The One Thing That Even Techies Haven’t Figured Out About The iPadJun 15th, 2010 | By James Lewin | Category: Apple iPad
Beta News’ Joe Wilcox is eating his words today, saying “I was wrong about Apple iPad”.
He was a vocal critic of the iPad when it was announced, like most tech analysts, arguing that the world doesn’t need the iPad or any other tablet.
After using it though, he’s come to a different conclusion:
The iPad is a remedy for distraction while letting users reap the Internet’s benefits. Apple marketing material makes audacious claims: “iPad is the best way to experience the Web” .
I initially dismissed these claims as marketing fluff, but on reconsideration actually see meaning to them. There is something immersive about consuming content on iPad that does change the Web experience — and that of other media.
Wilcox is brave to announce his change of opinion on the iPad. But, like a lot of people, Wilcox is still missing the bigger picture.
With the iPad, Apple is forking the Web. It’s not just creating a new “way to experience the Web”, but a platform that competes with the Web itself.
The iPad Forks The Web
The iPad’s raison d’etre is forking the Web.
The iPad offers a good Web browser with Safari. But even with Safari, Apple is insisting on forking the Web, making it Flash-free!
The iPad isn’t about Web-applications – it’s about Internet-enabled applications.
Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach of the computer Web browser, Apple is creating a platform of dedicated apps that do one thing really well.
- The BBC News app is a wonderful mashup of newspaper, Web and radio on the iPad;
- Google Maps on the iPad is tactile, interactive, more map-like and gorgeous;
- Reading USA Today on the iPad combines many of the best features of both print and the Web;
- Watching YouTube on the iPad is faster and more immersive, because the dedicated app adapts to the context of your actions; and
- iBooks combines the readability of books with the instant gratification of the Web.
Apple’s also addressing people’s most common worries about the Web:
- It’s making the iPad porn-free, unless you actually look for it;
- It’s offering an alternate Internet platform where you can forget about anti-virus software, malicious applications and crapware; and
- It’s presenting the Internet in a way that’s less scary and confusing than the Web.
Apple is even developing it’s own ad platform for its alternate Web.
Can Apple Fork The Web And Create An AlternaWeb?
Ten years ago, people said that you couldn’t compete with free music on the Web – that digital music stores would never work. Yet Apple created a store that competed with free through innovative design, attention to details and usability.
Now Apple’s competing with the Web itself.
Can Apple really create an alternative to the Web?
A million iPad buyers a month say that Apple’s already doing it.
Is this good or bad for the Internet? Leave a comment with your thoughts!