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Continuing my journey into the Cult of Apple, I recently added the iPad to my list of Apple products.

Initially I wasn’t certain I was going to invest in one – I prefer deadwood over PDFs, I have an iPhone for mobile internet… why would I need an iPad?

As I puzzled out the dichotomy between “ooh new shiny” and “do I really need this?” a lot if friends were more than keen to provide their opinions. There is a risk inherent with liberal thought to always think of things out of context or in views of Ebul Right and Pure Left.

Who would have thought buying an electronic device could be a political statement? 🙂

See, Apple are very controlling of their products. This is risky in that they cab potentially control what you see and interact with when using your iPhone or iPad.

But, conversely, they also provide some of the best productivity tools to allow you to create your own content – which they can’t interfere with. (And would be hugely foolish if they did.)

Furthermore, with many forms of media becoming standardised there are plenty of simple solutions other than distributing through iTunes.

Most common was the Cult of Android trying to tell me that there are better Android tablets. I looked around. To date, none seem to exist.

Further to this, despite Google being a mostly fluffy company, they do still own YouTube, which is almost as regulated as iTunes.

Finally, the liberal argument comes around to the conservative argument structure. Nothing truly bad is happening now, but it COULD happen. Hello slippery slope. Yes, we need to be vigilant – but that is no excuse for being cowboys.

Apple’s control does mean better quality and better security. Not that they have perfected this yet. 😉

Finally a friend said to think of the iPad not as a computer, but as an electronic piece of paper which can store any information you want and be able to carry loads of books without the weight.

After talking to a number of US role-players who had iPads, I realised that this was the best way to view the iPad.

So I bought one.

What first strikes me is that this feels like a much more intuitive way to read a PDF. I hate reading PDF books on a laptop because they feel clumsy and inelegant.

Being able to physically “turn” a page, pinch or zoom effortlessly just seems natural, whereas using a mouse seems very detached.

In much the same way that MP3 players made listening to music easier than the old “rewind tape” Walkman, the iPad is an improvement by going back to the way you normally read a book.

With the added benefit of interactive elements. As Wired have shown, an iPad allows a magazine to be more than words. A great example is their interview with Trent Reznor, following him through the creation of a song. As you read the article there are versions of the song to play at each stage of it’s development, images change to show what is being discussed.

It’s a great example of the future, and certainly has me reading more again. An added bonus is the thousands of free classics to download. I’ve been beefing up my Philosophy collection.

Frankly, I feel the door is open for all manner of use and application with this device. Hardly the restrictive horror others perceive it to be.


August 2022

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