iPad Gentrification

It’s nice to see some folks posting things very similar to mine about the iPad.

With Why the iPad is Crap Futurism, i09 pointed out something I hadn’t fully considered, which is that the iPad is essentially the next set in the evolution of the TV, rather than the personal computer.

Alex Payne’s On the iPad points out something else, that Apple is essentially the gatekeeper as to what can be shown on this TV.

As I’ve mentioned before, I realize I’m not the targeted market for this device.

I figured it’d be perfect for people whose DVD collection was destroyed in a fire and people who take long trips, for example.

I realized it’s not currently designed for people making stuff and sharing it with the world. I don’t doubt people will be using it for that *in spite* of its limitations in that regard, but the lack of camera is a huge hurdle in that happening.

Once again, for the people saying, “If you want to do that, get a laptop! That’s not what this is FOR! It was never intended to be that!” I repeat:

Up until it was announced, we had no idea what it was going to be. We had guesses, but not a clear picture. You can’t tell me that I “shouldn’t be disappointed because it isn’t what you wanted.” That’s a nested definition of disappointment. You’re basically saying, “You’re not allowed to be disappointed,” and that statement is false.

See, I had a dream. A beautiful, beautiful dream.

I like buskers, I like the circus. I like buskers who blow up. I like Amanda Palmer, Sxip Shirley, Jason Webley, Reggie Watts, and others who can just show up someplace and make magic happen and build followings that reach all corners of the globe. They do it through hard work and, more recently, through open exposure online.

I remember Apple as being the people who brought us GarageBand, and iMovie. Simple programs that let people create extraordinary things.

I had hoped that maybe, just maybe, Apple’s new device would put these two things together, and allow talented folks from all over the world record and share their unique gifts with their fellow humans.

However naively, I imagined the iPad would be a ticket to a grand street party that allowed you participate in an explosion of really cool things.

What we’ve seen instead, is a great new way to buy movies, to buy music, to buy books.

I wanted a carnival and got the mall.

I’m not predicting that the iPad won’t soar. I’m predicting it will do very well as the thing that wasn’t what I wanted.

I see a lot of people saying crap like, “Oh, boo-hoo! It doesn’t have a drink holder and a footbath! I’m so disappointed!!!”

Grow up. Go buy it if you want it. Let me have my grief.

What I wanted, what I was hoping for, was an iLife device.

Remember iLife?

It lets you organize photos, make music, and make movies.

You might remember it as being, until recently, Apple’s cornerstone. They were giving people without studios and a lot of technical know-how the means to make art on their own.

It was the thing that made me like Apple, the things that made me excited about their products. I wanted a device that would let me do the things that had, up until the evolution of Apple-as-Media-Warehouse, defined Apple for me:

Everyone’s an artist.

So, welcome to the Apple gentrification. All the artists have been kicked out of the cool part of town, but there are plenty of great stores.

As sad as I am to say it, I hope that this was a business move and Apple is planning for the next generation to include more features for folks like me. Because, from what I hear, the design and performance is great.

Still, Apple has left a wide-open space for anyone willing to make an iPad-esque device geared towards people that like to make things.

If you’re listening, now’s your chance.


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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