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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The iPad

“What’s that dude doing holding a giant iPhone?” This was my first reaction to the picture to the right when it popped up on my AOL news page.

After watching the demo tape that accompanied the picture, my questions were answered. This man was Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, Inc. and this giant iPhone was the ‘revolutionary,’ new, iPad.

“It’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone,” says Jobs, as he demos the new iPad, flipping his fingers around effortlessly on the nearly 10in. touch screen. The lightweight tablet has both Bluetooth and built in WiFi. [And among many cool features allows you to, thank god, add apps.]

I could begin by commenting on the horrifying nature of the name iPad alone, but what bothers me most about his description of this ‘new invention’ is that, since when do we need to have an “intimate” relationship with a piece of technology? Why does Jobs think he’s being so innovative by introducing a tablet that is essentially a large iPhone that doesn’t make calls? And if I have a laptop, why would I need or want to pay $500+ for an iPad?

Let me begin with the precursor that I am a big fan of Apple. I own both an iPod and a MacBook, but I must say I drew the line when it came to purchasing the iPhone, which in my opinion is a cool piece of technology, but a crappy phone. This is a conclusion I came to only after my 24-year-old brother tried to convert me into becoming an iPhone lover.

When I borrowed his phone for a few days to ‘test drive’ it, I learned a few valuable lessons. One, the iPhone is very fragile. This was the third iPhone my brother owned, having broken his first two by simply dropping them (a weird concept for me, because my Verizon Samsung has survived both a cycle in the dryer and a tumble or two down multiple flights of stairs), and so I was informed to be VERY careful with it.

Two, if you like to drop calls the iPhone is for you. During my ‘test-drive’ I had to re-call almost every person I attempted to talk to. Thus, I’ve concluded that the iPhone is not really a good phone at all because I typically use my phone to make calls, not drop them. I’m not sure what iPhone users use it for: playing Paper Toss or using the iFart app maybe?

I could just be biased about my hatred for the iPhone perhaps because I have a problem with anything touch screen in general. I feel they are unreliable especially with phones, whose touch screens can be easily be broken if dropped and then the phone is rendered unusable. Plus, you have to pay a hefty fee to purchase a new iPhone.

The last thing I learned about the iPhone is that texting becomes a very frustrating experience. Now, I don’t consider myself to have abnormally fat fingers, but apparently they are too big to find the correct keys on the minuscule keypad the iPhone offers. As a result, I created jumbles of incomprehensible sentences when texting instead of the ‘hey wats up’ I meant to type. I guess my point in all this, is that although the iPhone offers a lot of cool things, there are many things it does not offer---and these are necessary things---like a phone making calls.

So, what promises that the iPad will be any different? If it’s anything like the iPhone it won’t be durable enough to make it worth the hundreds of dollars spent for both the tablet itself and its usage fees.

Jobs thinks we are going to find the iPad so revolutionary because it has a big screen that we can see the whole page of internet on (I think I’m doing that on my computer right now?) and …gasp!... we can touch the screen and read books on it! (can’t we do that on a Kindle?) But what about what we can’t do on it, like open multiple tabs at once, watch HD videos or take pictures? Aren’t these things important when the iPad is supposed to be replacing a netbook or laptop?

But who am I to say that the iPad won’t sell or doesn’t have a market? Apple is an undeniably successful company whose technologies take over mainstream culture, even despite the recession. What I do know is this: I certainly do not plan on buying an iTampon… I mean iPad.

-Courtney M. Myers


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