Daniel Eran Dilger
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle

Daniel Eran Dilger

Here’s segment five in my series taking on iPad myths: no the iPad isn’t just a Microsoft Tablet PC or Amazon Kindle copycat.

Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 1. It’s just a big iPod touch
Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 2. iPad needs Adobe Flash
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 3. It’s ad-evil
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 4. It was over-hyped and under-delivered
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 6. It needs HDMI for HD video output
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 7. It needs cameras
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 8. It’s a curse for mobile developers
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 9. It can’t multitask
Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 10. It needs Mac OS X

Dear old school pundits: 5. It’s a myth the iPad is just a Tablet PC or Kindle

Microsoft’s apologists are desperately trying to give Bill Gates credit for the iPad by touting his unveiling of the failed Tablet PC nearly ten years ago, ironically unaware that Apple itself debuted a two tablet concepts a decade before that: the first was a PowerBook without a screen (pretty much Bill Gates’ Tablet idea) while the second was a more aggressively progressive tablet system designed to use a stylus and a sophisticated gesture and handwritten recognition engine. They might as well credit Microsoft with inventing the iPod by delivering the Zune five years afterward.
Tablet devices 1990s

Inside the multitouch FingerWorks tech in Apple’s tablet
The inside track on Apple’s tablet: a history of tablet computing

Remember that they also tried to credit Microsoft for the iPhone’s multitouch application environment after it rushed its Surface camera-bathtub to “market” months afterward, even though it couldn’t actually get it to work for another year or so.

Of course, beyond all that, the iPad bears nothing in common with Microsoft’s Tablet PC. It’s not based on a stylus ineffectually poking at desktop Windows metaphors. It will play real games. It bundles real apps you might want to actually use. It isn’t slow and hot. It isn’t absurdly expensive with “convertible” parts that are notoriously likely to break or stop working. It isn’t two inches thick. It doesn’t have a bunch of exposed ports you won’t ever use. It doesn’t run the Windows pantheon of spyware and viruses. This isn’t a Tablet PC by any stretch of the imagination.

Paul Thurott actually insisted that the iPad’s bezel was ugly, and recommended that Apple make it a “real” games machine by adding buttons (or perhaps a joystick?) in the bezel area to make it more attractive. Right, thanks for that blaze of genius. Clearly it would be easier to play games on a multitouch tablet if the frame was surrounded by hardware controls lifted from Atari games of the 1970s.

That’s why Star Trek and Minority Report and Avatar envision a future of computing where control surfaces look like an Xbox controller. That’s why the iPod touch flopped as a game device while the heavily buttoned Microsoft CE Gizmondo turned out to be such a hit. Well that, and its brilliant ad-supported business model. And now I’m done with the sarcasm.

The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile
Anticipating the Apple Tablet

Think of the Kindle!

A lot of pundits are also hung up on e-readers, as if the entire market is somehow more important than the backhanded mention of the new iBooks app that Steve Jobs accorded it during his iPad presentation. After all, iPad is just another e-reader, right? A fancy Kindle that should have Apple groveling in front of Amazon for creating it a market, because it was Jeff Bezos who actually invented the idea of reading books electronically, and Jobs just stole his idea and ran with it.

Except that this is historical revisionism of the stupidest kind. Plenty of companies have tried to create electronic books a decade ahead of Amazon; that company simply leveraged its online storefront to dominate booksellers without having to pay their sales taxes, and is now using its position to push a proprietary e-book format on a third rate device that is pretty freaking expensive for what it does, particularly now that the iPad has dropped in at a disruptive $500 entry point.

In-depth review: can Amazon’s Kindle light a fire under eBooks?

The Kindle was a half-assed attempt to take over a product category that had never taken off because its technology just wasn’t that compelling. Sure you can read books on the Kindle, but that’s all you can do. No way to browse the web with any sort of sophistication, no video, and it can’t even do nice graphics.

It is somewhat outrageous that the same people who complain that Apple killed music by setting a 99 cent price for songs are now complaining that Amazon’s copycat strategy, which publishers say is simply unsustainable, is at risk because Apple wants people to pay a $12-15 for a book, the price it negotiated with publishers to reach. Which position is “right,” or is Apple simply automatically wrong no matter what it does?

Not big in Japan, just like the iPhone wasn’t supposed to be.

Junko Yoshida, writing for EETimes, circularly criticized the iPad as being irrelevant to Japan because she was in Japan at its introduction and didn’t see any relevance, because she didn’t actually see the device in person. Since when is being ignorant about something “news”?

Yoshida rambled on for some time about Japanese companies investing in those failed e-ink devices that slowly refresh displays designed to coast on a trickle of battery power. The thing is that users care more about devices working brilliantly rather than in needing to recharge more than once a week. Anyone who touched an iPad is not under the illusion that it is anything like the Kindle or other e-ink devices in anything other than cost. You navigate with your fingers, not some clunky plastic buttons. You see immediate updates, in color, which respond to your touch. Sure iPad can read books, but it can do a lot more too.

The iPad isn’t a book reader any more than the iPhone is simply a way to telegraph SMS messages. It’s a multitouch computer screen, and if you haven’t experienced it, you’ll at least need some vision and imagination and intelligence to get that.

If you’ve picked one up, you don’t need much in terms of brains to realize that it is one slick piece of hardware fused with some brilliant software. That’s not to say that all those media droids in attendance got it; many acted like they were covering an Obama speech for Fox news, and were tasked with generating the stupidest possible criticisms they could imagine, just to delight their Cro-Magnon audience’s prejudices.

One reporter I overheard actually said on camera that he saw no evidence that the iPad would save media companies. O’really? What’s your next story, a blip on how nothing Obama said seems relevant to creating jobs?

I find it at least somewhat amusing that Jobs wants Obama to be president while President Obama wants jobs. Can’t we just fire all these simpleton journalists and then hire unemployed factory workers to provide us with a better take on what’s going on? Oh wait, no we can’t because Google’s ads aren’t enough to pay for good content.

Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 3. It’s ad-evil


1 Maniac { 02.04.10 at 12:28 am }

Great writing again Daniel. It’s amazing that a week-long charge is considered a “feature” for those horrid, primitive e-books. I tried out a Sony Reader Touch last week, just so I can tell my grandchildren that I actually used a computer that only let you read books.

Just two small nitpicks. About names. I don’t think you should even mention Thurrott by name any more. Just call him “the Worlds’s #1 Windows Apologist Idiot.”

And Junko is definitely a Japanese woman’s name, so I’d expect that Junko Yoshida is a woman, not a “he”. Just FYI.

2 ChrissyOne { 02.04.10 at 12:52 am }

Enjoyed the article, and your videos are getting better. The sound and lighting in this one were a big step up, especially.

In the matter of Thurrott, you want to be careful and take the high road with that sort. Calling him an idiot just makes him stronger somehow. Idiots like to follow other, bigger idiots. Check the political landscape for evidence of this.

3 Timmeh { 02.04.10 at 2:28 am }

Nice article but I do have to comment on the games part. I love playing games on my iPhone and I certainly see potential for iPad specific games but only having a touchscreen is limiting for games. I’m not saying the iPad should have buttons like Thurrot suggests; that would be a pretty bad idea. I do believe there is a reason we still use traditional controllers like the Dual Shock or the Xbox controller. For a lot of games it’s just the best way to play for a lot of games. Bejeweled, for example, works best on iPhone but have you tried to play an FPS or action adventure? They just work better with a real controller.

Although you pick pretty good examples, I don’t think looking at movies for the future of our interfaces is the best idea for future prediction. Movie interfaces (both graphical and control) have to look good; they don’t have to be functional. Have you ever seen 90’s movie interfaces adapted to real life applications for example? No, me neither; because they don’t actually work well.

I’m not even going to comment on bringing up Gizmodo.

4 Berend Schotanus { 02.04.10 at 3:12 am }

Is iPad just another e-reader?

All along the tablet rumors I envisaged the (yet unnamed) iPad as an e-reader. Why? Because that’s what I hoped to be using it for.
Today I am dividing my reading tasks between MacBook, iPhone and plain old paper. While both MacBook and iPhone offer huge improvement over what used to be, all three of them are frustrating in some way.
Plain old paper is good, isn’t it? No it isn’t: it is slow, getting you only yesterdays news. You’re missing the depth of clicking into more detail or browsing through user reactions once you are more interested in a subject. And, increasingly I’m missing the tools like dictionary, delicious, e-mail, … I didn’t expect this to happen, it is because of the possibilities I discovered while using MacBook and iPhone.
So these two devices have done a great job and I have become quite attached to them. But they have evident shortcomings: the iPhone screen really is small. And a laptop does always have this keyboard sitting in the way when you’re trying to find a comfortable position on your sofa.
So I did, and still do, think of iPad as an e-reader, not in order to credit Jeff Bezos but because of the intended use I see in it. That it might double as a terrific gaming device or even a very workable office suite is just a bonus on top of that.

On my blog I called it a “responsive” eReader. There is so much power and magic in the word responsive and it very much characterizes what makes Apple outstanding. I also saw this word “responsive” in the praise Stephen Fry posted on the iPad. I think that’s what makes it really special.




5 mikeg { 02.04.10 at 4:27 am }

“If you’ve picked one up, you don’t need much in terms of brains to realize that it is one sick piece of hardware fused with some brilliant software. ”

I think you meant slick instead of sick. Excellent series of articles as we have been fortunate to have you write over the years.

I am actually saving my pennies and will be purchasing an “oversized iPod Touch” when the 3G version is available, that is, until I am dissuaded to do so by the continued barrage of shrillness from the pundits about how bad the iPad really is as a device. :-) :-)

6 LuisDias { 02.04.10 at 4:34 am }

Daniel, you mentioned this iPad as showing the future of Mac OS.

And while I do agree with you somewhat, I find that somewhat terrifying. I did not bother much with the fact that the iPod and the iPhone have the iTunes App Store as their only source of Apps. The gadgets are simple and tiny enough for one person to desire the process to be simple and that gives it.

But to ponder about that process being extended to full blown computers is somewhat nightmarish. I do not want to live in a world where AOL type of gatekeepers tell me what to put on my devices or not. I won’t mind that they will “suggest” me some of those, and perhaps in that world I wouldn’t “choose” any app that didn’t come from the App Store anyway. But I would like to know that if Apple somehow chose to be “ev1l” in any form, I could get out of their “box”.

This probably isn’t a problem for the iPad yet, but it’s a problem in the making. I understand the “pros” for this system. It’s just that I really don’t like the “cons” of it: A gate-kept world.

7 Timmeh { 02.04.10 at 5:12 am }


PCs as we know them aren’t going away anytime soon. I do believe they are not very well suited to most consumers. Therefore I think we will be seeing many more devices like the iPad. Devices that are easy to use and just do what people want them to do without a hassle. Sure, they can’t do everything your Mac can but most people don’t need their computers to do that much anyway. For most people an iPad will offer enough computer power and the app-store is actually much easier for people that don’t know that much about computers; they won’t care to much about the lack of freedom.

8 LuisDias { 02.04.10 at 5:19 am }


Of course they won’t care about the lack of freedom, but I fail to see where that’s a good thing. I also think that the iPad is not actually the gadget where this problem may become dangerous, at least not in its present form.

But I do worry that this kind of gate-keeping gets too much traction and success. Yes, PCs may still be here for a while, but we are now creating the roots for the next-gen computing. And will that be laptops with full OS? Or will it be super – “iPads” with a gate-kept OS?

I don’t like the trend here.

9 bartfat { 02.04.10 at 5:21 am }

That’s right, I forgot that the iPod app on iPad looks really similar to iTunes. That must mean it’s a simpler Cocoa version of iTunes.. maybe Apple is planning on adding features to that and getting some investment back from modernizing iTunes from Carbon to Cocoa. Yeah, and this article is one of those things that tie into the last “myth” you wrote, because people expected it to be a Tablet PC that was somehow also more user friendly. Sort of like iPhone marries Mac OS X… yeah, that always worked out SO well… no wonder Microsoft is rolling in cash with Tablet PC ;) Of course, there are some things that Apple could do to Mac OS X to make it more tablet friendly, but I think the important thing to keep in mind here is price. That’s a big reason they chose a minimally modified iPhone OS instead of a heavily modified Mac OS X.

10 lmasanti { 02.04.10 at 6:26 am }

“the first was a PowerBook without a screen”

Would it be the predecessor of the shuffle?
I think it should read “the first was a PowerBook without a keyboard”

11 bil { 02.04.10 at 6:47 am }

I’m not sure this counts as _the_ trend. Another trend is fast pc hardware, lots of peripherial options, and opensource software. We’ll see further abstractions from hardware, but that won’t restrict freedom or openness, any more than moving away from programming in assembly language did. As long as there are sufficient people to buy the “full” computer system, I think someone will sell it. Apple sold 9 out of 10 computers costing more than $1000.00 last quarter, and their margins are very large there. Those machines are also what their developers and the developers who feed the app store work on. Apple may migrate gradually to a more pad centric vision, but to do that they’ll have to give developers tools they’ll be happy with.

12 t0m { 02.04.10 at 8:05 am }

It might be worth throwing in some recent stats for Japan and the iPhone:


“According to a report [JP] released by Tokyo-based research company Impress R&D, the iPhone has captured a whopping 46.1% of the domestic smartphone market.”
“Sources in Japan say that the iPhone user base in Japan now stands at 3 million, which is an impressive 10% of the global userbase.”

13 paolo { 02.04.10 at 8:09 am }

HEY! Don’t touch my Atari controllers!
Of couse, this said, they belong to my Atari consoles, not to an iPad!

Hehe, I think of an iPad with a woodgrain frame and a joystick and a firebutton sticking out. Precious!

Great article Dan, as usual.

14 tundraboy { 02.04.10 at 8:12 am }


Now, now, let’s not be such alarmists about the iPhoneOS gate keeping model being extended to the MacOS. I don’t think that is ever going to happen unless Apple decides that it has all the third party apps it will ever need and it doesn’t have any use for developers anymore. What is happening here is the long awaited bifurcation of computing between the creatives/developers on one hand and the consumers of the former’s products on the other. This is a welcome development. If this had happened at the onset of personal computing, we would not have all these problems with botnets, worms & viruses. I think what Dan was referring to as the future of MacOS is the multi touch interface of the iPad.

And as much as a control freak Steve Jobs seems to be, he is a 60’s liberal at heart who has shown real concern about things well beyond the typical tech geek’s list of things that matter. I mean have you ever heard of any other tech CEO talk about balancing technology and the “liberal arts”? It’s this balance that makes Apple products so damned appealing. It’s also why a lot of tech geeks invariably pan Apple products when they are first introduced.

15 Per { 02.04.10 at 8:19 am }

That video looks really good. Great work with that and the article!

I think a lot of the fear (that, just like Yoda once said, leads to anger) also stems from the fact that geeks may have to unlearn what they have learned. They may not understand this device better than someone who’s a novice to computers.

What if all the things you learned about how computers work is becoming irrelevant. Just think of all the effort it took for you to learn how to tweak your AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, modem dial-up strings, running defragmentation tools, scheduling Ad-Aware and then cleaning up the Windows Registry. If you’re a Mac old-timer you may still remember how to rebuild the desktop or update pre-bindings. Maybe compiling from source code if you’re on Linux. These are all old-world skills that you could employ to swing in like a hero on a rope and fix your less savvy friend’s computer.

For some, having the playing field leveled means losing.

16 tundraboy { 02.04.10 at 8:19 am }


iPhone capturing 46% of Japanese smartphone market? That’s amazing. I distinctly remember a few articles a while back almost gloating that the iPhone isn’t gaining any traction at all in the Japanese market because it lacks certain features. Which I found kind of suspect because the Japanese are one of the most enthusiastic adaptors of new technology.

17 JWCinNC { 02.04.10 at 8:53 am }

My wife works with faculty at a major university. She has been gathering information (surveys, demos, discussions) about e-readers for a while. Her argument is that faculty want a way to write notes in margins, so therefore the device needs a stylus. I argue that other methods could be used – like type written stickies that stay with the text or some other similar methodology. But she insists that the faculty will want to write the text. Her office will be getting a few iPads for testing as soon as they are out. I think they will be a hit, she is still doubtful.

I was also thinking of drawing programs. While your finger CAN be a stylus, there isn’t a lot of fine control there. I know you are pretty anti-stylus and I agree with most of those arguments, but I wonder if there is room for a stylus-like device (maybe as an add-on) for certain applications. I noticed you haven’t been commenting back to lately, but would like to here your thoughts on these application specific needs.

As a side note – thanks for writing these columns and sorry about yor hand.

[Thanks for the comments. I’m not anti-stylus, it just appears that the market has rejected them. There are uses, and there are already 3rd party pens that work on the iPhone surface (and you can make your own with a conductor) – Dan]

18 stefn { 02.04.10 at 9:22 am }

Daniel, I enjoy the videos. I think you could leave the stills up longer and add text stills and your great collages. I sent in my subscription donation. No brag. Just a suggestion to other subscribers.

19 T. Durden { 02.04.10 at 9:23 am }

While not a Kindle, I do hope the reading experience will be pleasant on the iPad. I’m probably not the only academic person having tons of pdf articles and pre-prints in piles all over. Perhaps there is a clever app to store them in some searchable format on the iPad. (Could do that on the computer, but it’s less convenient to have that fired up when sitting in my armchair with pen and paper, trying to think).

But what I really wanted to say was: nice video. Enjoyable to watch and contents is interesting, as always. You’ve really got a very impressive grasp of tech history.

20 qka { 02.04.10 at 9:44 am }

Then again, Apple may plan on putting buttons on the bezel – albeit in a sophisticated Apple sort of way:


21 Michael { 02.04.10 at 10:10 am }


Sorry, but the doom and gloom scenario a lot of people like to play out in their minds is, quite frankly, absurd. Especially considering everyone is getting bent out of shape over a consumer electronics device that you can choose to not buy and therefor, not restrict your ability to install whatever application you want. Apple has no desire in controlling your life, just their gadget; one single gadget in a sea of thousands.

22 robgranholm { 02.04.10 at 10:14 am }

Awesome post. First time I’m catching you do video here. Great points, nothing I disagree with here. I’m not 100% convinced there’s a big market for the iPad just yet, but like so many other Apple inventions it will attempt to pave the way. It certainly isn’t like anything else though.

23 gus2000 { 02.04.10 at 10:18 am }

From now on, we’ll refer to Paul as “Voldurrott”.

24 LuisDias { 02.04.10 at 10:25 am }


I am aware of that. This is just a drop in the bucket. Problem is, these things escalate quite rapidly, and sure enough we already have almost a hundred million gadgets that are gate-kept and no one’s worried? Next, iPads and if iPad 1.0 or 2.0 or 3.0 starts to rise up as a netbook replacement, then most “computers” will be “iPad-like”. Perhaps in a not-so-distant future, people won’t even buy a laptop! (most people anyway, those that just want something to write at, make some graphs and tables and surf the web, aka 90% of the people).

In that scenario, 90% of the people would be limited to this gate-kept world. I don’t like that scenario, it’s all I am saying. I pretty much enjoy the iPad like it was presented, and probably will buy one. Although I do resent the lack of USB, it’s not a show-stopper.

25 ChuckO { 02.04.10 at 10:26 am }

tundraboy 14, You make same great points in this comment about Job’s sensibilities and the iPad. This does seem to be an important pivot point in the progression of tech beyond the iPad itself. It’s a branching of computing where Apple is saying “not everybody needs a machine capable of running a development IDE or high powered photoshop type of app. Here’s something specifically designed for “real Americans” (to borrow a phrase).

I guess this has left a lot of people confused and frightened that Apple’s going that route. I was kind of surprised by the reactions BEFORE the announcement of people that were hoping Apple were releasing something that would be an iPad as well as a Wacom tablet when they needed it to be as well as other similar delusions that were out there. Then there is this crazy POST release reaction of folks that just seem grossly offended by what’s being offered who just don’t get what the device is for. The people seemed to want more of Microsoft kind of approach of “let’s stick MacOS on there with some touch API’s” where instead Apple looked at rethinking the problem and offering a more eleagant solution and the geeks are freaking out.

26 miloh { 02.04.10 at 10:43 am }

@LuisDias — While I understand your concern, consider this. We’re talking about tools. They may be toys to some, but generally they are tools. So long as they get the job done, most people won’t care about “gate keeping.”

27 LuisDias { 02.04.10 at 10:46 am }

I guess this has left a lot of people confused and frightened that Apple’s going that route.

I don’t know about such people, but the reason I’m somewhat “frigthened” (it’s more like “bothered” anyway) is not that. I really like the differentiated aspect of this OS, and that’s ultimately what makes this OS much much better than all the Tablet PCs which have XP on it, as if those tablets were in any way shape or form adapted to the smallish touch screen ergonomics. They aren’t, and this is, and that’s just great.

What I worry about is the fact that to endure what Apple calls our “safety”, we must accept the fact that every single app on the iPad has to have the seal of royal approval.

Is that really necessary? Perhaps today it is. But I sure hope that this does not escalate towards the entirety of our computing ecossystem by say, 5 to 10 years. And I am not saying that this will “substitute” Mac OS X in laptops, but that such thing is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that these small computers may well substitute a lot of computers that we would buy instead.

And will we in 10 years still have to put our knees to the ground and beg for Apple in order to write a small app for our iPad? I sure hope not.

28 gus2000 { 02.04.10 at 10:47 am }

mikeg: “I think you meant slick instead of sick.”

Both are apropos, although the latter is rather idiomatic.

I’m sure the Powerbook tablet device Dan mentioned was sans keyboard WITH a screen, but I now desperately await The Onion’s “Macbook Shuffle” video!

29 LuisDias { 02.04.10 at 10:50 am }

So long as they get the job done, most people won’t care about “gate keeping.”

Thankfully, I’m not “most people”, nor will I worry much about it when I’ll buy one. But one can look forward to the future and think about it for a second, no? I think that Daniel poh-poohs this idea as meaningless ideology driven, and I get the pragmatical point. But still we should not let this idea die in our memory banks, for a future in which one looks bad and says, “geee to think that there was a time where one could freely do to your computer anything we wanted to, and now we can’t” is not an impossible one.

30 miloh { 02.04.10 at 11:03 am }

@LuisDias — I agree that we should not ignore the possibility. I don’t know how much time one should spend worrying about it, but the potential does exist, yes.

31 bil { 02.04.10 at 11:04 am }

But you’ve _never_ been able to do anything you want with most every computing device ever made–they are are limited in one respect or another. You can’t use just any video board in a mac, it’s a PITA to run OS X on pc hardware. I’m betting that most everyone except Richard Stallman is using some proprietary closed bits in hardware or software. Even the Apple ][ system relied on copyrighted rom.

And given that Apple’s approved 120K apps for the phone suggests to me that they aren’t particularly restrictive. If anything, the approval process is simply understaffed and too arbitrary. If you what to run what you want to on your iPhone/Touch/Pad, become a developer and go to town–Apple’s gate is the store. And all of this leaves aside browser based applications. I can understand why many are not wanted to buy one of these things, but they don’t represent any real threat to anything.

32 itotah { 02.04.10 at 11:05 am }

I love your magazine. It’s an island of sanity in the Apple basher world of “experts.” Slightly off topic in the realm of myths is that of the “Cult” of Apple or the Apple “Fanboys.” The assumption, probably perpetuated by Microsoft cronies and bought into by Windows apologists, is that there is a segment of the market that blindly buys Apple inferior Apple products. If there is a cult, it’s the other way around. For vast majority of the past two decades, Windows based PC’s have been second banana to Macs, yet windows machines were bought in droves with the false assumption that they were “better,” when, in fact, they were often inferior experiences. People buy Macs, iPods, Macbooks, iPhones because they are, and have been, superior products when examined with intelligence and honesty. The same goes for the iPad.

I for one buy great products that help me work, and Apple has made some of the best. Technology is a TOOL to help you produce and create OTHER things. The technology itself is not the end product. I don’t want to tinker with my technology. I want it to work seamlessly so I can edit my movie, write my novel, manage my photos, etc. The more seamless the experience, the better off I am. The more time I spend trouble-shooting and calling technical support, the more useless the technology is because it’s interfering with real work.

For example, I owned a $600 Nokia smartphone prior to the iPhone’s release. It had every feature the iPhone had but I never used 90% of them because they were convoluted and cumbersome to access. It was a waste of $600 and I wished Apple would make a phone that was usable. They did.

The power of simplicity is something Apple has understood for years, and why it continues to grow despite the vitriolic attacks by the “experts.”

33 ChuckO { 02.04.10 at 11:21 am }

“But still we should not let this idea die in our memory banks, for a future in which one looks bad and says, “geee to think that there was a time where one could freely do to your computer anything we wanted to, and now we can’t” is not an impossible one. ”

That’s a bit over the top for me. You or someone else could always go out and offer the alternative if that “brave New World’ or “Logan’s Run” of computing scenario played out.

34 ericdano { 02.04.10 at 12:15 pm }

I’d read this site more if the political references were stripped. And the tone since I last visited is…….well…….almost like reading some of those Windows blogs. Calling people stupid and stuff. Isn’t there another way to make a point then resulting to insult and personal attacks? And flawed political comparisons?

35 miloh { 02.04.10 at 12:43 pm }

@bil — “If you what to run what you want to on your iPhone/Touch/Pad, become a developer and go to town–Apple’s gate is the store.”

And don’t forget the ad-hoc and enterprise distribution channels. Apps only have to go through the store if one wants them to be readily available to the general public. Apple has other facilities for private products.

But your point about web apps is really important. There is so much that can be done via this route. For a lot of tasks, things in the App Store are completely unnecessary.

36 arthurs { 02.04.10 at 2:01 pm }

Great insights as always Dan, keep up the good work!

37 zdp { 02.04.10 at 2:13 pm }

Why is it that one of the biggest criticisms that I’ve read about (the iPad/iPhone) is the lack of openness (aka, the App Store)? Why haven’t I heard the same complaints from the PS3 Home Store, WiiWare, or Xbox Live Marketplace?

There is such a doubles-standard when it comes to Apple products. Apple never said that the iPad or iPhone are “computers” in the traditional sense. They are building consumer devices and have broken out of conventional computer paradigms for simplicity and security.

Having apps in a sandbox is rarely a concern. Accessing files that weren’t created by the app are rarely a concern. How often on your system do you want to open various documents outside of the program that created them?

My company has some great ideas for iPad and iPhone apps. The App Store really makes us excited about building apps that we would probably not build otherwise if not for the guarantee that we can be in the front of several million owners.

I would go into all of the positive aspects of the App Store, but I don’t want to threadjack the article.

38 mikeT { 02.04.10 at 2:24 pm }

@Timmeh. Regarding controllers for iPad games. Rather than having dedicated game controllers or additional buttons (ugh!) on the iPad, I’m hoping to see iPad games such as Real Racing support the use of my existing iPod Touch and iPhone as game controllers, either via Bluetooth or Wifi connections. Existing iPhone apps, such as Air Mouse and Apple’s Remote app, currently support controlling external devices quite well. This would be particularly useful for multi-player games with the iPad sitting on its stand.

Also, as an alternative to requiring mouse support, I could also see an iPhone/iPod touch being used as a touch pad while using an external keyboard with the iPad on its stand.

39 ulicar { 02.04.10 at 3:01 pm }

I really think that Apple’s interface design is the best bar none. My two and a half years old daughter likes watching video on my iPhone and she knows how to flick between videos, which one is a video and which one is an image, everything. This is my far better interaction between her and a machine than when presented with a keyboard and mouse.

40 jkundert { 02.04.10 at 3:03 pm }

Heh, ouch on the Google ads not being enough to pay for decent content! Actually I like the idea of letting out of work factory workers (and office workers too) have a shot at writing for the papers. Not that they’d be better, but it surely would be a different take on things!

41 ChuckO { 02.04.10 at 3:29 pm }

jkundert & Dan, “I like the idea of letting out of work factory workers”. You two bourgeois, pinko idiots (Oops sorry ericdano) let me know when the way back machine arrives back from that living room in Berkeley in 1968!

:-) Just kidding. I like the idea also. I’ve been looking for a way to learn Spanish!

42 ChuckO { 02.04.10 at 3:32 pm }

or probably those factory workers would be Chinese and the news would be old but cheap.

43 Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle « iNewΙΤ { 02.04.10 at 6:11 pm }

[…] Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle The iPad isn’t a book reader any more than the iPhone is simply a way to telegraph SMS messages. […]

44 uberVU - social comments { 02.04.10 at 11:44 pm }

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by Just_Ask_Ellen: Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle … http://bit.ly/d3ibwV

45 Bill Jones { 02.05.10 at 12:11 am }

@gus2000 — comment 28

I want an iPad Shuffle too. That way I wouldn’t have to answer emails. FaceBook would really rock with the Shuffle makin’ friends all day long. The Onion video will probably explain it all.

Dan, I am a long time reader. This is my favorite site. I value the insight, historical perspective, honesty, and even the occasional political association.

“I know the Kindle, and you – iPad – are no Kindle.”
(Quote from some old televised political debate)

46 OldMac { 02.05.10 at 5:19 am }

Hmmm … I remember when I got my first Mac back in 84, me and my freiends keppt searching for the comand line and initially found it extremely frustrating not to be able to interact with the computer the way we used to. But then we got the hang of it, and never looked back. I wonder if the same will happen with the touch-interface.

47 ChuckO { 02.05.10 at 6:57 am }

Bill Jones 44, Here, here! or is it hear, hear! Anyway I agree

48 jmmx { 02.05.10 at 10:56 pm }


I agree with you that the iPad is not “just a big Kindle.” But I don’t think that slamming everything that is not Apple is reasonable.

In the blogs I have seen a lot of people report that they love their Kindle and that the e-ink is great, to their mind much better than an LCD screen.

Well, this is a matter of personal preference. I see no reason to argue with them if they are happy with the Kindle as a book reader and do not care about what else the iPad might do. That is there prerogative to choose. To explain differences is one thing, but the judgmental talk I believe is counter productive.

Thanks for the good descriptions. I enjoy your well researched site.

49 frankeee { 02.06.10 at 12:21 am }

now that’s the shit, daniel! well done. to say it in the sense of the wall•e mobie: “looking gorgeous!” – awesome cuts – nice lights – and even better: nice mythbuster article presented well! cheers my man!

50 Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 6. It needs HDMI for HD video output Daniel Eran Dilger Here’s segment five in my series taking on iPad myths: no the iPad isn’t just a Microsoft Tablet PC or Amazon Kindle copycat. Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 1. I { 02.08.10 at 12:57 am }

[…] iPad: 3. It’s ad-evil Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 4. It was over-hyped and under-delivered Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 5. It’s just a Tablet PC or Kindle Ten Myths of Apple’s iPad: 6. It needs HDMI for HD video output . Dear home theater people: 6. […]

You must log in to post a comment.