by on Apr.03, 2010, under tech

   Imagine if you will, the poetic tumble of a bottle of Dom Perignon 2265 as it careens in to the ships hull, and join me for one perfect moment of celebration at the launch of Now, I cast my inflammable net over the great conflagration surrounding Apple’s ill named iPad. The perfect moment is past.

   Due diligence: I’m not an Apple fan. Nor am I a Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, or Google fan. I have owned and enjoyed products made by and for all of those companies, sans Apple, but I don’t owe any of them any loyalty. Do I actively dislike Apple stuff? Somewhat, for various reasons that will be clarified. But I can see the appeal. They certainly make nice hardware.

   So why wouldn’t you want the magical iPod touch XL? Corey Doctorow makes a number of good points regarding ownership of the device. Not having access to the battery in a piece of consumer electronics is an absolute affront, albeit not a new one. What more useful (pronounced “sales attachment”) accessory to a mobile device is there than a spare battery?

   Apple is an abusive boyfriend, isolating their devices. You want to transfer some of your files to or from your property? You go through Apple. You want to install a program on your property? You go through Apple. Why is this control maintained? Because there are money bins to be made selling apps, and the only way to get those apps is through Apple’s store. That means nobody but Apple is selling you apps. Of course there are certain benefits to the stranglehold. Less malware gets through.

   And Apple is abusing developers, too. Requiring explicit approval before anything gets into the app store forces developers to gamble on their product making it to market at all, much less selling enough copies to make any money. Apple has essentially forced them to develop on spec. And even if their app is approved it might be summarily removed in the next crusade. Note that the Sports Illustrated and FHM apps get a pass in the previous link.

   Web apps give cause for hope. If you make a high level pass of the internet, you’ll see the crop circles left by web applications growing in ubiquity. Google’s Chromium OS is casting off the formal trappings of a traditional OS and depends on web applications. Google has already established a beachhead in this arena. Oddly, I can see this catching on in netbooks and tablets for the casual computing audience, like the Wii of mobile systems.

   By this point, most of us have probably decided to like the iPad or to not. And even those of us who don’t buy into Apple still have Apple to thank for all the Zune, Android, et al devices that little “i” spurred into being. And fortunately for the Apple-loving power user, various jailbreak techniques and tools abound. Communities of underground apps (some free, others less so) spring like power ups from question blocks.

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