Commentary on “Why are We in Denial About the Flaws of Tablets?”

             Recently, I was online shopping for a new Ipad and came across this article by Christopher Mims of Technology Review. I thought it was particularly interesting because my husband and I have had similar concerns arise with some of the technology that we have obtained in the past five years as well. To begin with, my mother in law has a laptop, not a very practical or up to date one, but nonetheless a run of the mill average laptop. She hated it. So, when we bought our newest Macbook, we gave her our old Ipad (1 year old). Never having had an Ipad or anything apple, she loved the easy to operate system with touch screen. She felt it was very user friendly and in less than a year she had a lot of the shortcuts figured out and was a pro in her own right. However, when the new Kindles came out, despite the fact that she had ibooks on her Ipad, she felt the need to have a Kindle too. 

          The reason for this is what I think Mims was really getting at. Although we are very happy with our Ipads, there are some apps that are better on other devices. Ibooks is a nice application, but on a Kindle, it is easier to hold and it has a new light up screen that makes reading at night easier. Ipad’s screen lights up but it is a little bulkier to hang on to. Now, that being said there are accessories for the Ipad that make it easier to hold, a leather cover that holds like a book but again it still weighs more than your average Kindle. I think that until they come out with a lighter Ipad, the portable readers will continue to sell big.

         The author did make several points about the applications of our Ipads and Tablets and I think that I can only really speak from my own experience. On the Ipad, I never had apps quit or fail to open or upload viruses to my device. However, I think it needs to be said that my husband worked at Verizon and he was very quick to say that the Tablets that are offered are far from reaching the potential of the Ipad based on the inefficiency of the apps. He said that the apps quit frequently and there are numerous bugs that still need to be worked out. That being said, right now I have an iphone and my Facebook app will malfunction on a daily basis. I think overall that the operating systems may need to be updated but mostly the apps need to be fixed to work with both operating systems, which I know is probably still in the near future. I think the apps are more of the problem than the devices themselves.

        Would you agree? Or do you think the flaws lay more in the operating devices themselves?



6 thoughts on “Commentary on “Why are We in Denial About the Flaws of Tablets?”

  1. Alyssa, I think a lot of it is that many of the apps that tie into websites (like the Facebook or Twitter apps) are still reliant upon Flash and other forms of media that Apple has decided not to support. As you see more and more things conforming around HTML5, I think you’ll see some of these interoperability issues begin to resolve themselves on their own. But that’s just me…

  2. Alyssa—
    I struggled in the class where we wrote web code, so all I can speak to is usability and accessibility. You have to admit that nothing is perfect, but the iPad (at least in our house) is the epic tablet. My husband reads on it, I scour pinterest, we watch youtube videos, I plan and grade lessons and homework, and I am sure there are some things that aren’t so great about it, we sure love it! 🙂

  3. In answering your first question (from the title), my denial comes from the hope that I can someday have everything in one device that is light and easy to carry, is rugged as steel, has a big screen that’s easy to read anywhere and for long periods of time, has or connects to a full-sized keyboard, runs on a really-good battery (a few weeks would be nice), uses a sound OS that doesn’t need to be updated every month, features fully functional app options, works as well as a digital SLR, is capable of holding my driver’s license and debit card for me so I don’t have to carry a wallet, and otherwise completely replaces my desktop computer, camcorder, phone and planner. I like digital devices that condense as much as possible into my pocket so it is all there when I need it without weighing me down. The smartphone and the tablet have come closer to meeting my expectations that any other devices developed thus far.

    Regarding your last question, I think the flaws lie in both the apps and OS, and competition will probably always uncover flaws that we didn’t know were flaws a year ago.

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