Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There's an iPad in the House

Grandpa Griffin got himself an iPad 2 – because there’s a “2” after the name, of course – so his original iPad is now at our house. Given that Michelle successfully sneaked it into the house without me finding out about it, I’m pretty content to let it be hers.

And, yes, I would take one if it were offered to me. Thinking about how I might winkle one out for Christmas, though they seem pretty spendy to me still.

But that’s not the substance of this post.

I have a bet with a former college instructor that the iPad and other such tablet PCs will not lead to the development of new industries. He’s convinced that the iPad and its ilk will spawn new, glorious industries that do not yet exist. I have a hard time believing that. I can see where current industry will make us of it, but I’m hard-pressed to identify any new industries that might arise due to the fact that we now have hand-held, powerful computing devices at our disposal. Smartphones didn’t lead to an industrial paradigm shift, after all – though expansion of current industry isn’t out of the question and is, in fact, pretty obvious.

I have had the opportunity to play around with the iPad a bit – it’s been my job to get it connected to iTunes, to get her father’s personal information removed from it, etc. That has caused some trouble at home, as iTunes itself is pretty clunky when it comes to using multiple devices on a single computer (I’m still confused as to why Apple has to tie its products (iPhone excluded) to another device for updates and such). Michelle’s computer is already home to her iPod Touch and her iPod Nano; mine is home to my iPod Touch and potentially our older iPod, so the iPad is now connected to the kids’ computer. I still prefer the interface built into the Sony MP3 player I have; it just plugs and plays, doesn’t need PC software to run, and can connect to anybody’s computer without requiring reconfiguration or any data dumping. I still believe for the iPads and such to be truly “magical” they need to cut the PC tether.

And we need ubiquitous, low-cost wi-fi.

We spent the weekend with friends who have iPads and iPhones. We were camping. They were connected at all times – because they have grandfathered data plans and are willing to pay the monthly fees for such. I’ve written in the past that I’m not as willing. Well, I would be if there were a less expensive solution. So I’ll keep spitting into one hand and wishing into the other, and see which one fills the fastest. I am going to make a prediction, however: Michelle is beginning to see the utility of always being connected, so the day may come – I’ll say within two years – that we migrate over to some kind of plan for which we pay monthly access for that everywhere connection. Again, an expansion of industry, not the creation of a new one, unless, of course, someone wants to create a national wi-fi network.


Brian said...

All of our idevices are hooked to one computer and mine are also connected to my desktop at the office and i have no problems. It only updates on the computer at home but. Can transfer m files back and forth between both.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to not be so connected but I am horribly addicted.

Mister Fweem said...

Wow -- we've had nothing but trouble trying to connect more than one device to a computer. I'll have to come see how you've got things set up. Still wish we didn't have to be tethered to a computer for updates, though.

Brian said...

I agree. Lucky for all of us Apple got the message and updates over wifi and 3g will be a part of the IOS5 rolling out this fall.

Mister Fweem said...

That's good to hear. Hope it actually works the first time out.