Laura Sydell’s Morning Edition segment about the iPad has some clever quotes and a captivating headline, but misses a crucial distinction: the iPad
may be the end of computing as we know it but not the end of the Internet.
Here are are five reasons her story went awry:
- The closed world of the App Store may be a mistake, but the Internet has enabled cloud-based applications like Gmail, Flickr or Photoshop Online. While you cannot download these applications, you do not need to. That too is a powerful legacy of the Internet.
- Many iPad and iPhone content producers are confusing Apps with Websites. HTML 5 allows the offline viewing of content. If the only difference between a media company’s Apple-approved App and their Website is off-line viewing they are missing the point. App store items should take advantage of something device specific — like the accelerometer or the microphone. Otherwise just make a Web app.
- Flash has nothing to do with the legacy of the Internet. Flash technology is every bit the inaccessible Gated Community that the Apple App store is. Worse still, Flash makes Web-content inaccessible and violates most Web standards. If anything Apple, inadvertently, may be saving the Internet.
- Apple is not marketing the iPad as a replacement for a laptop or netbook. An issue not widely discussed is the fact that the iPad needs to be synced to a computer running iTunes before it can be used. The iPad is meant to be a new kind of device — but most importantly an additional device.
- As long as Safari still has a prominent place on the iPhone the Internet is alive and well. Will the iPad change the Web? Maybe. But if Websites have been created semantically, a new CSS layer will just present the information differently — everything the Internet is meant to do.