I went kayaking with my mother yesterday, which just goes to show that it’s never too late to take up something new. The subject of the iPad came up. She was wondering whether she would get on with one.
In a shameful reflection of the Apple advertorial, i couldn’t help but repeatedly come back to the phrase, ‘it just works’. Because it does.
There was a time when computing was a labour of love or necessity. I remember (but not happily) the four hours it would take me to set up a new router, or the intricate operations of dismantling the case to insert more memory or a new graphics card. And don’t get me started on endless software configuration, defragging the hard drive and staring at a blue screen. But no more. Sure, if you want to tinker, you can, but if you want a seamless experience, it’s pretty close. Indeed, with the updates in iOs5 you can own an iPad without owning any other computer at all, which is pretty much the closest thing to seamless computing i’ve seen.
No configuration, no worrying about static as you plug in a new chip, no .exe files and registry settings. Sure, you still need to deal with the telecoms people to get your broadband, but that’s about it.
Indeed, no worrying about backups anymore either: the hardware is really almost incidental and, as long as the customer service experience is strong, it really is that simple.
Clearly there is a price to pay for this seamless integration: Apple products work well together, but cost more. Their customer service is generally superb, and tied into one long supply chain for replacement of faulty hardware, but it’s not cheap.
However, for the first time, we really do have an effective, simple, safe and powerful way to be online, and, for many people, young or old, who don’t relish doing battle with technology, that’s enormously significant.