That Freaking iPad

I swear. I don’t have any Apple products, but that’s more of a “I’d rather pay less for a less slick interface” decision than a political manifesto (though my wife has quite a different stance). But everywhere I turn I’m reading more about iPads (Twitter! Blogs! The issue of Wired in the basket on the toilet!) and, I admit, I’m drooling a bit at the possibilities, even as I grow sick of the hype.

Two worthwhile perspectives amidst the madness are:

Cory Doctorow’s “Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either.” One quote:

The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps.

And Steven D. Krause’s descriptively titled “Anybody who says that the iPad is the end of user-generated content or the internet does not know what they are talking about.” One quote:

The iPad has some pretty cool apps for actually making content as it is. Pages and Keynote are both pretty slick, and when it comes to layout, the touchpad might make it easier for novice artists like me to move around images and stuff by just touching them instead of dragging them with a mouse.

Instead of actually writing commentary, here’s how I commented on Krause’s piece:

Great points, especially with the specifics of what people *can* create on the iPad.

You’ve probably seen Cory Doctorow’s piece on this issue? (http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html) A lot of his problem is that the apps and software that let you create content all have to be produced by (or at least vetted by, sold by, distributed by, etc.) Apple. He’d rather see a tablet that encourages you to open it up both physically and in terms of software, so that anyone who wants can create new hardware to plug into it and anyone who wants can move beyond the App Store distribution model.

While I tend to agree with him about how exciting that model is, I also appreciate your reminder that we stay down-to-earth in our rhetoric about all this–that we not scoff at apps just because they come from the App Store. Thanks!

Meta-question: part of me likes that I tend so often to see a middle ground, and part of me is sick of that quality in myself. Thus: it’s both annoying and pleasant to see myself doing so again. Bleah/Yeah!

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