Monday, July 18, 2011

iPad (And Other Tablets) Is Only The Beginning Of A Transition From PC - Post-PC Does Not Mean No PC

Here's a good sobering post from PC World on the iPad (tablets in general) and the post-PC era that we are in.  Rather, than true post-PC, I like to think we're on the transitional period when tablets take a more prominent role in our lives while still have a place in our home and work for the traditional laptop.

Think of it as when we transitioned from typewriter to the word processor on the DOS machines in the early 80s.  You could do a lot of things on a PC but when most people still went to their trusted electronic typewriter for the actual production of documents and manuscripts.  

But as the PC became more sophisticated with the Mac and Windows, we totally abandoned the old ways of writing and only worked on the PC.  We could be headed in that general direction with the tablet.  But for now, a lot of things can still be done better and easier on the laptop.  Typing, for one, quickly comes to mind.

In the post, the author pointed out the typing limitations.  I agree and I've become very comfortable with it in the last year or so.  What I find lack are still some apps that are not quite there yet.  

For instance, this is general a mobile blog, I try to write as much of my posts on the iPad, Android devices, and iPhone.  Call it practicing what you preach and write about.  The transiting between apps on the iPad or Android isn't the easier way to go about this right now.  Apple could be working on a solution in the next iOS update.

There is one thing I like to add.  Keyboards and mices are what we're used to.  We grew up on those two input devices for nearly thirty years.  And they'll be around for a while even as tablet evolve and gain new abilities.  Even now, the Asus Transformer tablet comes with an optional keyboard dock.  Also, Motorola's Atrix on ATT also has a laptop-like dock with screen and keyboard.  They serve to help us and to remind us that we are not just going to quit cold turkey on how we used to work on the PC.  

Why? As humans, we are creatures of habit.  And we can grow comfortable with what we know.  Most of us today grew up using the PC for our education and work.  And while that is likely to continue for a while, the tablet is now being added to that process.  And for the first time ever since the iPad was released, many parents are introducing to their toddlers the tablet rather than the laptop.  

With each year, more and more children will be exposed to the tablet until ten, fifteen, or twenty years later, we will have a generation of children who grows up using the tablet to do their school work rather than the PC.  And their entry into the workforce will compound the roles that the tablet play.  And in ten or twenty years, who's is to say that innovations will advanced far enough that will truly make the PC completely obsolete or relegated it to a corner of productivity that still needed it.

Again, I stress that the PC World post is about specific iPad experience as it is today.  It is not an indictment on the potential of the iPad or other tablets that will come after.  As with anything, transitions take time.  For the post-PC era, it will not be an all or nothing proposition for the tablet.  

Post-PC does not mean no PC.

No comments:

iPad and WWDC Prediction: Apple Will Upgrade Siri And Users Will Not Be Able to Choose Between ChatGPT or Gemini

At this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple is set to unveil major upgrades to its virtual assistant Siri. These enhanc...