Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Feb 2010 16:25 UTC
General Development While the iPad can certainly be debated as a product, people on the internet are discussing not the product, but the shift devices like the iPhone and iPad represent: a shift away from a computer being accessible to it being something closed and impenetrable. Is this a future we want for ourselves?
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RE: It's an appliance
by wakeupneo on Tue 2nd Feb 2010 04:58 UTC in reply to "It's an appliance"
wakeupneo
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think that it's important to remember that although the iPhone, iPod Touch and now the iPad are computers, they are also appliances.


Rubbish. It's a general-use computer. The fact that they've convinced you otherwise just goes to show how clever they are at getting you to drink the proverbial kool-aid.

Definition of Appliance:
-an instrument, apparatus, or device for a particular purpose or use.

See that? A particular purpose or use..or put another way...a specific application. The iPad is obviously not for a particular use but rather for general use...whether it's to check your mail, write a note or watch a movie. You can install software, just like a regular computer, connect peripheral hardware (with the dock) just like a regular computer...the list goes on.

Not that I care all that much as I'm not about to shell out my hard-earned on such a hamstrung device, but trying to convince people that having less control over their own possessions is a good thing by simply calling it something else is disingenuous.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: It's an appliance
by kevteljeur on Tue 2nd Feb 2010 09:17 in reply to "RE: It's an appliance"
kevteljeur Member since:
2010-02-01

"I think that it's important to remember that although the iPhone, iPod Touch and now the iPad are computers, they are also appliances.


Rubbish. It's a general-use computer. The fact that they've convinced you otherwise just goes to show how clever they are at getting you to drink the proverbial kool-aid.

Definition of Appliance:
-an instrument, apparatus, or device for a particular purpose or use.

See that? A particular purpose or use..or put another way...a specific application. The iPad is obviously not for a particular use but rather for general use...whether it's to check your mail, write a note or watch a movie. You can install software, just like a regular computer, connect peripheral hardware (with the dock) just like a regular computer...the list goes on.

Not that I care all that much as I'm not about to shell out my hard-earned on such a hamstrung device, but trying to convince people that having less control over their own possessions is a good thing by simply calling it something else is disingenuous.
"

This is, with all due respect, splitting hairs about the exact definition of appliance. No-one has convinced me of anything, I believe it is an appliance because that to me is what an iPhone is, and this is just a scaled-up iPhone. You're right, you can customise it to adapt to other uses, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is a streamlined multi-function consumer device, for people who don't need or want to see 'under the hood'. I know that it has OS X underneath, and so it could in theory do all those things that people here are looking for, but that's missing the point. Just because it's a computer and Apple makes it doesn't mean it should be treated the same as a notebook from them or anyone other manufacturer, and it doesn't mean that they should automatically open up the OS for everyone to play with, on the device.

I have a Linksys hi-fi router here. I could reflash it and install an industrial strength router, as well as a web server and other functions on it, but like most customers of the device, I only need what it currently does. It's an appliance. And if I want to develop for it, I need to do it on my Mac, because the router doesn't support development, even though it's a computer which can run programs.

Lastly, a disclaimer (which I should have put in the first post). I have an iPhone, and a Mac (which I use for development, and require to be as open as any desktop OS needs to be). I don't intend to get an iPad because it is a luxury and doesn't do anything I can't do with either iPhone or a full computer, but I can see how I would use it if I did.

Edited 2010-02-02 09:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: It's an appliance
by henrikmk on Tue 2nd Feb 2010 09:38 in reply to "RE: It's an appliance"
henrikmk Member since:
2005-07-10

Rubbish. It's a general-use computer. The fact that they've convinced you otherwise just goes to show how clever they are at getting you to drink the proverbial kool-aid.


What they convinced me, was that they were the first company to build:

1. A computer my mom could use. She barely touches technology beyond what's in the kitchen and TeleText on the TV. She doesn't respond to my computers, but she does to my iPod Touch. She can tell what I'm doing with it. I've not ever seen that before.

2. A computer that you pick off the coffee table, press a couple of buttons on to get the single piece of information (stock ticker or today's weather) you want, and put back on the table in 10 seconds. No time for multitasking (!).

3. A way to have the computer not being treated like an altar that you have to put your full attention to, sit in front of or maintain, other than charging it. It shouldn't be more imposing than flipping through a magazine.

No booting, no shutdown, no computer understanding, no viruses, none of that crap which requires downhanding of knowledge from a computer technical person. People have been trying with settop boxes and remotes, but the user interface is always cumbersome and not very stable.

This isn't any different than the phase where early cars had specific mechanics attached to it, if the driver wasn't savvy enough to fix issues on the spot. I would bet back then that those mechanics (us!) didn't imagine cars eventually becoming very easy to drive and use for almost everyone, and probably were resistant to it.

Alan Kay's been dreaming about someone building this device since 1968, when he came up with the Dynabook. But unfortunately, the computer industry constantly came up with ideas where you were expected to be a computer science person, just to be able to use the thing. It's like if car manufacturers (us!) kept building only Formula-1 cars, because surely... we don't want regular people driving cars, do we?

The low tinker-factor of the iPad is not really an issue. It's time to move on.

Reply Parent Score: 2