Editor’s note: This is a guest post penned by Ethan Nicholas, developer of the million-dollar iPhone game iShoot and the newly released Kim Rhode’s Outdoor Shooting. Before the iPad was even announced, Nicholas was already conceiving his next game with the tablet device in mind.
The Internet is a funny place. After Apple announced its new iPad, I cringed at the hate being directed its way on sites such as Slashdot and Digg. Even the guys at Penny Arcade, whom I normally agree with, said “that iPad presentation had to be the worst thing I’ve even seen on on the Apple stage” and that Apple had failed to make a case for the device.
If you believe them, the iPad is going to be a massive flop.
Well, the unwashed masses on the Internet also predicted that the iPod would be a failure. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.
The iPad is a computer for people who don’t like computers. People who don’t like the idea of upgrading their 3D drivers, or adjusting their screen resolution, or installing new memory. Who don’t understand why their computer gets slower and slower the longer they own it, who have 25 icons in their system tray and have to wait ten minutes for their system to boot up every day.
For what most of these people need a computer for, the iPad is perfect. It doesn’t do as many things as a “real” computer does, but the things it does do it does in a way even non-tech-savvy people can figure out, and there are far fewer ways to screw it up. So if you have managed to convince yourself that the iPad is a useless, locked-up DRM-laden failure of a ‘computer’ before even touching one, I have two words for you:
My mother is a lovely lady in her sixties who is… well, “not computer savvy” is probably a good way to put it. I regularly have to figure out why her computer is running incredibly slowly, or why it won’t print, or any of the million other random things that happen when people who don’t live and breathe computers sit down at one daily.
The iPad is perfect for her. It does exactly what she needs. It will let her watch movies and listen to music and read books on long flights. It will make using a computer fun instead of an annoying chore.
But it also won’t allow her to install umpteen news and weather gadgets that start up on boot and slow her computer to a crawl. It won’t suddenly forget how to talk to a network, or get so confused by all of the software installs and uninstalls that you finally have to break down and reinstall the system from scratch. In other words, my mother’s next computer is going to be an iPad, and I dream of the day when I can finally throw off the oppressive chains of being the one guy in the family who knows how to actually keep a computer working.
And you know what? There are millions upon millions of people just like her out there. They outnumber us. And they finally have a chance to become productive, self-sufficient computer users instead of constantly asking family members to fix their computers or, even worse, keeping the Geek Squad in business.
No, the iPad isn’t for everyone. But I’m going to go on record as saying that, for non-computer-geeks everywhere, the iPad is going to redefine computing.
(Image courtesy of Flickr/Scott Chang)