iPad. iPhone. iPod Touch. Three devices that share a common operating system from Apple. All three devices share pretty much the same shortcomings too. At least, from the developer point of view. Of course, we generally only hear from disgruntled developers, most of which have had a product or products disallowed from the iTunes App Store for various and often dubious reasons. With the introduction of the iPad, we will, no doubt, hear about more of the sillier reasons an application gets rejected.
For example, a recent product, a photo album viewer for Picasa, was disallowed for including a pinch to zoom feature. Yep. Pinch to zoom. Apple says it is an exclusive feature to its own products. When the developer removed the feature, the product was allowed into the store and is selling for $2.99.
So, not only can an application not duplicate functionality that Apple has included, you can no longer include features that Apple thinks is inclusive to its own products. Huh. What’s really telling here is that the gesture in question is not unique to Apple yet they claim to have ‘invented’ it. I recall seeing it demonstrated several years ago, prior to iPhone being released. Unfortunately, I don’t recall where I saw it, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I seriously doubt that ANY gesture was actually created by Apple. Again, my opinion, take it as you want.
No matter, the real problem with Apple taking such a stance is that they will fracture the entire usability claim for iPhone/iPad. Apple seems to have taken great care to craft an IMAGE of stable and easy to use device (regardless if that is actually true) and, yet, they want muddy the waters by saying ‘well, OUR apps work simply and you can use these gestures to do this’ but for all other apps, you have to do it this way. Talk about confusion. Imagine if a certain other very large software developer tried that. You’d have all kinds of cries and the European Union launching another dumbass investigation because company X was hiding something from others. Here, Apple will get a pass.
iPad hasn’t been the blemish free, ‘magical’ device you are supposed to believe. Reports of crashing, overheating, wonky virtual keyboard, lack of this, lack of that, etc. Seems that not everyone drank the apple flavored Kool-Aid. I suppose those devices were never washed in the Unicorn tears. The one common problem I’ve read is the sheer heft of the device. Weighing about a pound and a half or so, it, apparently, gets really heavy really quick. Laying in bed or on the couch and holding the device seems to be the real problem with the weight. I’m guessing most will rest it on their laps, like a…gee, what were they called? Oh, yeah, a NETBOOK or laptop.
There are also WIFI problems. It seems the device has problems with routers that are multi-standards (like 802.11b/g) which means pretty much every non-Apple branded router currently for sale. Nice. But, hey, it has AWESOME battery life.
I still want one, but not for five hundred bucks. Or four hundred. I would, however, pay three hundred bucks, since that is what my Zune HD cost me and, I suspect, that the iPad would be a little bit more useful than my Zune HD. I’d still love and use the Zune, though. Perhaps.