Friday, 5 February 2010

Apple strikes again. iPad anyone?

Is there anyone in the Western world that hasn’t ranted or raved about the iPad on their blog by now? Love it, hate it, love to hate it... I have heard more clichés than I can remember over the last few days. It does remind me a little of one of those so-called celebrities that pops up out of nowhere, is suddenly all over the press and in everyone’s conversations but yet no one seems to know what this person has actually done.

I am not an Apple denier. I don’t care that people buy the products because they are “cooler” or in fashion. If I had more money I would probably buy an iPhone; if I had a lot more money I might buy a MacBook Air and feel uber-cool on the train. As it is I have an ancient iPod and that’s as far as I go.

I should also say that I am not tech-savvy. I don’t bother to argue when people tell me the virtues of OSX vs Windows as they’re probably right, but to be honest, I don’t care.

When it comes to my “no opinions” policy though, I do draw the line at this new gadget. Stephen Fry wrote a very amusing article in The Guardian last Friday exulting the wonders of this machine. And to be honest, I was willing to listen. He began by stating the obvious reasons why people would be sceptical: no multitasking, no Flash player, no camera, no GPS. I nodded my head approvingly and waited for him to dismiss these shortcoming in favour of some huge revelation that he has the inside scoop on. His answer: it’s really fun to use.

Forgive me for not being sold.

And other that the tech-problems, the marketing problems (I mean 'iPad'? Really?), I am also confused as to how you are supposed to use it. Are you supposed to put it on your lap like a laptop? You would get rather a sore neck looking down. Are you supposed to hold it similarly to an iPhone in one hand and use the other? Because that doesn’t look very secure to me, and after spending $499 or more on an iThing, I don’t think I’d want to risk dropping it.

The verdict? I would have to agree with Charlie Brooker’s take on it: “It's an iPhone for people who can't be arsed holding an iPhone up to their face. A slightly-further-away iPhone that keeps your lap warm.”

Tragically, though, I am still expecting some Apple magic to touch the pumpkin and turn it into yet another gadget which will undoubtedly wean its way into our lives over the next few years, killing off even more of humanity’s imagination and interaction and probably making poor Orwell turn in his grave.

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