Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Second Thought On The New iPad

I was reading over a few reviews of the New iPad, and many of them have a similar sentiment to them: the new iPad is cool and all, but is, in many ways, a "meh" sort of product. Why is it "meh"? Because it doesn't blow the earlier versions out of the water. They are actually upset that the new version of a product doesn't render the old version obsolete and useless.

Seriously? Maybe I'm a total curmudgeon. Maybe I'm old and and cantankerous long beyond my years. But this just seems absurd to me. These reviewers are actually desiring the seeming need to buy a new, expensive toy, every year. I'm all for consumerism, afterall, it drives the American economy, but this just seems ridiculous to me.

I love PC's because it takes forever for my PC to become obsolete. I've been rocking the same laptop for four years, and many parts of my desktop are over a decade old. I very much enjoy indulging in the newest bits of technology (I was a serious, overclockin', water coolin', SLI'n PC gamer for awhile) but when an industry is predicated on people flipping out over the next shiny thing every year, and when you don't provide them said flip-out-worthy shiny thing, they get angry, the industry is broken.

No wonder you can't actually get anything done on an iPad. It's not meant to have anything done on it! It's meant to be a casual distraction. And with iPad versions having a lifespan similar to fruit flies, serious developers aren't given a stable-enough platform on which to do things. This might help to explain why the majority of both paid and free apps on the App Store are games.

I don't mean to be a cranky jerk. I don't mean to rain on people's parades. Man, if I wanted to go after conspicuous consumption, the iPad is a pretty minor offense. I think it irks me because computers are so great. They are a democratizing force. And instead of seeing computers heralded for their potential, they're being used to sell wan distractions to a bleary-eyed populace. Instead of people who worked to turn computers into a foundation of modern society, Steve Jobs, a man who sold "magical" stuff, gets candlelight vigils.

The iPad could be great, but in the mad rush to sell simple bits of wow to as many people as possible, and every year have an orgasm with the newest iProduct, it's not happening. I don't want to be hit with "wow" every year. I want a product that does something that I will want it to do for me, every day, for the next ten years.

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