While reading The iPad Falls Short as a Creation Tool Without Coding Apps over on Wired, I was reminded of that Rich (@rmanalan) has said this a number of times about the iPad.
For many of us, it’s essentially a casual computer/toy because it lacks any tools for creating software. This is the main reason why a tablet won’t be replacing our laptops anytime soon.
This won’t change until Apple relaxes the restriction on apps that include code interpreters other than Apple’s.
Incidentally, the recent focus on movie and music editing tools for iPad seems a bit off to me, considering iPad’s roaring success as a toy. This could be a case where Apple wants to guide the use of its products in a certain direction. Frankly, I wonder how hard it will be to use Garage Band and iMovie on device with limited in/outputs like the iPad.
But anyway, the key quote from the Wired post was one from ex-Twitter developer and current BankSimple (@banksimple) CTO, Alex Payne (@al3x), from a post he wrote when the original iPad was announced:
The thing that bothers me most about the iPad is this: if I had an iPad rather than a real computer as a kid, I’d never be a programmer today.
How true is this for you? I know a lot of you grew up banging out programs on your Commodore 64s and Apple IIs which indelibly set you on the path to geekdom. My family couldn’t afford a personal computer in my childhood, but whenever I was in front of one at school, I was creating something.
The iPad is and from the looks of it, will be a consumption device at least until we see what iPad 3 offers. Tons of parents are buying iPads for their children; after all, it was on the hot list for Christmas 2010.
Do you think it matters that these would-be nerds won’t have programming as an outlet on their computing device of choice? That they won’t be able to take what they learn in CS classes in school and apply it in their own time?
That might be a stretch, given that iPad households have to have a computer of some kind running iTunes. But still.
Alex goes on to say:
Wherever we stand in digital history, the iPad leaves me with the feeling that Apple’s interests and values going forward are deeply divergent from my own.
This hits the nail on the head for me too. The rise of iOS, specifically the App Store, has changed how I view the kids in Cupertino. I’m not mad at them, but we’re not on the same page anymore. Yes, I still rock a Mac and will continue to do so as long as its the best tool for the job.
But, like any good geek, I keep my options open and play the field.
Your turn. The comments, they beckon.