Archive for 2 July 2010

Me, myself and iWidgets

2 July 2010

The old laptop is showing signs of imminent doom. It is mainly used by my partner and all she uses is the browser. She likes to get comfy on the couch with it like a good book. I thought that an Apple iPad might be ideal for this sort of user.

Then I heard that the iPad doesn’t do Flash. “Wow”, I thought, “there’s a lot of Flash content online. Why doesn’t it do Flash?” Well, it doesn’t do Flash because Apple doesn’t want it to. Opinions online seem split between it being a quality (of the iPad experience) control thing or a market share thing. A quality control thing I could live with. A market share thing offends me. The consumer should not be acceptable collateral damage in market share wars.

Next I heard that the iPad does not have USB ports! How do I connect all my other devices? Dunno! How do I get photos from camera to iPad? Oh, buy adapters from Apple! This might not offend me if the adapters were included with the iPad. As it stands this seems like milking the user.

Then there’s apps. It seems apps can only be installed via Apple’s App store where only apps approved by Apple get to be.

As a Linux user I’m used to doing whatever I want with my machines, including installing apps I want from wherever, including making my own little apps, including even screwing up the system on occasion and having to fix it.

The Apple product is seductively beautiful in a femme fatale kind of way. The dark side is that Apple seems to view its customers as mere consumers. Nay, less than consumers. Like factory farmed chickens to be fed what Apple decides they’ll be fed.

Sorry Apple. I like being a free range chicken. A wild turkey even. Or maybe a wild penguin. The more I find out about Apple products the more I think I won’t be buying any of them. My partner may get a tablet of some sort, but it will run Linux. It will be our machine, not the manufacturer’s, and we’ll enjoy the freedom to do as we like with it.