iPad – WOW! [note sarcasm]

Apple iPad
Not. Interested.

No, I’ve not got an iPad. No, I’m not getting an iPad. I just wish people who’d bought them would shut the hell up about it.

Since yesterday when they were released I’ve been inundated with tweets of “This is my first tweet from my new iPad” and “I can tweet with my iPad!”. TweetDeck went so far as to retweet what seemed like every one of these so that even idiots I didn’t know infiltrated my Twitter feed.

Then we’re getting all the news items about “look – our application works on the iPad! Isn’t it great?” No. It isn’t. Regardless of what I think of the iPad (not a lot), it’s a tool for a job and the programs distributed are supposed to work on it. So why the elation about seeing them running? When Acer release a new range of laptops, do software houses make a big deal that their latest utility runs on it? No, of course not.

One post I found amusing (sorry, I’ve lost the link) was a web site detailing the top five addons for the iPad. Number one was a keyboard ($70). Then there was a dongle for letting you connect your camera ($30).  The others were equally inane and due to one major issue – the iPad has sucky connectivity.

Look, even my mobile phone has a USB socket and not a proprietary one. As does every digital camera I’ve ever owned. And my PSP. Why does the iPad have to be different? In a word: *kerching*. If you want to connect any device to the iPad, you have to fork out money to Apple to buy another cable so that you can do so. With USB being an established standard there is simply no other reason for this.

So iPad users – please, just shut up. I don’t care how wonderful TweetDeck looks on your new expensive semi-laptop. Fact is, you can’t multitask on it so you’re stuck with one app at a time anyway. Sure, you’ve got a new GMail layout… but the rest of us can get that with a simple browser hack anyway.

The iPad is just a novelty. A toy. One with an inbuilt reputation for having a propensity for breaking down as highlighted by Apple’s policy of shipping you a new one for “only” $99 when/if the battery fails. The fact that complete battery failure will prevent you from rescuing any data on your dead pad is beside the point. Oh, and don’t forget if you want to back your data up to a USB device you’ll need to have purchased a connector cable as mentioned above.

People ask why I don’t like Apple. I think their stuff is sleek and attractive. I think they put a lot of effort into making it make all the right “ping” noises and the display seem clear and intuitive. But underneath all the gloss is a company hell-bent on trapping you into their own system in a way that Microsoft (to name one large competing example) genuinely doesn’t.

What’s almost funny is that all these people who’ve spent $500 on the iPad with all its known limitations will undoubtedly pass it on to their kids (if the battery’s not died) in a few months when the inevitable replacement arrived – with all the stuff that should have been on the original one.

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