x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

An all-in-one iPad? No, thank you

To someone who's just not gadgety, the iPad looks like an intelligent toy posing as a hi-tech necessity.

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I am firmly of the school that believes if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Which is why I can't quite wrap my head around the iPad. As far as I can tell, it's a rather intelligent toy posing as a hi-tech necessity. Chances are I'm missing something, but it seems like an iPod touch that's too big to fit in my pocket. Yeah, please excuse me while I run to the store and give up my life savings for the computer that has no keyboard, the phone that doesn't make calls, the iPod that's the size of my high school yearbook.

Maybe I'm not the target demographic. I'm 28 with disposable income; I've been known to listen to music, and I'm a writer, so I do have an unhealthy relationship with my laptop. But I'm just not gadgety. I have two iPods, both of which were gifts from young men who saw themselves as potential suitors. I have a BlackBerry, which is like the gift that keeps on giving, in that months after getting it, I'm still learning new things about it.

If the iPad is simply a reconciliation of a phone, a music player and a laptop, then I'm afraid I don't get the appeal. I have all three, and I can say with confidence that I have never wished they could be combined into one machine. You want to impress me? Give me a cigarette that improves my health. Invent something that makes walking outside comfortable between April and September. Can the iPad do that? That's what I thought.

Hey, Steve Jobs, you want to help people? Fix the economy. Create jobs. Make an app that prevents my foot-in-mouth syndrome from getting the better of me. An application called iBook was launched along with the iPad. In partnership with some big publishing houses, the program allows the chump who buys it to download books and read them on the iPad. Am I the only person who doesn't find having to read a real book, printed on real paper, irritating? If iBook will help the publishing industry avoid collapse, fine. But is nothing sacred? Is the internet just bleeding to death industries that Apple will then buy, develop an app for and sell back to us? Say it ain't so.

This makes me sound old, which I'm not. But I would like to think I'm wise enough not to be convinced that every time Jobs makes an announcement I have to go out and buy something that combines everything I already own into one. We can each choose to take the iPad or leave it, obviously. I'm just saying I'm going to pass on this one.