Respectful Insolence

The eternal question about the new iPad

Will it blend?

Personally, I doubt I’ll be getting in iPad. I have an iPhone, after all, and I don’t see where I would use something like the iPad rather than my laptop. Most of the stuff I need to do with a computer that I can’t do on my iPhone requires Microsoft Office and various graphics programs. There just doesn’t seem to be a niche in my computing habits that isn’t already filled by my laptop or iPhone. That could change as the iPad evolves, but for now this Apple fanboy is going to abstain.

On the other hand, I wonder where you get a job like this guy’s, where I’d get to blend things just for the hell of it.

Comments

  1. #1 rob
    April 6, 2010

    obviously Orac needs another sip of the kool-aid…
    ;)

  2. #2 JohnV
    April 6, 2010

    I fully expected to see the youtube clip of Hitler complaining about it :p

    Also, thanks for the diversion, I spent a good 10-15 minutes watching things be blended instead of working on the genome analysis that’s open on my computer.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/01/hitler_doesnt_like_the_ipad.php

  3. #3 dean
    April 6, 2010

    Perhaps the urge to blend it comes from the wifi issues some people are experiencing.

    “WiFi iPads Have WiFi Issues
    iPad owners report wireless connection issues even when in close range to an access point”

    My favorite quote from a story:

    User reports on Wi-Fi problems cover various issues. Some users say they’re unable to join their networks at all after their iPads come out of sleep; others can’t seem to get a signal unless they stand very close to their wireless routers (which, needless to say, negates the points of having a wireless network in the first place),.

  4. #4 Irene
    April 6, 2010

    You don’t get it: obviously, the natural public for this gizmo is toddlers!

    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/06/a-25-year-old-has-a.html
    ;-)

  5. #5 steeroy
    April 6, 2010

    There wasn’t a niche between your cell phone and your laptop either before the iPhone came out. :)

    I’m sure in a few years Apple will have managed to sell me a device which fits between an iPhone and an iPad, and between an iPad and a laptop too…

  6. #6 BlueMaxx
    April 6, 2010

    well…together with Steven Colbert… who got an iPad last week and showed us it SLICES, it DiCES, it will chop and make salsa… I guess the Kitchen APPS questions for the iPad have been answered!

  7. #7 Karl Withakay
    April 6, 2010

    The iPad is a tweener device, neither fish nor foul. I’m sure many people will love it more than sliced bread, but…

    It’s a bit big to be a good, convenient, dedicated E-Reader.

    It lacks the full web/flash functionality of a laptop, and it can’t multitask.

    The app store model will limit its penetration into the corporate markets. Corporate IT depts like to have direct app deployment/management control, and client-server licensing & in-house proprietary apps aren’t suited to the app store model .

    With no physical keyboard and no MS Office, it’s less than ideal for composing a full length blog entry, especially an Oriacian or Atwoodian one.

    It is literally a larger version of the iPod Touch.

    If what you want is a larger iPod Touch or iPhone, the iPad is for you. If you want some added laptop functionality in a small tablet style device, a netbook type device is probably more of what you need.

    On the other hand, I have to think Steve Jobs knows what he’s doing better than I do, but I thought the same thing about Vince McMahon & the XFL.

  8. #8 dean
    April 6, 2010

    One of the guys I bike with, and do photography with, got one this weekend. He showed me how his shots look on the IPAD’s screen: IF I sold more pictures, and wanted a neat way to display shots (not tied to a laptop, say), I would buy an IPAD – it’s a cool platform for that purpose.

    I can’t think of much else I’d do with it.

    “On the other hand, I have to think Steve Jobs knows what he’s doing better than I do, but I thought the same thing about Vince McMahon & the XFL.”

    There were two of us who watched the XFL?

  9. #9 techskeptic
    April 6, 2010

    It hasn’t happened in this comment thread yet, but it cracks me up to see techies complaining about what the iPad doesnt do.

    Its like complaining that an electric car doesnt take you 300 miles on a charge. It’s not for that. Need a car that goes more than 100 miles a day? dont get an electric. Need a device that does more than email and internet (plus some really great apps), dont get an ipad.

    I got one for my wife. 90% of what she does on a computer is email and internet. the ibook app is particularly good (and I would love to see the publishing industry jolted by it, the highlighting, bookmarking, and instant dictionary work really well, it should be a text book reader so textbooks could come down off their stupid prices).

    She will never miss multitasking. As a blogger I would be unable to blog without multitasking. She is more like the great majority of the population than I am, or the group of yapping ipad haters. I think Jobs did a pretty smart move, even if I wouldn’t buy it for myself…. although watching netflix through their app on the ipad is pretty nice.

  10. #10 BaldApe
    April 6, 2010

    Aren’t there some pretty nasty chemicals in those elecrtonical deevices?

  11. #11 dean
    April 6, 2010

    “It hasn’t happened in this comment thread yet, but it cracks me up to see techies complaining about what the iPad doesnt do.”

    I’m not complaining: it’s just that most of the things it does well are things for which I dont’ need a new gadget.

  12. #12 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    April 6, 2010

    As soon as Apple fills the niche between devices, it creates two unfilled niches. I think this proves Apple devices are intelligently designed (and marketed).

  13. #13 Kapitano
    April 6, 2010

    it cracks me up to see techies complaining about what the iPad doesnt do.

    I got one for my wife. 90% of what she does on a computer is email and internet

    Glad you’re feeling cracked up. Also glad you can admit the iPad is a glorified netbook. With Apple’s usual refusal to allow apps not made by Apple.

  14. #14 Mu
    April 6, 2010

    The “no multitasking” and “no non-approved apps” was jailbroken within 72h of release. Turns out the ipad OS was just the next version of the iphone OS, which conveniently got hacked in the same effort.

  15. #15 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 6, 2010

    I think you confuse “complaining” and “stating a feature deficiency that may make it unsuitable for my use.”

    “Wifi doesn’t work” is a complaint, and a legitimate one. It said it does wifi – if that doesn’t work reliably then the customer is certainly entitled to complain.

    “It doesn’t do Flash” may or may not be a complaint. If you believe that the iPad is being sold as a good general purpose web browsing device, and you believe your web experience is negatively affected by the lack of Flash, then it’s a valid complaint. Of course, knowing that up front you really should be stating it as a feature deficiency and guiding your purchase decisions accordingly.

    “It doesn’t multitask” is merely a statement that it lacks features that would be useful and may not, therefore, be something you’d buy. Likewise, saying “an electric car can only travel 100 miles in a day” is not a complaint, it’s an indication that it lacks a necessary feature for a general purpose (and fairly expensive) automobile might normally be expected to have.

  16. #16 techskeptic
    April 6, 2010

    Meph,

    ” Likewise, saying “an electric car can only travel 100 miles in a day” is not a complaint, it’s an indication that it lacks a necessary feature for a general purpose (and fairly expensive) automobile might normally be expected to have.”

    How is that not a complaint? How is it lacking something when it simply designed for something different. Its like saying I hate this hammer because I can’t cook a turkey on it (ok, I agree that an hammer and an oven are more different than an iPad and a computer).

    Netbooks run windows, fo rhte most part. For some reason people insist that you would buy a netbook if you felt you needed an ipad. The point I was making was that the great majority of people hate computers, dislike using them, and most of them run something like windows (even a mac is close enough). this thing provides something else. A childlike interface to get to your apps, and a focused experience for what most of the people do most of the time without having to deal with drivers, or viruses, or all this crap you have to install to run in the background that pretend to keep you computer healthy. you call it a lack of a feature, most people will call it lack of crap you dont want.

    Techies will simply have to get used to the fact that most people arent techies. I’m not sure why they bitch so much about these so called “features” that they require. Dont buy one, its not for you.

    It actually reminds me a bit of the bafflement skeptics have with religious, or credulous. We are generally a science oriented community, which represents a tiny minority of the world population. We are still learning how to communicate concepts, that dont even seem so difficult to us, out to the rest of mankind.

    Jobs figured out how to take what people want to do on computers and put it on something that doesnt require the much hated computer itself.

    go ahead, ask people what they do with computers when not at work. you’ll find that the great majority say browse the internet, read email, watch movies and listen to music, four of the things the iPad, it could be argued, does better at once than any other piece of equipment out there.

    I dont work there, I dont own apple stock. I just think it was a good business decision to create a device that even my mother would want. Far more technophobes and technapathetics, than technophiles.

  17. #17 superdave
    April 6, 2010

    techskeptic, stating a limitation and saying that this limiation is just fine as long as yo don’t need more than what it is limiting does invalidate the critscism.

    What happens when electric cars do go 300 miles on a charge? Will you tell me that the 100 mile per charge car is better because “it’s not for that” ?

    For a product to sell well, it needs to fit a need, if the product isn’t fitting the need, i think it’s fair to say so.

  18. #18 BigMKnows
    April 6, 2010

    The iPad is horribly overpriced for the hardware that you get. It runs on an Apple A4 processor, the same ARM processor that runs the iPhone. Now, compare it to a similarly priced ($499) netbook, like this Toshiba Satellite T115D (http://bit.ly/a679fI):

    First, the two products are roughly the same size, and since the iPad doesn’t fit into your pocket, they have similar portability.

    Screen resolution:
    iPad: 1024×768
    Toshiba: 1366×768

    RAM:
    iPad: 256 MB
    Toshiba: 2 GB

    Hard drive:
    iPad: 16 GB (SSD)
    Toshiba: 320 GB

    The Toshiba netbook also has a web cam, memory card reader, and USB ports. The iPad has none of those things, so you can’t attach a flash drive, external CD/DVD ROM drive, external hard drive (which you’ll probably need with that paltry 16 GB of storage space), printer, etc. Apparently, you can connect a digital camera with a separate adapter ($29 extra).

    But the biggest thing is that the netbook runs a standard operating system (Windows), whereas the iPad runs iPhone OS, so while you can install any Windows software that you want on the netbook, you are locked in to iPhone / iPad apps on the iPad, which cost $10 – $15 for some relatively simple and gimmicky apps. This, I think, is where Apple will really make money with this device.

    Lastly, the netbook has an actual keyboard as opposed to the iPad’s virtual keyboard, which is more difficult to type on.

    Some folks have already reverse engineered the iPad and found that it contains a lot of the same hardware as an iPod Touch. So it’s a glorified iPod Touch with a bigger screen and longer battery life. It’s not the “magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price” that Apple is advertising it as. In fact, almost every word of that sentence is a lie.

    The one thing that the iPad has going for it is long battery life out of the box, but you can get 8 or 9 h of battery life on a netbook, too.

    Now, there may be a niche for a sub-netbook product like the iPad, but not at $500. That kind of hardware shouldn’t cost more than $300. All things considered, if you’ve got $500 to spend, go with the netbook.

  19. #19 Karl Withakay
    April 6, 2010

    “There were two of us who watched the XFL?”

    Well, I sure did like the outfits the Las Vegas Outlaws cheerleaders wore.

  20. #20 Karl Withakay
    April 6, 2010

    “Techies will simply have to get used to the fact that most people arent techies. I’m not sure why they bitch so much about these so called “features” that they require. Dont buy one, its not for you.”

    One reason they bitch is because so many techies have to support those non-techies (who nonetheless love all things things shiny and version 1.0) that purchase things that can’t do what they need or want them to do and then they make it the techies’ job to support it find a way to make things work the way they want them to.

    “The “no multitasking” and “no non-approved apps” was jailbroken within 72h of release. Turns out the ipad OS was just the next version of the iphone OS, which conveniently got hacked in the same effort.”

    Which may last forever or it may just last until the next needed update bricks your iPad.

  21. #22 Liz
    April 6, 2010

    whoops – sorry I gave you my google reader link – here’s the sites link:
    http://thesuperficial.com/2010/04/jim_carrey_jenny_mccarthy_brok.php

  22. #23 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 6, 2010

    Techskeptic – obviously I left off half the statement. If someone says “the electric car only goes 100 miles per day”, it’s in the context that there are equivalently priced vehicles that can go well in excess of 100 miles per day (as much as 1680 miles/day in many parts of the country)and which will do everything that said electric car will do. Thus the range is a real limitation of the vehicle that competing vehicles do not have. It’s perfectly reasonable to point this out as a reason to avoid that purchase, just as it is reasonable for someone to say that the electric car meets their needs perfectly. So it’s not a complaint; it’s a statement of the limitations of the product.

    One could make a similar argument about a golf cart or bicycle, even though it’s quite obvious that the functions and price points are different. It wouldn’t seem nearly as relevant, but it would be valid nonetheless depending on context.

    Or in the context of many of Orac’s posts, is it complaining or pointing out the limitations that make something unsuitable for use to say that homeopathic “drugs” contain no, as it were, active ingredient?

    Now I haven’t seen anyone so far complain about the features you describe for the iPad (though that just shows my sheltered life). I have seen people point out its limitations which, given that there are products that can do more at similar cost, seem like a perfectly reasonable thing. It also not a complaint to point out that – as a “first generation” product – there will likely be a cheaper product with more features out relatively soon (like products from competitors that feature real multitasking and support for pretty much all web sites – and the ability to install any app you want without “jailbreaking” it).

    I do agree that the user interface is very nice, and that it meets the needs of a great many.

  23. #24 Amokkitten
    April 7, 2010

    http://yfrog.com/5muzlkaj
    Nothing else needs be said, really. Apple is still selling iCrap for outrageous prices because the non-techies simply buy whatever has the shiniest new ads on TV.

  24. #25 Anthro
    April 7, 2010

    I’m totally with ORAC on this. I have an iPhone and a MacBook. I have the Kindle app on my iPhone which fits in my pocket, so I just don’t see any need for an iPad (especially since I’m menopausal).

    On another note, Jim and Jenny have SPLIT! Please tell me that this will eliminate at least one half of the anti-vax noise from them as a “team”. Surely Jim will move on to some other bimbo and some other cause!

  25. #26 Morgan
    April 7, 2010

    On the other hand, I wonder where you get a job like this guy’s, where I’d get to blend things just for the hell of it.

    Work for a blender manufacturer :P

  26. #27 steeroy
    April 7, 2010

    @BigMKnows:

    “Now, compare it to a similarly priced ($499) netbook, like this Toshiba Satellite T115D.”

    That only works if you think design, craftsmanship and user experience have zero value. If you do, that’s great for you. You can save a lot of money buying ugly, clunky products with good tech specs – cheap Windows netbooks with lots of ram, uncomfortable second hand cars with big engines, boxy & characterless apartments with good floor space. But it doesn’t make people who do value those things unreasonable.

  27. #28 Andrew S.
    April 7, 2010

    “That guy” (Tom Dickson) is actually either the CEO or President of BlendTec, as I understand it. I suppose it’s just an executive perk.

  28. #29 mikerattlesnake
    April 7, 2010

    I think that the iPad is great for 90% of the population. The interface, much like the iPhone before it feels and looks like a futuristic device (something that windows-based devices rarely acheive)… but it’s not for me. I love my mac, but the lack of flash and multitasking along with the fact that it has the tech specs of a computer from 5 years ago (at least) is too much to put up with in a device that is supposed to replace my laptop.

    I wish they had done what they did with the macbook and had a “pro” edition that had a bunch more ram and a nice processor, ran snow leopard (with the option of booting in the iPhone OS) and had a couple USB ports and a firewire port. It doesn’t have to be a powerhouse either, maybe on par with a 2 year old macbook, and they could aim for a $999 price point.

    It would be amazing to plug this thing into an audio interface and run GarageBand on a multi-touch screen.

  29. #30 Sastra
    April 7, 2010

    I didn’t watch the video here, and I didn’t watch what I suspect was the same video on Pharyngula. I think it’s some guy putting an expensive electronic device in a blender. I don’t know that for sure, but that’s my guess.

    I’m sorry, I just can’t watch. It was perfectly new, worked just fine, and he breaks it on purpose? I don’t know if I’m more bothered by the conspicuous waste, or the gratuitous glee. If I was his wife or mother, I would be …. so pissed. What, you had too much money? There are people who would have really wanted that. You don’t treat nice things that way. I don’t care what company made it.

    This man should go right up to his room and think, just think, about what he just did.

    (sigh)

  30. #31 Karl Withakay
    April 7, 2010

    “I think that the iPad is great for 90% of the population.”

    As much as I hate Flash, especially the way it’s used most of the time (I have it disabled via Prefbar in Firefox by default), it’s REALLY hard to surf the internet without ever using Flash. MANY web sites are written only in Flash, and you can’t use them w/o it.

    Best case scenario, the iPad dominates the world and leads to the downfall of Flash. Until then, (or until is supports Flash) it’s not a full function web browsing device, period.

    The days of separate web and wap sites are nearly over. Apple needs to realize that a tablet needs to be more than a big PDA. I agree that most people don’t need the multitasking and likely the keyboard or Office as well, but a tablet needs to be able to surf the full web experience. People accept that their little PDA phones don’t work with Flash (and certain other) sites, I question how many will be happy with the same web limitations in a tablet.

  31. #32 Carlie
    April 8, 2010

    Sastra – it is indeed a guy putting it in a blender, but it’s part of a long-standing ad campaign for a particular blender company. So yes, it’s a waste, but no more of a waste than any advertising strategy.

  32. #33 Sastra
    April 8, 2010

    carlie wrote:

    it is indeed a guy putting it in a blender, but it’s part of a long-standing ad campaign for a particular blender company. So yes, it’s a waste, but no more of a waste than any advertising strategy.

    Then I am sending both the blender company and the ad agency to their respective rooms for time out. And no computer for either one of them.

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