Trash Talk Fail – The Tablet That Doesn’t Exist Beats the iPad for Content Creation

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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.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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10 thoughts on “Trash Talk Fail – The Tablet That Doesn’t Exist Beats the iPad for Content Creation”

  1. I have quite a few apps on my iPad right now that I can use to manage my blog / website.

    Blogsy (mentioned above)
    Koder
    GoodReader
    WordPress app
    Textastic
    MarkDown Note

    Just to name a few, then if I need to edit any image I can use Photoshop Touch or iPhoto, video editing I would use iMovie.

    It sure sucks having to only depend on these apps, did I forget to mention these are the same apps I would use on my Mac?

    I agree it is utter bullshit! :)

  2. I take issue with printing. Be honest with yourself – Printing on the iPad SUCKS. AirPrint?! Really? Pretty sure none of the Savin printers I have around the office support AirPrint. Printing to an AD based printer … nope. I have to offload the document to a SMB share and then print from a real computer. As for a broad range of available printers – there’s 5 vendors that support airprint (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356) – and none of those are enterprise class devices.

    1. Agreed that printing isn’t supported at all in the Enterprise and that’s something Apple needs to address, but the printers that do support AirPrint work flawlessly. I just bought an HP model last weekend and it works great….not that I’ve done any printing from my iPad other than a test run. Having an iPad means rarely having to print again. I know that’s a bit bleeding edge but if all your stuff is in the cloud then why would you need to print it, except to give Granny a hard copy of that picture of her grand kids?

    2. Google LanTronix xPrintServer. $150 and I can now print to a number of office printers and color copiers.

      1. Brandon / Sean / Dave – I bow to your knowledge on enterprise printing – but I don’t think Brookwood was talking specifically about the enterprise in his list of shortcomings of the iPad and Android tablets. Also, again, printing could be good, bad, or mediocre on the iPad, but it’s entirely possible. And a heck of a lot more possible than on the range of tablets that Does. Not. Yet. Exist.

        Why should I believe Windows based tablets will handle printing better than the iPad. Because of Microsoft’s impressive track record to date in the mobile arena? Because of the consistent MS approach to the tablet area? Because of how well they’ve so far executed on their tablet plans?

        Please.

  3. Dude is really out in cold about iPad, iPad2 and iPad 3rd Gen

    Oh, I HAD an iPad2 16GB (now iPad 3rd Gen 64GB), but I use:

    Chapters (Notes and Notes written)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chapters-notebooks-for-writing/id384499033?mt=8

    Penultimate (Scratch notes and idea concepts. Digital Scrap Paper)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/penultimate/id354098826?mt=8

    Sticky Notes (FREE stickynote reminders)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sticky-notes-for-ipad/id364899302?mt=8

    Pages (Professional Looking documents and more)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pages/id361309726?mt=8

    ReadleDocs (A wifi USB FlashDrive that doubles as a file reader)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/readdledocs-for-ipad-pdf-viewer/id364901807?mt=8

    AudioNote (Record meeting and then write notes AFTERWARDS, draw too)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audionote-notepad-voice-recorder/id369820957?mt=8

    Keynote (PowerPoint on iPad)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keynote/id361285480?mt=8

    Doodlecast Pro (Sketch it, draw it, this records it. Tutorials?)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doodlecast-pro/id469486202?mt=8

    Snapseed (Tidy up photo correct quickly and easily)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8

    iMockups (Do layout designs on the go)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imockups-for-ipad/id364885913?mt=8

    SketchBook Pro (Not Photoshop, but an art program)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sketchbook-pro-for-ipad/id364253478?mt=8

    idea Sketch (Idea collector and thought layout)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/idea-sketch/id367246522?mt=8

    EasyBeats 2 (POWERFUL Drummachine)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easybeats-2-pro-drum-machine/id364882805?mt=8

    I use all of these on a weekly basis.

    So the iPd 3rd Gen 64GB is nice. Though I see a little performance lag. Not bad, but noted. I use my Canon Rebel T2i with the Camera Kit. I’ll be uploading more photos now. Most do not need touch-ups, but I do like to increase saturation and tweak the contast a bit. Something I USED to have to wait, load images onto the computer, load Photosho (CS2 or CS5) then do the simple editing.

    Snapseed, I just take my SD Card from the camera, then plug it into my iPad Camera Kit, connect it to the iPad, import what images I want and EVEN DELETE the one on the card (you know, some images are only for online and for one use). Then go right into editing. Done in about 40 seconds. Loving it.

    With that said, the iPad isn’t for everyone. If you like to FULL customize the user interface, then it is NOT for you. But if you like to get things completed, have fun and share information with only a few taps and NOT CONTROL+ALT+DELETE yourself into a microTask Manager….

    The iPad ‘Multi-Tool’ is a great choice or any mere tablet.

  4. An Apple oriented blogger complaining about pre-release hype, speculation and predictions … That’s pretty rich, man.

  5. I think this is a great article, and certainly agree with the vast majority of it.

    I also feel that commentor Christopher offers a superb list of well chosen apps (albeit with a great deal of functional overlap between them).

    However I do feel that the iPad still has some notable shortcomings:
    For hard-core programmers there is nothing resembling an integrated development environment.
    The way the iPad handles files often makes it awkward to combine multiple apps into a single workflow, for example when working on both website code and website graphics simultaneously.
    Lack of comprehensive local USB storage connectivity remains a pain, despite my enthusiasm about cloud services. The existence of a functioning but severely limited camera connection kit makes it all the more frustrating!
    Make no mistake, I love my iPad. But the above issues, and a few other infuriating ommissions, such as the absence of a Bluetooth GPS connection profile in my Wi-Fi 2012 iPad and the impossibility of using BitTorrent without jailbreaking, leave me painfully aware of withheld functionality which any laptop or desktop computer already caters for and which any Windows tablet can very reasonably be anticipated as offering (despite how unappealing it may possibly be in its tablet implementation).

  6. M$/Windoze had their chance at tablet computing 10+? Plus years ago.
    It ran a stripped down version of XP, required pens, had little market share and couldn’t get traction anywhere.
    I think the iPads Were so well received was enough time had lapsed that users forgot their problems and disappointments.
    As for windows 8 tablets beating apple, Microsoft courier was their last hope, and that project was canned in 2010.

  7. Of course a very significant point of difference between Apple and Microsoft is that the Apple proposition is a meld of hardware and software which is arguably hardware led. Microsoft themselves rely on a muddle of uncoordinated third parties for hardware and are pitching a software proposition.

    In principle (setting aside the technical impracticability) I’d certainly be willing to pay Microsoft for Windows 8 if it made it possible to dual boot my iPad into Windows and run legacy programs, and I’m sure there are plenty of other people who would too. Would I pay to be able to dual-boot my desktop PC into iOS? I don’t think so…

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