[I wrote this as a comment on Jeff Jarvis’s blog but decided to keep the text and expand upon it.]
Jeff’s major bone of contention with the iPad is that the newspaper apps which are appearing on the device are not permitting the full gamut of conversation, of consumer input that he would like.
The iPad is retrograde. It tries to turn us back into an audience again. That is why media companies and advertisers are embracing it so fervently, because they think it returns us all to their good old days when we just consumed, we didn’t create, when they controlled our media experience and business models and we came to them. The most absurd, extreme illustration is Time Magazine’s app, which is essentially a PDF of the magazine (with the odd video snippet). It’s worse than the web: we can’t comment; we can’t remix; we can’t click out; we can’t link in, and they think this is worth $4.99 a week. But the pictures are pretty.
The iPad is not built on apps and was not primarily advertised as such.
Don’t believe me, check the title.
That’s HMTL, IMAP and JPG/PNG.
On one hand we have web developers telling us that you can create great apps with web technologies. On the other hand we have folk railing against the strictures of the app store. So where are the amazing HTML-based apps that should have been released on the iPhone in 2007 (when everyone was clamouring for a native SDK). Where are the web apps?
This is the same argument that Cory used – you can’t do on tiny fragment of the whole creativity spectrum on it and suddenly it’s a consumer trap. You can’t edit movies with “Final Cut Touch” so it’s useless. There’s no “LightRoom Touch” so it’s useless. You can’t self-host (as someone put it) so it’s useless. It doesn’t come with a web server, a print server and routing software so it’s useless.
On the other hand I spent an hour on the phone working with my 65 year old, 70% blind father as he navigated his way around his Mac mini using the built-in magnification. He can’t get used to the idea that windows in the OS can overlap. He thinks the OS is hiding things from him. for him, multitasking is a challenge that he finds difficult to fathom. He finds the spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination required to operate a mouse to be a huge obstacle. Can you think of a better option than an iPad for him?
But ignore this. This isn’t about the people for whom it would be a great enabler, this is about the micro-percentages of alpha geeks who really wanted something else and aren’t happy to just go out and buy something else. Just buy
So we have Jeff shouting that he wants USB? For a USB stick and what else? A printer? In 2010 we have someone shouting for sneakernet and dead tree + ink? this would be laughable if it wasn’t so ridiculous.
So, the argument is bullshit. Of course it allows us to create. We can load our photos in there, we can load our videos in there, we can write, we can record sound, we can create blogs, write missives, comment anywhere. It’s a better web client than most people are used to.