Shiny Ipad? No Thanks!

For the past couple of weeks I have had a chance to use an Ipad Mini (16GB/WiFi) and compare it to my Android devices. Can’t say I am impressed. To start the mini has but one control button on the front face which takes you back to the home screen and all the apps I tried have no intuitive, easy to find (if any) way to back up a screen or two when navigating the app. When browsing the web the thing insists on popping up the app store (seems to be no way of turning this “feature” off) forcing me to go back to the home screen, re-launch safari and re-navigate to where I was. There is no way and no app that I have found that allows me (like I do on Android) to look at, move, upload/download files on the file system to my pc except through Itunes absolutely abysmal interface. Apple will alow you to view/move and transfer music/video/some apps but only through Itunes. The device is riddled with such annoying Appleisms like the insistence on a single navigation button, it’s only appeal seems to be that it is shiny and catches the eye of the magpie techies. I have since sold my Ipad, won’t be buying another.
The above experience is not limited to Ipads and Ipad minis either but in my view is typical of all Apple devices such as Macs, Iphones, MacBooks and all. All Apple products seem to be vastly overpriced and over rated. They are big, shiny and new (a new Iphone about every 6 months …) even if not always up to date. Apple’s computers are especially annoying in that they cost a ton more than other PC’s, come with the ubiquitous one button mouse (I really hate having to buy a regular wheel mouse when I buy a new computer!) and don’t really outperform other PCs to the extent that would make them worthy of costing 2 to 3 times as much. Yes they have nice BSD unix under the hood (arguably better than Windows in some cases), yes they have big shiny displays (a real magpie feature), yes they have unique software (different not necessarily better) and yes they are hyped so well that evangelists’ line up like crack addicts getting a free fix to get the newest, latest, greatest.
I can however get two shiny new quad-core mega-GB wheel moused PC’s for about the same price as one Mac Desktop. One can run Windows (which my wife prefers) and one can run (any dist) Linux, both with all the bells, whistles and funky features that the Mac shipped with. The software for my two PCs will be more familiar, cheaper (open source is free, yes free, that is $0.00) and found in more stores and places online. As a developer (mostly web and web-app) I also have an issue with Mac’s. While I can cobble together some tools, add-ons and such to make my Visual Studio or Eclipse compile Objective-C, I can’t find any Windows or Linux port of the Cocoa frameworks and other IOS bits, that’s Apple only as far as I can tell. Oh and I would have to learn Objective-C, not really my cup of tea. I could develop stuff for Mac’s, Ipads and Iphones using Java I guess but why bother? The market is small and shrinking, even the die hard magpies are discovering that Android is more fun, better interfaced, more adaptable. Developers are using Eclipse, Java and open source to create slick software for the Android devices. Windows is not out of it either, Windows 8 has some nice features and is catching up fast.
The bottom line? I am not a Mac fan, not an Iphone/Ipad fan, not swayed by shiny new cases, big media circus launches. I am a fan of pure economics, PCs and Android devices are cheaper, easier to work with and on, easier and cheaper to get software for, just as powerful and funky and easier to develop for.


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