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Is The iPad A Disappointment? Depends When You Sold Your AOL Stock.

By - May 31, 2010

iPadresponseJan2010.pngToday’s news that the iPad sold 2 million units in its first two months – coming as it does right before Steve Jobs takes the stage at his only public conference appearance in years outside carefully scripted Apple launch events – led me to reflect on my prediction, in January of this year, that the “iPad would disappoint” (that’d be #5, scroll down).   

In that prediction, which was not without its failures, I wrote:

Sorry Apple fanboys, but the use case is missing, even if the thing is gorgeous and kicks ass for so many other reasons. Until the computing UI includes culturally integrated voice recognition and a new approach to browsing (see #4), the “iTablet” is just Newton 2.0. Of course, the Newton was just the iPhone, ten years early and without the phone bit….and the Mac was just Windows, ten years before Windows really took hold, and Next was just ….oh never mind.

In essence, what I was saying is that the nexus of first wave computing (Windows OS) and second wave computing (the web) had not caught up to Jobs’ vision of the third wave – mobile, multi-touch web-enabled interfaces. I was also hinting at my own bias that voice will become an important part of our interface to machines. Another bias: the assumption that Apple’s tablet would actually attempt to connect the first two waves of computing meaningfully to the third.

I think my prediction was right in the short term (when the iPad was announced, nearly everyone was disappointed at what it wasn’t, see the headlines from January, above), and I was totally wrong in the medium term (the thing has sold two million plus and probably has a shot at being Time magazine’s “man of the year” for 2010). However I still believe I’ll be entirely correct in the long term, in particular if Apple doesn’t change its tune on how the iPad interacts with the web.

Allow me to unpack that last statement.  

What I missed, at least in my initial prediction, was how entirely hermetic and “un-weblike” the iPad would end up being. Like many others, I was surprised at how complete Apple’s disdain is for traditional computing models – including its own Macintosh. The iPad would not be an open development environment – instead it adopted the iPhone model of command and control. The iPad would not allow you to run Mac applications – only iPad/iPhone specific apps approved by Apple would work, and that meant no Microsoft Office, thank you very little. The iPad wouldn’t even let you cut and paste – an innovation Apple pioneered – and worst of all, it seemed, the iPad wouldn’t use Flash – a proxy, as it were, for “the rest of the web that Steve Jobs didn’t quite like very much.”

So initially, anyway, the hue and cry about the iPad amongst the tech elite was decidedly disappointed. The iPad wasn’t a computer! The iPad was just a big iPhone – but without the phone, or even the camera! It’s an overgrown iPod Touch! It breaks the web!

Then it came out, and wow, was it purty. Apple has done it again, we all marveled – the iPad’s genius, it seemed, was that it didn’t try to be a computer – instead, it was a gorgeous device for consumption of media and interaction with apps. And sure, those apps could be web enabled – on the back end – as long as the web was channeled into structured, Apple approved fashion (no third party data sharing, natch). And sure, you could surf the the “real web,” but only if you went through the Apple approved browser, which finds Flash unworthy of rendering.

No matter. The fact is, the iPad is a revelation for millions and counting, because, like Steve Case before him, Steve Jobs has managed to render the noise of the world wide web into a pure, easily consumed signal.

The problem, of course, is that Case’s AOL, while wildly successful for a while, ultimately failed as a model. Why? Because a better one emerged – one that let consumers of information also be creators of information. And the single most important product of that interaction? The link. It was the link that killed AOL – and gave birth to Google.

It was the link that made the web what it is today, and it’s the link – reinterpreted in various new strains – that drives innovation on the web still. The link is the synapse between you, me, and a billion other humans – and the signal (dare I say, a signal one might consider third party data) which allows a million ideas to flourish.

So let me ask you one question, right now: Can you link to an app on your iPad? And I don’t mean a link to download the app on iTunes, folks. I mean, can you create an ecosystem of links, deep into your iPad application(s), links that connect your particular activity stream inside that app with other streams, other links, and other intentions across the web? In ways that create new values, both predictable and unpredicted?

The answer is no. Anymore than you could link to pages deep inside AOL, back when it was a walled garden.

Sure, AOL eventually figured out the web would win, but by then, it was too late.

Next week, Apple will make any number of announcements at its WWDC. I’m hoping the company will announce that it is tacking away from its walled garden approach with the iPad, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Apple makes gorgeous products, but ultimately, I think any product which rejects the web’s core value of connection will simply disappoint. But more likely than not, it’ll be a year or two before that becomes apparent.

PS – If you want a deeper dive on Apple and the web, read this: Will Apple Embrace the Web?  No.

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41 thoughts on “Is The iPad A Disappointment? Depends When You Sold Your AOL Stock.

  1. Glenn Fleishman says:

    “takes the stage at his only public conference appearance in years outside carefully scripted Apple launch events”

    He’s giving the keynote at WWDC, an Apple-controlled event, in a totally controlled environment in which only developers and invited press and analysts will be present. That’s hardly going to be different (except more cheering) than the iPad launch.

    “nearly everyone was disappointed at what it wasn’t”: Everyone being Robert Scoble, tech pundits, and the usual crowd of those who have to say something negative about a company that’s soaring? (I thought the iPad was fascinating, but I didn’t know whether Apple could get people to pony up; the device’s beauty and utility can’t be understated for the right audience, which is an audience of hundreds of millions. Remember that the iPod touch has sold in the tens of millions.)

    Cut and paste: John, it has cut and paste, just like iPhone OS has had for many moons.

    “I mean, can you create an ecosystem of links, deep into your iPad application(s), links that connect your particular activity stream inside that app with other streams, other links, and other intentions across the web?” I actually have no idea whatsoever what this means. Can you unpack this into plain English? iPhone OS allows apps (Web and native) to pull in feeds, combine information, publish it to public sources, etc.

  2. Ron Martinez says:

    John, think you must mean at the end-user level, because at the app level you can hit and integrate data and functionality from a vast number of API’s to accomplish almost anything.

    Your point is well-taken; you can’t link to most apps the way you can link to something on some site (YouTube and Maps notwithstanding). But would argue apps are additive to the medium and the state of the art, not subtractive. The web with its openness and user links and content is still there. (And the iPhone now runs Opera.)

    But now there are apps, too. People like them, and developers and content makers can get paid for them. So couldn’t we say that we’re really in a larger world with more possibilities on this platform, rather than a smaller, more restrictive one?

  3. Se7en says:

    The link? I saw a link in Twitterific on the iPad-touched it-it brought me to your article, which I read, and commented on. On an iPad. How is that not being connected? How did Apple limit me?

    Or is that too simple? Isn’t that the whole point?

  4. I’m fascinated by the constant Apple hatred. As a fairly tech-savvy person, I don’t understand the constant harping on Jobs and his walled-garden approach to Apple’s products. What, exactly, does he owe to the world? To allow anyone out there to manipulate/bend/twist the products that they have worked so hard to create? Should their approach be, “Gee, we spent millions on the development of this product, but here’s the keys! Tear it up at your leisure!”
    He’s a savvy businessman who is working to keep his products in his own hands as long as possible. And if people had better attention spans, they would realize that Apple listens to suggestions and tries to incorporate them into their products (e.g.. cut and paste, tethering, etc). However, they do this on their terms, and personally, I don’t have a problem with that.
    I’m all for opening things up and being more transparent, but Apple is a business and it is their prerogative to run their business the way they like. The market will dictate whether that is a success or a failure. But please stop harping on a company that is on a constant quest to innovate, simply because you don’t agree with the methods they use to achieve such innovation.

  5. Lon says:

    John, can you link to an app on your iPad? NO! Just like you can NOT link to an app on your computer.

    If I’m missing your meaning, I’m sure lots of other are also.

    Now connecting your activity stream happens constantly on my iPad. From foursquare, gowalla, google maps, GPS nav sharing my location, Twitter, Facebook, and numerous other apps that connect with social networks and the web in general.

    Feeling boxed in by Apple’s App policies, simply add your favorite services web sites as icons across our iPad screens and you can enjoy the same experience, sans Flash, on all your favorite sites.

    For example, Google Reader, saved on my iPad as an icon, that launches directly in Safari, provides Google with all the same opportunities to collect my activity, sell ads and monetize my use of their corner of the web.

    I create TONS of content on my iPad. I write blogs posts and short stories, create music, record and edit audio, financial analysis and share it all with friends and colleagues.

    The people that I meet who don’t see the production side of the iPad story are usually people that wish it was more like a PC than what it is.

    Now, if you are getting at the inability to collect user patterns in the iPad OS or Apps and monetize against that data using 3rd party services, I see where you might be coming from.

  6. Hi John,

    The link to the OSNews speculative article does not address how Apple embraces the web – it’s the paranoid ranting of someone who doesn’t know what Apple will do. Apple’s attitude to the web is plain – they want it open and in order to compete they want to have the best browser on the only platform that matters – mobile

    The iPad is not a walled garden except if you have a political agenda which promotes some other way of working – I can understand Adobe and Google and even Microsoft screaming about it but look at the different responses by those companies.

    Microsoft wants to be involved and they’ll not rest until they get a slice of the pie.
    Google is involved but wants the iphone’s success and they’re willing to lie to get there.
    Adobe has cajoled and lied and now, finally, whined to the DoJ that Apple isn’t playing nice with them ( as if it was against the law to not run Flash)

    It’s a great web browser and it runs apps. That’s it. But why people are so incensed by it was covered at our local DevDays conference in Dublin, Ireland. People are seeing success with the iPhone/iPad. Whether it’s appearing in their web logs or whether they’re making money off native apps – it’s ha to ignore. And the drop off rate before you get to the next big competitor is so precipitous that it’s almost not worth the bother by any measure.

    One thing is certain, the product that kills the iPad will have an Apple logo on it.

  7. Peter Jones says:

    Disagree with almost everything you say. The iphone has paved the way for the ipad. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling round the UK and seen how the iphone has permeated the working/lower income classes. Those people now want an ipad. It’s not a computer, it’s not a phone, but it will become the replacement for their home computer. The majority of the world just wants an easy browser to use. They don’t need Word. Windows and PCs have baffled and confused millions of people for too long now. Jobs has given them a basic tool and they’ll buy it in droves.

  8. The iPad is “un-weblike”? I say the iPad is the best web browser yet devised. Also, many of its best apps are rich clients for reading AND publishing web content.

    I’m writing this comment on an iPad, how am I not connected or trapped in a walled garden?

    Have you never used an iPhone or iPad? I’ve never felt more connected, more “webby” than when I use mine.

  9. Nice analysis man! I think that iPad is a great disappointment!

  10. Rowan says:

    So let me ask you one question, right now: Can you link to an app on your iPad? And I don’t mean a link to download the app on iTunes, folks. I mean, can you create an ecosystem of links, deep into your iPad application(s), links that connect your particular activity stream inside that app with other streams, other links, and other intentions across the web? In ways that create new values, both predictable and unpredicted?

    Yes, you can. Much like on desktop operating systems, iPad (and iPhone) apps can register URL handlers – like battellemedia:// . Links using those schemes are passed to the app in question, which can then do with it exactly what it wants.

    This has been in place since iPhone OS 1.0, if I remember correctly; it’s also very easy to set up. However I don’t believe many apps actually use it…

  11. Rowan says:

    Hmm, apologies for the poor formatting there… let’s try again:

    “So let me ask you one question, right now: Can you link to an app on your iPad? And I don’t mean a link to download the app on iTunes, folks. I mean, can you create an ecosystem of links, deep into your iPad application(s), links that connect your particular activity stream inside that app with other streams, other links, and other intentions across the web? In ways that create new values, both predictable and unpredicted?”

    Yes, you can. Much like on desktop operating systems, iPad (and iPhone) apps can register URL handlers – like battellemedia:// . Links using those schemes are passed to the app in question, which can then do with it exactly what it wants.

    This has been in place since iPhone OS 1.0, if I remember correctly; it’s also very easy to set up. However I don’t believe many apps actually use it…

  12. You will take it to the point. The iPAD is a big sham.

  13. Charles says:

    Like many of the above posters I don’t agree with your article either. First of all, you have a web browser so the world of links is open to you. Second, apps don’t live in their own little sandboxes. Photos uploaded in one app become visible on others through the web. Someone tweets from foursquare I can open up the link on Tweetie and it even loads up and iPhone specific screen for the information. That probably isn’t what you mean though.

    Apps can reference other apps and load them up. Safari and You Tube are two that are common. On my laptop apps rarely work that way, so I’d say it’s at least as common on the iPhone/iPad.

    Apple isn’t going to let iPhone OS stagnate, at least not in the short term. The web doesn’t move so fast that Apple is going to be left in the dust with their yearly updates. They are up there on the leading edge and they’ll continue to adapt. Who knows what features Apps may get to communicate with each in the next couple updates.

  14. superme says:

    “The problem, of course, is that Case’s AOL, while wildly successful for a while, ultimately failed as a model. Why? Because a better one emerged – one that let consumers of information also be creators of information.”

    I disagree, you could definitely create information on AOL, own your own AOL keyword, and share to your hearts content. The real thing that killed AOL? The price was too high for what they offered, the internet was a much cheaper alternative. The market spoke with it’s wallets.

    The reason this won’t happen to the iPad? The genius that is the Apple marketing machine will stay one step ahead of criticism, and always have the next (awesome) distraction out.

  15. August says:

    It is funny to see tech people commenting on the iPad. The iPad isn’t meant for tech people – it’s meant for average users, sitting on their couches surfing the web or reading email while they watch CSI:Miami. It’s meant to sit in its docking station showing off digital photos of grandkids until someone grabs it to play a quick game or read an e-book.

    It is not a replacement for your computer. And it doesn’t need to be open and hackable and extendable – most computer users don’t do that, don’t need to and, most important, don’t want to. If you want to hack stuff, use a real computer. If you want to create content, use a real computer. If you want to consume media and information from the comfort of your favorite armchair, use an iPad.

    On a more acerbic note: There is a reason Steve Jobs runs the second largest company in the US and John writes blog articles. I’ll put my money on Steve Jobs’ vision of the future over John’s any day of the week. Steve has been far more right than he has been wrong over the past 30 years.

  16. Lester Puppo says:

    I think the article is great and of course it causes reactions (especially against it) because it shows a totally different insight which might not be the right one but one that exists and can be adapted to reality. In my opinion, it all depends on the way in which we look at things and that means that paradigms are not supposed to be the ones that the masses affirm to be acceptable. Besides, I agree with @August “It is funny to see tech people commenting on the iPad. The iPad isn’t meant for tech people”

  17. Tom J Nowell says:

    It’s obvious you’ve never actually used one, at least not in recent history. iPhones and ipads have had copy paste for quite a while, flash has obvious reasons for not being allowed as demonstrated by the poor performance on Android, and the criticisms of deep linking are not ones of Apple, but of the app developers themselves

    Also keep on mind that voice control is a pariah, no matter how great it is, people don’t want to look like they’re talking to themselves, just look at the number of people walking along with hands free sets down the street, where I am they get odd looks

  18. joe c says:

    Even the Christian Louboutin Shoes spam post had more correct info about Apple than your article did. Jebus.

  19. David says:

    John– I think your comparison between Apple and AOL isn’t accurate. To your negative points about ipad:

    1. the current browsing experience on ipad is superior to consuming the Web on a PC. If anything, the experience is so good that it’s forcing publishers to rethink the need for ipad media apps and their value proposition relative to the browser experience.

    2. with HTML5 deployed soon on all these tablets, you will be able to link within those “apps” to the WWW ecosystem, in a high quality rich media environment.


  20. Jason says:

    It should be made clear that by disappoint, he didn’t mean that it would fail entirely, or that it would be less than a huge commercial success that launches a raft of imitators in a market that has withered as a niche for so long that it seems new. What he meant to say was that the iPad wasn’t the product that he dreamed of.

    John wanted a MacPad, and Apple gave him an iPad. Since he was not making claims as to the success of the product by any real measure, he was not wrong and is not backpedalling in attempting to appear prescient. Thus it is without any bias and in a long tradition of accuracy that he now says that the iPad will be a commercial flop… Later. After it sells millions. or tens of millions.

    I for one believe you!

  21. Omar Khan says:

    I thought you were initially wrong about the iPad. The use case seemed to be missing, but we develop use cases when the technology offers us new ways of doing things. The iPad is a nice way to browse the web at the very least, and it is likely that Apple will improve it with camera and other functionality as they do with all projects. The walled garden is unfortunate, but it does have some advantage of fewer broken apps and a central repository. The fact that so many other firms want to get into this market means that a use case will be brought to bear. I was surprised at a recent Stanford conference to see so many people using iPads as their device to follow sessions, browse and take notes.

  22. Mark Wilson says:

    You are mixing up two different scenarios here. Apple may lock down their applications but what does that have to do with the web really? They have a browser, it supports all the standards (except Flash)
    This World of ‘links’ you describe is the Internet, perfectly accessible through the browser on the ipad. Full fat Applications are inherently tied to systems (usually the OS) and therefore don’t travel well and have limitations. iPhone/ipad had more restrictions than most sure but how does that take away from the completely open standards driven web? It doesn’t.

  23. Mike says:

    Big disagree on almost everything you wrote (except the part where you kind of admitted that you were wrong. Agree with you there 100%.)

    First, I’m a Linux developer and sysadmin. Have been for years. So I love me some open goodness. Second, I worked on designing and implementing Linux tablet computers, so I have some knowledge of just what an open tablet is and does.

    You’re right, the iPad isn’t “open”. Open in the sense that you can sit down and run any old *native* application you want on it. No, to do that you have to go through Apple’s app store and their approval process. That’s kind of annoying, *but*…

    The iPad has a full, 100% web-standards compliant browser (and no, Flash is not a web standard). There is absolutely nothing, *NOTHING* stopping you or anyone else from building a kickass web application that looks and runs perfectly on the iPad. Apple can’t stop you. I can’t stop you. Perhaps a fundamental lack of HTML5 and Javascript knowledge might stop you, but that’s it.

    And, you know, as a Linux developer and general open-software nutball… I’m actually OK with that. Because to me the iPad is not a general purpose computer. It’s an appliance. Just like my stereo system. Which by the way has a CPU in it that I could likely write code for. But there’s no way that Pioneer would ever accept that code (and still honour their warranty). But that doesn’t mean that my stereo is in any way limited – I can still play all the music in the world that I want on it because it’s the content that counts.

    The medium is the message dude. The web is the platform. In that regard, the iPad is as open as anything else out there.

  24. Tracy says:

    John, just one question.

    Did you actually USE an iPad before you wrote this? Because it sounds to me like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  25. Bob Burg says:

    Oh god, a frustrated Windows fanboy just wrote this article. John, give it up. Apple is da bomb, unstoppable…at least for a while.

  26. Peter says:

    Your analogy makes no sense. Apps have existed since computers have existed, and you’ve never been able to link to them. I think you’re really stretching here.

  27. Shane says:

    Great post here. I agree with that analogy but I also think that there is a fair amount of merit to a “walled garden”. If we open up the garden too much, as we will soon see with other tablet-based devices, then you get the same set of issues we see now with PC’s versus Mac’s. If there is an audience, and I believe there is, that does not mind a very controlled and stable computing experience then this is the perfect solution. However, for those that want more openness albeit the potential for headdaches, then there will soon be options for them as well.

  28. Michael Kaufman says:

    Two comments:

    1) For a guy who seems to understand the importance of use-cases (“Sorry Apple fanboys, but the use case is missing”), You sure have hitched your star to a technology that hasn’t found much of one yet (“I was also hinting at my own bias that voice will become an important part of our interface to machines.”). If there ever was a technology looking for a broad use-case, its voice. Do you see it being used in the office? Restaurants? Home (when you arn’t alone)? Perhaps in the car, but I am not sure there is a strong use-case for a tablet in a car anyhow. My rule of thumb is that people who think voice is going to pass any of the existing MMIs, are people who need to think about voice a bit more.

    2) AOL failed because direct access to the Web was far superior to AOL access to the web. At this point, there is no Tablet that gives a better web experience, and desktop access is only incrementally better and getting less so. Flash is nice for some applications, but 2 million sales so far show that people don’t consider it a dealbreaker. As time went on, the difference between the AOL experience and the direct experience got bigger. Do you really think that going forward important web sites are not going to work on the iPad. I hear a lot of talk about people adapting their web sites for the iPad. I haven’t heard anyone yet talking about going the other way.

  29. river says:

    this is a ridiculous comparison and argument. the whole linking thing is a red herring. since when have we had deep linking built into our desktop apps?

    the “walled garden” is the app store. the app store is a curated experience. sometimes not curated very well, and there are many things that frustrate me about that. but for the *vast* majority of ipad/iphone users that end of things doesn’t matter. they can find almost anything they want in the app store, and the apps never break their device in a serious way.

    aol, on the other hand, tried to bottle the web and sell it to (non-technical) people as a safe experience. apple is doing no such thing with the web, which is based on open standards that apple fully supports. but apple sees the web and “closed” apps coexisting and enhancing each other. this is, in fact, how desktop software has worked for a long time. apple controlling publishing and access to apps is not the same as aol bottling the web.

  30. Wouter says:

    Like most of the people above me I wholeheartedly disagree with the points you’re trying to make, I think most of your objections are far-fetched and only apply to a very specific demographic, which is not the main target demographic for the iPad. Sure it has limitations, and surely it will not replace PC’s as we know them, but that’s hardly a problem for people who use the thing as it was intended: an appliance for media consumption, casual entertainment and any other useful tasks that developers come up with.

    That said, I think it is striking how many articles, blog posts, reactions on forum’s, etc. are so narrowly focussed on the iPad’s limitations. This is especially true when they are written by real tech-heads, geeks, whatever you want to call them (I count myself in this group too by the way). Somehow, the trend is to write about the iPad from a very negative viewpoint. It doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that, Apple does such, Apple doesn’t allow so and so… As if anyone expected the thing to be the ultimate device, something that fits any usage pattern, suits everyones requirements and preferences etc.

    Personally, I gave up on trying to defend the iPad on tech forums, apparently the kind of people who frequent them just don’t want to accept the fact that they are a minority when it comes to how and why they want to use computers. Fortunately I read a lot of sensible comments here, so that’s why I don’t mind putting my $0.02 in here.

    I think people should forget everything they ever expected or hoped the iPad would be and focus on the things it does, instead of what it doesn’t. Based on that, they should decide if it is worth its money, and judge the thing on its merits. Myself I’m a real tech-head, I work as a software engineer, I play around with embedded linux, I like mechanics (automotive), I like biology, I like engineering, in other words: I love knowing how stuff works, and how to make things do stuff, how to make things do stuff they’re not supposed to do, etc.

    So you’d expect I’d dislike the iPad, but I don’t, I love it. It does the things I use it for so well, that it already changed my usage patterns, and made me forget I also have a laptop and a desktop. I bought the thing to develop applications for it (still working on one), but at least 10 times a day I grab it just to do a quick round of news, twitter updates, reading/sending some e-mail, looking up stuff I see or hear on TV on wikipedia, etc. I never expected this, but the accessibility of the device is so fantastic that within a day the iPad already changed the way I use the internet, for the better. Also, it’s great fun to see how friends and family members react to the iPad, especially the digibetes and the many Apple-agnostic or even Apple-antogonistic ones. At first most are sceptical for different reasons, such as “I hate computers”, “I know nothing about computers so I probably don’t get it”, “It’s just the next overpriced, overhyped piece of Apple crap”, etc. But within only a few minutes of fooling around with it they _all_ love it, and they _all_ have to acknowledge that it’s a damn nice device for browsing the internet. Even without having a ton of cool apps on it, most of the people I’ve shown the thing to immediately ‘get it’, they understand why so many people who have no affinity whatsoever with computers, would love using an iPad instead of a laptop.

    I think that last paragraph kind of summarizes the point I want to make: people should try appreciate what the iPad can do for ‘normal’ people, people who use computers at work all day, and don’t feel like booting one at home. People who just want to relax, sit down, browse the web, play a game, lookup stuff, stay in contact using twitter, facebook, e-mail, etc, all without the typical annoyances people have with PC’s.

    If every product was treated with so much hostility and from so many negative angles, as the iPad is treated by typical technofiles, every product in existence would suck. There’s just no way (or *need*) to have a product that satisfies everyone, and fulfills every expectation or requirement.

  31. the name says:

    Prediction FAIL == loser

  32. kk says:

    while i disagree with the conclusions of the author, i want to clarify what i think people are misunderstanding regarding “linking” of applications:

    desktop applications are indeed linked at least indirectly through the file system… MS Word can write a file into the file system with a particular path and another application (preview, adobe pdf viewer, papers, etc), can find the file load it up. in this way, you can build your own workflow of applications that does what you need.

    On the ipad, sure, you have some limited linking, an app can load a browser, or a video. but i can’t link two arbitrary (non-apple) applications together.

    apple has started to provide “open in …” capabilities that support some interaction, but each app’s file system is sandboxed so you end up with multiple copies of files for each application.

    This means you can’t build your own workflows, and that’s what ( I think ) the author is talking about.

    hopefully, Apple is listening to the app developers and will begin to provide more app-“linking” capabilities…. i think they will.

  33. Neal O says:

    John, I don’t get your point. I’m happy with my Windows 7 for Office, my OS X for everything desktop and my iPad for media and potability. My iPad is purchased to be the instant on machine that always works and never gets slower, just like my iPhone; something that in my experience Windows and MAC OS will never be.

    I don’t find the iPad as a closed ecosystem, just a reliable consumer device that does a bit of computing when I need a bit of computing.

    Accept the iPad is not for you. However some of us just want an instant on device that just works!

  34. Mark says:


    Amazing clarity of thought you possess. It is clear that you “get it”. Kudos to you. We feel that the ipad is broken from the get go. It is not an enabler, rather, quite the opposite. It forces you to its will and design and that’s just plain wrong. If they had done it right, they would have sold 15 million by now instead of just 2!

  35. Ghd hair straighteners sell well and there are various kinds of ghd such as ghd iv style,pink ghd etc.Ghd uk is specialized in ghd outlet online.Please login we are always welcome your coming !

  36. kevin says:

    First, the iPad includes the Web (sans Flash which doesn’t yet exist in a usable form on a mobile device). And the Web is open.

    So why does every corner of the iPad need to be as open as the Web? Apple has made it clear that there are TWO things going on – the Web, and its curated, as you put it, AppWorld. So why does AppWorld need to be like the Web? Why can’t it be different and co-exist and be an alternative for those who want one?

    You already have the Web. Are you (or is the open Web) threatened by a bit of curated control? If the open Web is so great, will it not in the end win out in the marketplace over the curated control world IF it is really the ONLY GOOD WAY?

    Are you not strangling innovation by pushing to make everything fit inside the Web? Maybe the Web really is not the be-all, end-all of technology.

  37. blank says:

    I think John wants to look inside everyone’s iPad and see everything. And leverage that info into profit.

    The device, as currently enabled, specifically precludes that. Partially from Apple wanting some things kept ‘private’. Which John is wanting to negotiate away.

    THAT is why John is angry.

    Also, I think John has fallen too far under the spell of some MS generated BS about the future. (Which includes his fetish for ‘voice’)

  38. Hannah says:

    I can’t figure out what I’d really use the iPad for. It’s too big for me to effectively use anywhere but at home and I can’t type on it without my hands in an awkward position. I’ll stick with my iPhone.

    But I disagree with John’s assessment about everything going to voice. That may be fine in the privacy of your home, but can you imagine an office where all applications worked by voice. Every cubicle farm office would sound like a call center; only those with private offices would escape. I’ve already been stuck sitting next to people who read aloud or say what they are typing aloud… it’s really annoying.

  39. Tim says:

    The part you have wrong is that AOL didn’t fail because of Google, it failed because of broadband and the internet. AOL started before the internet was easy to get on and before the browsers were very mature. Their closed environment was easy to use, reliable, and full of information. Once IE and Netscape browsers became solid, website content grew up, and broadband made it easy to connect via DSL or cable modems, AOL’s main differentiators weren’t unique anymore. Since the iPad is allowing internet access and apps are created by the public (something AOL didn’t allow), it will still be able to expand and morph with the changes in technology and attitudes.

  40. Splint says:

    I was curious about the iPad and having some disposable income, I purchased one. I have an HP Mini that hasn’t been touched since the iPad came into the house 3 months ago. Everyone that comes over loves curling up no the couch with it. It doesn’t get hot and the battery stands up to all day use.

    Now we use the main PC for games like Sims3 or to type school papers or play music for everyone but it’s rare to see the iPad sitting alone.

    I may not understand it but people love it.

  41. Tom Nolan says:

    Wow…seems to be some damn good points from both sides if you ask me! In reality everyone just has to see how it goes…it may change the world (in a way) it may change very little. As always you have two choices; like it, buy one..don’t like, don’t buy. I do think despite all the killing commerce etc points, Apple deserve a pat on the back though because at least there innovating and launching new products rather than watching what sticks and making your own version.