The early – and rather fawning – reviews of the iPad have posited it as some kind of wonder-device, apparently capable of revolutionising anything from print media to movie-watching to gaming. While it’s obviously able to do all those things, I’m not convinced that it will genuinely revolutionise any of them. I do, however, think it will have a seismic impact upon the noble art of faffing about.
Yep, the iPad is the lazy person’s tech device of choice, capable of relieving boredom with just a few swipes of the finger. It’s a PC for when you can’t really be arsed getting up off the sofa. It’s a movie or music player for when you can’t really be arsed getting up off the sofa. It’s a games console for when…you get the picture.
It’s likely not really good enough at any of those things to really replace other home entertainment devices. It’s the kind of thing you have as well as a PC, DVD player, games console.
If you think about it, the iPhone’s apps and games are really just time-savers, and the same will almost certainly be true of the iPad. Its games are bite-sized snacks – enough to satisfy your appetite for a short time, but no substitute for a proper triple-A meal. Its apps are there for absent-minded doodling, information shortcuts, things which simply make life that little bit simpler. That’s not a criticism, merely an observation.
It’s the kind of device that demands your attention, but not your concentration: that’s why it’s perfect for messing about with. Ultimately, it’s an expensive but ultra-convenient boredom reliever; nothing more, nothing less.
And that’s what makes it – for idle nerds like me, at least – absolutely bloody essential.