I have watched with interest the announcement of the new iPad and the subsequent grumblings about it running too hot or not having an accurate battery icon. I have also seen the over the top descriptions of the new screen. New products always have issues. Technological advances like the new screen always come with some challenges.
While the truth is always somewhere between the headlines, I am sure Apple has a winner in their new iPad 3. Coming out with a product like the iPad 3 with great advances which make you want to buy it now is really what makes Apple the most successful company in the world by any number of measures.
Yet here I am on the Internet about to suggest that perhaps Apple has become the technological equivalent of the soft drink company that Steve Jobs mocked when he got John Sculley to come to Apple.
There is no question that Apple has made lasting changes in way we use and view technology. During my career at Apple many of us were driven by the belief that an Apple product came with enabling technologies which were hard if not impossible to get with other products.
That changed over time, but I do belief that making new powerful technology available to people was part of the reason for Apple's early success. Just look at desktop publishing and printing on laser printers. With the help of Pagemaker and Postscript, Apple was the leader in that revolution.
That Apple has changed and become more successful for the change is unquestionable.
However, do more people buy Apple products now because they are cool and sexy or because of what they can do with them? Are Apple products now just pricey status symbols?
I still use my I5 iMac because there are a few web design and graphic applications that I really like and which I believe add to my productivity.
While we were working at selling our mountainside home in Roanoke, Virginia. I used RapidWeaver 5 to design a website promoting our home. I also wanted wanted to include a slideshow with larger images so I used Shutterbug.
I am pretty sure that if I could get those three programs on a Windows PC that I would give up using Macs. However, I feel no pressure to give up Macs. On the other hand I am still waiting for Apple to deliver a compelling reason for me to keep using Macs. Lion certainly was not it.
I actually have not run into a lot of new Mac users, but I do know plenty of iPhone users and a good number of iPad users. Both are solid products, and many of their users have good reasons for using them.
However there are plenty of alternative products. I am on my second smart phone. My first was an original Droid, and I was very happy with it until it died. The second is a LG Spectrum. The MyTracks App probably was the reason that I stayed on the Android platform. I love maps and GPS. Right now I think the Android platform is ahead of the iPhone in GPS and maps. Also I was familiar with MyTracks, and I wanted 4G so I didn't consider an iPhone for my second purchase.
I haven't seen enough need for a iPad type device to use my own money to buy one. However, I have greatly enjoyed the Kindle Fire that my grown children gave me this year for Christmas. I use it for checking emails when I am sitting in my easy chair. I also do some light web browsing and check the weather in some of my favorite spots.
The most important use that I have found for my Kindle Fire is entertaining our three year granddaughter. After she has been running full steam for several hours, putting puzzles together or drawing on the Kindle is a great change of pace for her. However, I am happy that she only has access to the Kindle when we do our monthly visit. I would rather her spend time collecting earthworms or playing in the water than using any kind of computer, even an iPad 3.
I will give Apple full credit for pulling the rest of the industry into the smart phone and iPad world.
However, I guess the question I really want to pose is, "Has Apple moved to the point of just sugar coating technology so that people want to buy it more because buying the product makes them feel cool than for what it really does?" Of course there is some of that in all technology and technology companies. New products create demand. Without demand technology companies die.
I would be very interested in hearing some feedback from new Apple users.
Do you have an iPad 3? What do you do on it that you can't do on an iPad 2? With all the tiny finger prints on my Kindle Fire, I'm pretty sure the new screen would be wasted on my needs. How has the new screen changed the way you use your iPad?
If you have a new iPhone, what apps are the ones that make the new iPhone essential to you?
And if you are a Mac user, are there Mac specific applications that brought you to the platform? Or did you come for Apple's new iCloud? If you came for iCloud, what do you think of it"
For those interested, my book has been finished for a while. Professional advice that I have received indicates that even if my book is favorable to Apple which I think it is and even if the book doesn't reveal any proprietary information about Apple, which it doesn't, Apple will likely sue me just for the fun of it.
So I will likely self publish, but I am still thinking about the risks. Those who have read the book believe that it offers a very interesting perspective on life at Apple. However, I am not sure that I feel up to being bashed around by Apple at this point in my life so that is the delay.
By the way, I am still grateful to Apple for my career which gave me the opportunity to choose where I wanted to live for much of my life.
Aside from that, the tomato plants are in the ground here on the Southern Outer Banks. Life is pretty good on this watery side of the horizon. The weather has been so good that it is hard not to hear the beach calling.