I recently picked up an iPad Mini, mostly for the sake of having an iOS device of some variety. It's next to impossible to work in the field I'm in(information technology journalism) without knowing at least something about the Apple side of things, and since all my experiences thus far have been with Windows, Linux, and Android (for some folks those two may be the same thing; for others, not), I figured it was time I got my feet wet.
Some part of me did expect to pick up the iPad and be instantly enveloped by the Reality Distortion Field. I'm not even sure I would have minded all that much if it had been the case. What happened instead was a somewhat milder experience, and in fact an almost disappointing one. While I like iOS and wouldn't say no to other devices that use it, I found my Android 4.1-powered phone to be that much more flexible and useful. (I know, I know: heresy!) Because I'm using the iPad as an adjunct to things and not a centerpiece, I have a bit of distance from it.
It's also hard for me to justify iOS as being technically superior, at least from the outside. Once upon a time, the claim to iOS's fame was that it Just Worked, but as of late, the Android devices I've encountered have Just Worked splendidly too, so maybe that theory also needs to be put to rest. And even apart from one Just Working and the other allegedly not, there are other things that caught my attention:
It's this last part that really clinched it for me. Device ecosystems are becoming almost completely irrelevant. We're not using iOS or Android (or, for that matter, Windows); we're using Netflix and Gmail and Goodreads.
The playing field has all but flattened out between iOS and the competition, with most of the real advantages for Apple now in their hardware design. They do make a good machine, but they're not the only ones who do anymore -- and in a few years, it will matter so little that we'll wonder why we made such a big deal out of it at all in the first place. Well, I know why: it's because, at the time, we really didn't have anything better, or even as good.
(Sent from my desktop PC.)
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind