Of all the nonsense I’ve seen written about how the iPad is a device only for consuming content, a post by Nathan Brookwood at Tech.pinions takes the cake. Here’s his reasoning for why his next tablet will run Windows 8:
Android and iOS tablets do a yeoman’s job when it comes to consuming content, but lack the software tools and hardware features needed to create content. Windows-based tablets, which have been around since 2002, have always included the features needed for content creation, but lacked the easy to use interfaces needed for content consumption. The Metro User Interface in Windows 8 supplies these missing elements, and thus positions Win 8-based tablets as the only ones suitable for those who want to both create and consume content on a single device.
So much to love in there. More than anything, the idea that Windows 8 based tablets are best positioned for those who want to create content, not just consume it. Say what? They’re not best positioned for content creation, or consumption, or any other use at all – because they do not exist yet. They’re due, or more like way overdue, late this year. They’re going to run some Frankentablet mixture of Windows 8 and the Metro UI, which sounds ever so promising. Great call then. You’ll be much more productive in your content creation on your invisible tablet than on the iPad or an Android tablet.
Here’s where Brookwood gets into detail about many of the things that are just not possible, or very near impossible, on an iPad or Android tablet according to him:
“Content Creation” as I use the term applies to a broad range of activities that includes tasks as varied as a student taking notes, a worker recording and distributing meeting notes, a club secretary assembling and distributing newsletters, a teenager spiffing up the audio from a band performance, a webmaster updating a website, and a mother preparing her annual Christmas letter. Contemporary PCs and MacBooks handle such work effortlessly. But, have you tried to accomplish tasks like these on an iPad or Android tablet? The process is at best arcane, and often impossible. Printing from a tablet? Most of the people I know e-mail the files they want to print to their PCs, and print from there. Manage a mail list? Forget about it. iPads and Android tablets work best as “companion devices,” and assume you have access to a PC or MacBook to handle everyday computing tasks. In fact, when I took my new iPad2 out of its box, it insisted that I connect it to iTunes running on a PC or Mac before it would let me do anything.
OK, let’s look at a few of the activities he specifically mentions:
a student taking notes: iPad users are beyond spoiled for choice in this category. There are specialist note taking apps just for students, audio notes apps, handwriting notes apps and apps that let you handwrite and use a keyboard, and numerous good all-rounder type note-taking apps. CourseNotes, Notability, WritePad, and Evernote are just a few that spring to mind straight away.
a worker recording and distributing meeting notes: Same as above – there are lots of good apps for this task.
a club secretary assembling and distributing newsletters: Pages is a feature-rich word processing app and part of the iWork suite for iPad. Quick Office, Documents to Go and other similar apps provide the ability to work with Microsoft Word docs for purposes like this as well.
a teenager spiffing up the audio from a band performance: GarageBand anyone? Or any number of other great music apps for the iPad.
a webmaster updating a website: Blogsy is an outstanding blogging and publishing app that supports a number of platforms. There are numerous good FTP, SSH, VNC and remote access apps of all flavors for the iPad.
a mother preparing her annual Christmas letter: Pages, notes apps, Mail.app – does there need to be a special port that spits out pen and paper for this or where’s the great difficulty?
Printing from a tablet?: Ah yes, wirelessly to a broad range of supported printers with AirPrint out of the box.
The process is at best arcane, and often impossible: Yes, it involves going to the App Store, choosing from a wealth of good apps for each task, and getting on with it. Or making use of an easy, built-in feature. Much easier to get it done over on the invisible Windows 8 tablet. Poor iPad users, we’ve only got 200,000 apps available to find the right ones for all these ‘creation’ tasks. Much better over on a Windows tablet that isn’t available yet, with a fraction of that number of apps whenever it does launch, in the app marketplace where Microsoft has to pay developers to port their apps to its platform.
I spotted Broookwood’s nonsense post after seeing Jim Dalrymple label it as bullshit at The Loop. Complete and utter bullshit.