« | Home | »

New, Shiny, Control Freak

Tags:

The big news here in New York is that I’ve bought an iPad. I’ve been fooling around with it and enjoying the general awesomeness. My preliminary verdict is a. that it is a beautiful toy, objectively expensive but not dear for what it is, and b. that in a couple of years, say by version 3, the tablet will have replaced the computer for most of us, most of the time. Even this version does most non-keyboard-intensive things more intuitively and more prettily and more conveniently than a laptop. The extra-large touchscreen makes you understand that this kind of interface is the future of computing.

I’m not typing this on my iPad, however. That’s because while loads of software is already available for the device, crucial parts of Apple’s own software isn’t. Or rather, it is only available to customers with a US iTunes account. But my account is registered in the UK. This means that I can buy and run pretty much any of the 150,000 existing Apps, except the ones that Apple makes itself. So I can’t use iBooks, Apple’s new ebook shop, or their word-processing program Pages, until Apple deigns to launch the iPad in the UK, and unlocks access to its already-existing software. This is a gigantic pain in the arse and is exactly the kind of thing which Apple-loathers loathe about the company: the mixture of cool attitudinising and Stalinist obsession with control. There is a workaround, involving starting a new iTunes account and using US iTunes gift-vouchers to buy the software, but that is roughly as convenient as carving on stone tablets.

So, back to the election. If the iPad were a British party leader would it be:

a. Nick Clegg, because it’s new
b. David Cameron, because it’s shiny
c. Gordon Brown, because it displays the symptoms of severe control-freakery?

Answer: d., all of the above.

Comments on “New, Shiny, Control Freak”

  1. Phil says:

    in a couple of years, say by version 3

    I wonder. I haven’t played with an iPad, but I do know that it runs the iPhone OS rather than OS X in any form, and the iPhone OS doesn’t multi-task. Which, when you consider that Windows 3 was offering a kind of multi-tasking in 1991, is a bit of a step backward.

  2. outofdate says:

    There I thought the New Yorker was already doing all the free advertising that needs to be done among the well-furnished minds.

  3. cigar says:

    What’s next? “The 10 Most iPaddish MP’s” or “Nick Klegg is the new iPad”, a là “Black is the new White”. If Lanchester’s iPhone/Blackberry addiction gets any worse, he will start writing his LRB articles in 200 character paragraphs…

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • UncleShoutingSmut on Goodbye, Circumflex: Unfortunately this post is likely to leave readers with a very partial idea of what is going on. Firstly, there is no "edict": all that has happened i...
    • martyn94 on The Price of Everything: If it's a joke at anyone's expense, it's surely at the expense of any super-rich who take it seriously. I used to skim it occasionally as a diversion ...
    • mideastzebra on Swedish-Israeli Tensions: Avigdor Liberman was not foreign minister November 2015.
    • lars hakanson on Exit Cameron: Europe will for good reason rejoice when the UK elects to leave. The country has over the years provided nothing but obstacles to European integration...
    • Michael Schuller on Immigration Scandals: The Home Office is keen to be seen to be acting tough on immigration, although I'm not sure that the wider project has anything to do with real number...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Chris Lehmann: The Candidates
    18 June 2015

    ‘Every one of the Republican candidates can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.’

    Hugh Pennington:
    The Problem with Biodiversity
    10 May 2007

    ‘As a medical microbiologist, for example, I have spent my career fighting biodiversity: my ultimate aim has been to cause the extinction of harmful microbes, an objective shared by veterinary and plant pathologists. But despite more than a hundred years of concentrated effort, supported by solid science, smallpox has been the only success.’

    Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border
    20 October 2011

    ‘The battle against illegal migration is a domestic version of America’s interventions overseas, with many of the same trappings: big manpower commitments, militarisation, pursuit, detection, rendition, loss of life. The Mexican border was already the focus of attention before 9/11; it is now a fixation that shows no signs of abating.’

    James Meek: When the Floods Came
    31 July 2008

    ‘Last July, a few days after the floods arrived, with 350,000 people still cut off from the first necessity of life, Severn Trent held its annual general meeting. It announced profits of £325 million, and confirmed a dividend for shareholders of £143 million. Not long afterwards the company, with the consent of the water regulator Ofwat, announced that it wouldn’t be compensating customers: all would be charged as if they had had running water, even when they hadn’t.’

Advertisement Advertisement