Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 08:30 UTC
Apple I had written an entire article on the debate about whether or not the iPad is a pure consumption device, but realised I could summarise the entire debate into a single sentence: it's the difference between 'suitable' and 'ideal'. You can ride a unicycle from Amsterdam to Paris, but that doesn't mean it's better than just taking the car or the Thalys.
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 08:33 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Philosoraptor time: If you can’t compile software on a device, does that make it non Turing complete?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by M.Onty on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 08:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

No

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Think about it carefully. If you cannot generate the code of another system on one computing device; because of _arbitrary_ restrictions put into place by the manufacturer, then is it truly a computing system?

Can one be productive on an iPad? Yes, absolutely. Can one make iPad software, that can make iPad software, on an iPad ? No.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by sultanqasim on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

I wish apple didn't restrict the iPad as much as they do, but there are practical and functional IDEs available on the app store. For example, I use Python for iOS on my iPad - it's fully permissible under apple rules, I can make basic software, it's run by python (somewhere in between compiled and interpreted due to the design of python), and I can say make a python program that can be used to make iPad software inside it.

The iPad is turing complete, that is not in question. It's just that it's not usually the best or most practical tool for development or content creation in general.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by henderson101 on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Wrong. Look at Codea. Case closed. Next?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by helf on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Kroc, I'm pretty sure you are confusing "turing complete" with "not locked down, I can install what I want." The iPad hardware is turing complete. Arguing that it is not is pretty effing stupid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_complete

Same idiotic arguments about whether or not a playstation 3 or xbox is a "computer" or not. Yes. It is. It just isn't a /general purpose/ computer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 07:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

It’s okay, I understand what Turing Complete actually means, I was just approaching the matter from a very high, philosophical level.

If in the future the devices that you use cannot do anything without being slaves to another device (desktop computer, App Store, Apple), then is that an indication that we’ve gone backwards, or forwards?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by helf on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

ah, yeah, I got that. I shouldn't make comments while I'm tired. I tend to not see past a literal interpretation. lol.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by M.Onty on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

I thought about it very carefully, and responded accordingly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by galvanash on Sat 23rd Jun 2012 00:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

According to Stephen Wolfram, you can make a machine with a single head, only 2 independent states, and 3 symbols (i.e. trinary bits) that is Turing Complete.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram's_2-state_3-symbol_Turing_machine

I know that you weren't being literal... I just thought it was interesting how simple a Turing Complete machine can actually be.

Reply Score: 2

Both
by henderson101 on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 08:43 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

I watch Netflix and YouTube almost exclusively on my iPad. I read manga and comic books.

I create music and edit video on my iPad. I draw and create digital art - I use photoshop touch.

I'd say it is both. Music creation and video editing is no different at all. Art is probably easier than a desktop (pencil and paper always being the most simpe.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Both
by ephracis on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 14:51 UTC in reply to "Both"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

While what you're saying is true, I bet that non of the apps you use for your creativity on the iPad were developed on the iPad. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Both
by No it isnt on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 15:17 UTC in reply to "Both"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Pencil and paper = good, fingertip = bad. Pen and resistive touch = decent (example: http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=50811&page=74), pen and capacitive touch screen = rubbish. Actual, physical keys = good, tactile feedback = a broken crutch.

People get infatuated with new technology. That doesn't mean it's any good.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Both
by Gullible Jones on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Both"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

This. And it doesn't help that the shiny new technologies are built on the ruthless abuse of workers (and slaves) in the third world. As a society, we've become junkies for the fruits of exploitation. This is not a good state of affairs.

(But two thirds of the economy rides on the sale and purchase of frivolous, unnecessary stuff. So by all means, buy! Waste and inefficiency are virtues, damn the bloodshed!)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Both
by WorknMan on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Both"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

This. And it doesn't help that the shiny new technologies are built on the ruthless abuse of workers (and slaves) in the third world. As a society, we've become junkies for the fruits of exploitation. This is not a good state of affairs.

(But two thirds of the economy rides on the sale and purchase of frivolous, unnecessary stuff. So by all means, buy! Waste and inefficiency are virtues, damn the bloodshed!)


You know, I often hear this said about tablets; they are just frivolous, unnecessary devices that nobody really needs, and we are exploiting the labor of people working in sweatshop conditions just so we can have our toys.
And this is usually said by somebody who owns at least one television (probably a big one too) and video game console. And the irony is never lost on me. Heck, at least you can read on a f**king tablet ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Both
by Gullible Jones on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Both"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Well lucky you. I don't play console games, nor do I watch television.

I do have a few computers, which I sometimes use for frivolous things (like posting on OSNews!). Some are used, others were new when I bought them, but I intend to keep them all running for as long as possible; and at this point I will not buy anything brand new if one of them fails.

I don't delude myself; I'm still a hypocrite. But I at least try to be a bit less of one.

(Also, my being a hypocrite does not in any way imply that I am wrong.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Both
by WorknMan on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Both"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

While you're technically not wrong, I often wonder why you (and I mean 'you' as in people in general) always make these kinds of remarks when discussing tablets (and occasionally smartphones), but rarely, if ever, when we talk about video game consoles and the like. I don't think I've ever read a comment on here (or any other tech site) that the 360/PS3/etc. are just toys, and people are wasting their money on them, and/or exploiting sweatshop labor in third world countries. Why is that?

Is it because people are replacing their tablets every couple of years or so, making it a wasteful expenditure? This isn't really all that surprising... since the tablet as we know it today is still relatively new, you can get quite an increase in performance and functionality by upgrading every couple of years. This is the same as it was back in the 80's/early 90's, when I used to upgrade my PC about every 3 years or so, because the jump in performance was very noticeable, and I didn't know how to build my own back then. Now days, unless you're using apps or games that demand a lot of horsepower, the PC you buy today is essentially the same as the one you bought 5+ years ago, so saying that you rarely upgrade your PC isn't all that impressive ;) Once the tablet market matures, I don't think you will see these frequent upgrades anymore.

And BTW, just because somebody owns a tablet, doesn't mean they're using it ONLY for frivolous purposes, so don't be so quick to pass judgement.

Oh, and as for tablets being flawed for mainly being consumption devices, that's like saying a stereo is flawed because you can't make music with it. Why not just enjoy it for what it was created for (or just don't buy one), and not spend so much time worrying about what it can't do?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Both
by karunko on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Both"
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

I don't think I've ever read a comment on here (or any other tech site) that the 360/PS3/etc. are just toys

Maybe because nobody has ever labeled them "post-PC" or wrote articles upon articles about the death of notebooks in general and netbooks in particular? ;-)

I'm not saying that there's no space for tablets, but let's keep in mind that they're usually an addition to desktops/notebooks already in the household, not to mention that Steve Jobs himself introduced the iPad by asking:

"Is there room for a third category of device in the middle? Something that's between a laptop and a smartphone?"



RT.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Both
by zima on Wed 27th Jun 2012 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Both"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You know, I often hear this said about tablets; they are just frivolous, unnecessary devices that nobody really needs, and we are exploiting the labor of people working in sweatshop conditions just so we can have our toys.
And this is usually said by somebody who owns at least one television (probably a big one too) and video game console. And the irony is never lost on me. Heck, at least you can read on a f**king tablet ;)

So, tu quoque?

Edited 2012-06-27 19:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Both
by zima on Wed 27th Jun 2012 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Both"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

it doesn't help that the shiny new technologies are built on the ruthless abuse of workers (and slaves) in the third world. As a society, we've become junkies for the fruits of exploitation. This is not a good state of affairs.

(But two thirds of the economy rides on the sale and purchase of frivolous, unnecessary stuff. So by all means, buy! Waste and inefficiency are virtues, damn the bloodshed!)

Become? It's nothing new, didn't happen just recently.

And useless, positional, "luxury" (or even veblen) goods have a long, long history.

Reply Score: 2

It depends on what you're creating
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 09:26 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Whether the iPad makes a nice content creation device depends entirely on what it is you're creating. For music and other artistic creation, it can be amazing when paired with the right apps. For documents, spreadsheets, etc it's also quite nice, although if you're going to write long documents you'll probably want a keyboard. You can even do some nice web design on it, although getting your pages off the iPad and on to your web server is much more of a pain than it should be, since Apple only lets documents exist in one application (if they really want to hide the filesystem, then they should have a way to send or share documents from one application to another). However, if you're primarily programming or doing other backend-related tasks (databases, etc) then it's probably not what you want and a laptop or Windows 8 tablet would fit your needs better. Use the right device for the right task, that's my way.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 10:33 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

When the iPad was announced we were told it was a device that sits between a smart phone and a laptop, which it does.

You grab the best tool for the job. The iPad's strength is consumption, but you can also do much more with it.

A laptop or desktop may be better suited for some tasks, but they have their downsides too. You just weigh the pros and cons and pick your device.

Reply Score: 3

Creating to make a point maybe?
by karunko on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 11:58 UTC
karunko
Member since:
2008-10-28

I think Douglas Adams summed it up rather nicely in his article "The Little Computer that Could" (http://www.douglasadams.com/dna/980707-02-a.html):

"My favourite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantelpiece, in order to prove it could be done."

It's a good read, especially the part where he (an early Mac adopter and occasional contributor to MacUser and MacWorld) writes:

"My PowerBook is charging itself up. I'm still not using it, though because I am now lying in the bath. So I'm still using the Psion. I have never ever written anything in the bath before. Paper gets damp and steamy, pens won't write upside down, typewriters hurt your tummy, and if you are prepared to use a PowerBook in the bath then I assume that it isn't your own PowerBook. So the thing is, it can be done. You can actually write on a palmtop computer, which is something I didn't realise before."

That said, most of the articles I read fail to make a compelling case for the iPad as a content creation device: usually what's get done could be done on just about anything else, and at times it even seems that it's more a case of "in spite of (the limitations)" rather than "because of (the additional functionality)".


RT.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Creating to make a point maybe?
by clasqm on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 13:22 UTC in reply to "Creating to make a point maybe?"
clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

Ah, Psion. I had a 3a and a Revo and I loved them both. The problem was not getting stuff in: Psion keyboards were rather good. The problem was getting stuff out.

Once data was in the Psion, getting it into a PC and into a format readable by the programs of the day was a black art. Not impossible, there were cables and transfer programs, but not as easy as "email this to myself, Siri" or "share to Dropbox".

But ... to the point. Given a choice, I create on the iMac rather than on the iPad. But when the creative urge hits and that choice is not available, I don't shrug my shoulders and say "Gee, what a pity I only have a consumption device with me ...". Of course, that is also dictated by the text-based nature of the stuff I create. If the iPad is not available, I pull out the iPod Touch, If that is not available, I scrounge for pen and paper, and if there is no pen and paper around I will scratch patterns in the dirt with a pointy stick!

Go forth and be creative, my children. And stop blaming your damn tools!

Edited 2012-06-22 13:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Creating to make a point maybe?
by zima on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 14:07 UTC in reply to "Creating to make a point maybe?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

"I am now lying in the bath. So I'm still using the Psion. I have never ever written anything in the bath before. [...] So the thing is, it can be done. You can actually write on a palmtop computer, which is something I didn't realise before."

From what I see, this was largely rediscovered by a non-trivial degree of the general population, with mobile phones.

Of course, the writing in their case being more of a SMS or IM kind, but still (though particularly the more "live" IM makes some interlocutors somewhat uncomfortable...)


And I Actually sometimes wonder about getting some surplus Psion 5, to try it out as cheap "notes on the go" machine, their keyboards look curiously nice.

Reply Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Just make sure the screen works. I don't know about the Psion 5 and Revo, but the series 3 (3/3a/3c/3mx) had a problem with the cable connecting the screen to the main unit.

It's a problem I experienced too: the cable supposed to bend outwards, but it can happen it stops doing that and bends inwards, causing it to break.

I sent mine for repairs and got it back fixed 2 days later.

Edited 2012-06-22 14:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 12:24 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Gruber is just an idiot fanboi (yes, Gruber, you are); his blog is the perfect illustration of "confirmation bias".

Damon Albarn make an album with his iPad two years ago:
http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/11/13/gorillaz
Has the guy done anything else with his gadget ever since? Has Gruber noticed? Hell no. He does not have time, picking only convenient facts is a full-time job.

Reply Score: 2

Torbjorn Vik Lunde
Member since:
2009-09-04

I'm tired of this discussion whether iPad is good at traditional PC-tasks. I guess some of them it is bad, some of them it is good (and in between).

What is more interesting is the stuff that the iPad does well that traditional PCs don't do well at all. A good example here is sketching. I have tried many sketching apps for Windows and Mac, but none could stack up to a piece of physical paper. With Paper for iPad (the app!) I've stopped using physical paper all togheter. It's so nice to just send my sketches to Dropbox for archiving instead of scanning them in.

I imagine others have other use cases where the iPad is better than other alternatives as well. Some musicians I know use the iPad instead of lugging large stack of note sheets.

Reply Score: 3

clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

Good point. Unfortunately, even Paper has not succeeded in turning me into an artist.

My "sketches" look just as bad on the screen as they did on physical paper. :-(

We can therefore conclude that Paper on the iPad is just as bad a creation device as Photoshop on the PC (neither of them made me produce anything worth looking at), only a helluva lot cheaper. :-)

I'll just stick to writing.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

We can therefore conclude that Paper on the iPad is just as bad a creation device as Photoshop on the PC (neither of them made me produce anything worth looking at), only a helluva lot cheaper. :-)

There's still, you know, the cheapness of paper without capitalisation ;p

Reply Score: 3

Tablets are the new TV
by moondevil on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 16:37 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

For me, I don't see tablets having a producer role.

After pondering for some time what to get next, I ended up buying a netbook from Asus with Linux pre-configured.

Tablets are the new TVs were you are only allowed to consume information, with the toys the manufactures allow on their stores, while paying premium prices to be entitled to have one.

Since I don't agree with this model, instead of buying such devices, complaining that they don't do what I expect and jail-breaking them, I just don't give them any money whatsoever.

Reply Score: 4

This is getting very tired
by Tony Swash on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 19:31 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

How many angels can one get on a pinhead? The answer is - who cares it's a stupid question.

http://ironicsurrealism.com/files/2012/03/not-This-Shit-Again.gif

People use their Pads for lots of stuff, including creating stuff. Doing some stuff is much better on an iPad than on a computer (including a laptop), doing some other some stuff is better on a traditional computer with a keyboard and mouse, doing some stuff is OK on both. So what? Who cares?

This endless debate about whether the iPad is a device for consuming or creating is just sad, tired semantics.

Mostly it's pushed by people with a vested interest in old desktop technology or who are just peeved that Apple dominates the tablet market.

Interestingly Apple have never tried to collapse the tablet and touch OS into the desktop OS. Apple seems to think that tablets/phones are a distinctly different product category to laptops/desktops and thus they have two separate operating systems.

Microsoft on the other hand seem to want to conflate the two but that's because their strategy is built upon defending Windows, so their touch/phone/tablet strategy is designed to extend Windows rather than build something separate and tailored for touch. We will see in the next few years whether that is a good strategy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: This is getting very tired
by karunko on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 23:35 UTC in reply to "This is getting very tired"
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

Doing some stuff is much better on an iPad than on a computer (including a laptop), doing some other some stuff is better on a traditiona

Hmmm... as I wrote earlier today, I still have to find a single compelling example about the iPad being better, so excuse me if a reach for my "citation needed" stamp. ;-)


Mostly it's pushed by people with a vested interest in old desktop technology or who are just peeved that Apple dominates the tablet market.

The opposite could be said and be equally true: those who are the loudest in singing the praise of the iPad are either selling it or have a vested interest in its success.

As for "dominating the market", we will see for how long and how big this market will turn out to be in the next 2-3 years.



RT.

Reply Score: 3

Does it matter?
by mkone on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 19:47 UTC
mkone
Member since:
2006-03-14

Why this fixation with iPads doing something desktops and laptops do well anyway.

Reply Score: 1

creating
by deviceguy on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 20:13 UTC
deviceguy
Member since:
2007-08-15

For me, the main use of my iPad is for creating music. That's what I bought it for, as an instrument of creating content. Anyone that thinks tablets are only for consumption are using it wrong, or haven't tried one.

Touch is so natural to use, that my 2 year old picked up how to use it rather easily, but only after a while did he learn to drag and drop using a mouse.

Reply Score: 2

Paper and pencil
by Janvl on Fri 22nd Jun 2012 20:45 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

You know you can create content with paper and a pencil? You do not need a device to "create" and certainly no xyz-pad-or-something.
Most artists start to sketch on paper before they bring it into the one or the other computer, be it apple, some windowsbox or even (believe it or not) a linux-box.

The creator is the human being, not the device. If you forget that, you have lost contact to reality.

Reply Score: 2