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I was an iPad skeptic

18 April 2013

From Ars Technica:

It’s hard to believe that the iPad and the hundreds of tablets that arrived in its wake have been around for only three years. On April 3, 2010, Apple released the original iPad to the public, kicking off a whirlwind of innovation in a space that was previously known only for niche, experimental, and downright odd products. One could still argue that the iPad—and other tablets like it—are meant for a niche audience, but it’s clear that tablets as we know them today have struck a chord with the masses. Apple alone has sold 100 million iPads as of October 2012.

. . . .

“I was definitely a tablet skeptic—I can use my laptop to do anything a tablet can do! What a waste to get an extra device! But I eventually picked up an iPad anyway and learned four lessons. First, the utility of technology isn’t simply about end results but about the process of obtaining them. My three-year-old can barely use a mouse, much less open a laptop and launch programs—but she has no problem swiping her way through the unlock screen, flipping through screens of apps, launching her educational games, playing them, quitting them, launching other games, and shutting off the device when finished. Sure, many of the same programs could run on the laptop as well, but even so, they would remain inaccessible to her for a few a more years. My kids are tablet power users who already understand concepts like code updates (“Dad, see if there are any new levels out for Cut the Rope!”) and crashes (“This program is broken. I’m going to try another one”).”

. . . .

“Laptop neglect. That’s the best way to describe how the iPad has changed my computing habits since its introduction three years ago. Before the iPad, my MacBook was an all-purpose device, used all over the house for all sorts of tasks. Since I purchased my first iPad, my MacBook is now a single-purpose machine, used only for work. If I was sitting on the couch, I’d have my laptop with me maybe a quarter of the time. Now, I’ve got my iPad 100 percent of the time.

In addition to displacing my laptop, the iPad has also been chasing paper out of my house. I buy and read books on the iPad. I’m an avid magazine reader, and as Sports Illustrated, The Economist, Rugby World, and The Atlantic have come out with full-featured digital editions, I’ve let my print subscriptions lapse. I’m also much happier reading The New York Times via its iOS app than manipulating large pieces of paper. And the apps leave more room in the recycling bin for things like empty beer cans and wine bottles.”

. . . .

“My [twelve-year-old] daughter is the most tablet-focused of all of us. She takes her Galaxy Tab to school, collects video for reports, plays games, watches videos, and uses a program called Text + to send friends SMS messages. Her school uses Google Apps, so she collaborates on Google Drive docs for her projects. The Galaxy Tab is her constant companion, largely because she doesn’t have a smartphone or a dedicated personal computer like the rest of us—and because the Galaxy Tab is more portable than the iPad.”

Link to the rest at Ars Technica


9 Comments to “I was an iPad skeptic”

  1. P.G.

    Much as I hate me being a cupertino poor boy.

    I’m headed in the iPad direction.

    Gah….I’ll never live it dahn….


  2. I never particularly wanted a tablet. But then one Christmas my husband was gifted with both an iPad and a Kindle Fire. He used the iPad so I started using the Fire. Now I’m addicted. Paper is for the weak!

    And… my son just dropped my Fire in the toilet the other night and it no longer works. I’m going through serious withdrawal. *cries*

  3. I did the same as the author. I’ve also written over 200k words of fiction on my iPad and revised more than that. Because the screen is awesome to view all day and the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, while not great, is much better than the one on my Macbook.

  4. Now that I have an ipad, Scrabble has become a serious addiction.

  5. “Manipulating large pieces of paper” makes reading a newspaper sound SO hard. That cracked me up.

    I guess it depends what you do and what your setup is. I have a tablet and a laptop and I still prefer my laptop (unless I’m reading something or just browsing the internet) because I type a LOT and the laptop is easier.

    I’m always working in off hours and writing emails and doing spreadsheets or writing, which I can do faster on my laptop.

  6. George from Toronto

    I’m holding out for the mythical Samsung P10

    Samsung P10 Tablet has 11.8-Inch, 2560 x 1600 Resolution Screen.



    many tech reviewers say when it comes out it will knock ipad off its pedestal. What is slowing it down apparently is samsung and apple are in court battle in Northern California right now. Anyway court docs leaked that Samsung is developing this device.

  7. I still don’t quite get tablets. I mean, I love using them for what they’re good at, but 90% of the things I do on my laptop I can’t do on a tablet (audio sequencing, graphic and web design, extended writing sessions). So I have a relatively powerful laptop and don’t see much need for a tablet. But I do understand that I’m not exactly a typical computer user.

    Most of my experience has been with an aging Nook Color, but then I’ve used iPads before and never been very impressed with them. My wife uses a tablet for almost everything–she’ll probably never need a laptop again.

    Eventually tablets might get to the point where I can work with them, but they’re not quite there yet–and I don’t particularly like the idea of carrying around two different devices.

  8. For me the game changer aside from portability was convenience. If I want to do something I press the Home button and my iPad says, “Whatcha need, boss?” Just. That. Quick.

  9. I would love a 13″ tablet.

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