to place the laptop on top of. When I'm lying down on a couch or bed reading a book, my arms get pretty tired holding the book in front of me after an hour or so. It's much better to have a laptop in front of me because it just sits there without me having to hold it. iPads will have the same problem. You could use the kickstand case to sit it on your lap but it would be pretty wobbly and still won't have a keyboard. Or you could use it with the keyboard dock while sitting or lying on a couch/bed but if you are going to do that...might as well use a laptop anyway. So I suppose the iPad solves the problem of using a computer while standing up? That's pretty limited...
  • Reply 20 of 27
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solarein View Post


    ... When I'm lying down on a couch or bed reading a book, my arms get pretty tired holding the book in front of me after an hour or so. It's much better to have a laptop in front of me because it just sits there without me having to hold it. iPads will have the same problem. You could use the kickstand case to sit it on your lap but it would be pretty wobbly and still won't have a keyboard. Or you could use it with the keyboard dock while sitting or lying on a couch/bed but if you are going to do that...might as well use a laptop anyway. ...



    Be serious. If I am lying on my couch, then I will be able to place the iPad on my belly and prop it up with one hand to read the screen. Not exactly a Herculean task. The notion that I can use a laptop hands-free while lying on a couch is pure fantasy.



    Equally fantastic is your assertion about reading in bed. I have tried using my laptop in bed. If I sit up on the bed with the legs curled under me, then yes. If I have the space beside me, I can move a pillow and place a laptop where a pillow is supposed to be. But, there is nothing natural or natural-like about using a laptop while in bed. Reading a book or magazine is a much better experience. I expect the iPad to be even easier because, like a laptop, it will provide its own light. No need to turn on the lights to use the device.
Sign In or Register to comment.