Ok, so… I’ve been a long time convert to to concepts of computing on-the-go. I had a personal computer growing up, I had a laptop before most other people had a computer in their home, and I had a blackberry before they were usable. I am ‘that computer guy’.
Lately though, computing has changed for me. I no longer even own a laptop. I have a workstation computer and a phone, and nothing in between. Once computing requirements exceeded what was reasonably possible on a laptop, I stopped having a use for them, on a casual or professional level. Over the past few years something changed — The more I picked up web work, the more I needed to work with responsive design philosophies. I had to make sure that a site would work on a monitor, a laptop, a tablet, and a phone. The interface wouldn’t look exactly the same, of course, but the end user would still get a baseline of interactivity.
So I had to get a tablet. Really, the only function I actually have for a tablet is for testing and the dreaded passive content consumption. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some weird tv style programming, but damn… tablets just don’t fit into anything that I do. But, enough people are starting to use them that i at least needed an accessible point of testing. A buddy had an extra Ipad that he sold me for cheap, so I picked it up.
It’s been a few months now that it’s been hanging around the house and I have gotten used to it. I use it often, besides for just testing web rendering. You know what? It kinda sucks. it is good for very few things. You can play a simple game, you can read the content of others, or well, you can watch it. It is a consumption device, pure and simple… and I think that bothers me. With either a laptop or desktop you have the options of creating something. At any given moment you have a complete toolset at your fingertips to write a book. Make a painting. Describe a process or mechanic. The modern phone? Yep, it’s damn handy for text based communication and not much more, but the tablet? You can only interact with elements and mechanics that other people did for you. There is no room for creativity on the device itself. You can use it as a secondary outlet for a project or process, but the shitty onscreen keyboard and ridiculously limited software scope leaves it stranded as a device that you can only consume with. You have no other options. You look at things that other people made, look at things that people thought to create, and you cannot do it yourself.. It’s the modern TV with poor programming that you are not allowed to touch. It’s the new NBC Thursday Night. It’s a goddam Cosby Show rerun for after the year 2000.
They lock you into the pure consumer role with no room for growth. Tablets sicken me.