Why I sold my iPad
June 19, 2012 in XLAB
I sold my iPad and it’s been some time already. And I need to add that I don’t miss it a bit. I tried really hard to make use of it and I bought apps for hundreds and thousands of dollars in order to turn the iPad into a machine that would be useful for me. And it took me some time to realize that I always had to push myself to work with my iPad. When I bought a new app it always seemed I finally found the purpose for the machine. But I never really did. So I sold it.
But wait a minute. That can’t be the whole story, can it?
Alright, let me say it straight. I found the iPad to be nothing more than a toy. And I bought loads of damn good and professionally looking applications that promised the real power, whether it was musical applications, photo editing and painting apps or an office stuff. If you are about to do some real work, you will always end up with your laptop or a desktop computer. iPad is surely good for browsing the internet and reading your emails on the go as it’s very portable and you can jump straight in. But for everything else it’s really a step down.
Touch screens suck if you ask me. But to make things clear I still think they are brilliant for phones, I still have my iPhone after all. It’s all about the level of expression. Because while on phones it adds more expression compared to the traditional buttoned phones, iPad compared to a laptop + paper notebook combination offers far less expression. Just think about it for a while. What can you do on a touchscreen? Tap. I know, you can tap in 10 different ways but in the essence, your fingers do always the same thing and that just sucks. Take a paper notebook instead. How many things your fingers do when you work with a paper and a pen. It’s far more satisfying. Then add the working power of a laptop. What do you need the iPad for?
Just a few, I mean, there’s just a few really good games, the rest is just eye candy in my opinion. And I gotta say that the games I enjoyed the most were ironically games that actually simulated real board games. And even though the iPad offers quite some graphical power to handle even good looking games, the problem is still the same. The touchscreen – or perhaps, the lack of buttons in this case. When I play a game the last thing I want is to keep looking what button I’m actually pressing.
How about ebooks?
One word. Kindle.
But it’s so intuitive, isn’t it?
The navigation within the device is intuitive, the rest is pain in the ass, really, especially – THE EVIL FILESYSTEM! This is one of the biggest pains in the ass about the whole iOS thing. Now from a developer’s point of view I perfectly understand why it is good to have a locked environment but this was the second biggest killer for me in the selling-my-precious-iPad issue. No matter if I worked with photos or composed some music, when I wanted to transfer the files to the computer for some fine tuning or across the apps on the iPad, I had to go through a really uncomfortable process. I mean c’mon guys, transferring files just cannot be a complicated and an uncomfortable process in the 21st century! It’s the essence of all work for **** sake!
I discovered this was one of the main reasons why I always lost motivation to create something on the iPad because I knew what process I would need to go through, and quite possibly more than just once! But please, don’t even try to say iPhoto out loud.
I require freedom for work. To organize files the way I want and to have them available when I want and where I want. Apple’s iOS devices robbed me of this freedom. With iPhone you can get over it, it’s not a device meant to replace a computer. With iPad, you need to ask yourself, what’s its purpose? Becoming a hardware Internet browser? Then maybe.
But they say it’s the future of computing!
They’re probably right. But you just said… I said that iPad wasn’t good enough for me. I simply need more. But most people don’t. They’re fine with convenient Internet browsing, emailing and simple tasks that can be handled by iPad’s apps. So yes, iPad and tablets in general will take laptops’ place for majority of people but for productive professionals, laptops and desktop computers will still be their #1 devices, well at least until their operating systems turn into those designed for tablets as Microsoft seems to plan with their Windows 8 which I personally consider being a big step back from W7.