As I looked at an iPad in the Apple store last week and watched my daughter’s eyes go all round and glossy, I tried to think of what exactly I would do with one. I couldn’t really think of a situation where an iPad would be more convenient or necessary. If I want to watch a movie on a plane my iPhone is perfect it is easy to carry and doesn’t distract my fellow passengers. If I want to read, I’ll pull out an actual book. I don’t have to worry about breaking the book and if I do then I’m out a few dollars.
I came back to thinking about this again yesterday when I saw a post in my RSS feeds saying Apple had approved some app and that Jobs had said people who wanted to watch porn could get an Android phone. Do you find this alarming? As I thought about it I sure did. Basically I’m letting a third party tell me what I can and can’t do on my device. Then I wondered how that is any different than network television.Â I don’t think I’m completely off base with my concerns and I’m sure others have voiced similar concerns and so the question becomes what can I do about it? I’m sure the Android app store has some sort of approval process and policies governing what can be in the Market. Until you can add apps to the device without going through a store you are stuck.
This is why I’m not sure I’ll ever own an iPad. To me it is a giant media consumption device and I can consume media on my HDTV, laptop, and iPhone just fine. In fact the laptop even lets me create things for others to consume and that is the rub. Without a way to create meaningful content the iPad will always be useless to me. I think the only way this changes is if everything is in the cloud and the iPad just becomes a means to interface with it. But for now I can’t develop a WordPress template in the cloud (maybe someone will enlighten me). Maybe Chrome OS will be where we are in 5-7 years, but for today I am left pondering whether I agree with the closed universe Apple seems to be developing.