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Let’s face it. The iPad is a fad. Yes, I know, millions of people have purchased them. People camp out for days to get one (or two). However, the hype surrounding the iPad and the notion of the “post PC world” is ridiculous.
First, take a look at Apple’s sources of revenue. They take in as much money from the iPad as the Mac. Is anyone saying the Mac has destroyed Windows PCs and has ushered in an age of Mac dominance? Will everyone be using a Mac in a few years?
Indeed, the main business for Apple is the iPhone — not selling apps or content, but selling smart phones. The iPad is doing as well as the Mac, yet it is touted as the future of computing. I do not think this is the case. Tablet computers, as they are now, trade off functionality for form. The apps are watered down. Indeed, I started this site on my iPad 2, but have moved on to my Mac Pro, as there were just too many quirks and limitations. The WordPress app leaves much to be desired. You cannot upload photos or anything on an iPad, via Safari, as the html form upload field is disabled. Indeed, the lack of a browsable file system makes this difficult, but couldn’t they allow you to upload from your camera roll? Who, exactly, is so enfeebled that they can carry an iPad around, but not a laptop? Those two extra pounds are just too much!
I purchased an iPad 2 about 10 months ago. I wanted to use it, in combination with Apple TV 2, as a home media center. Bad idea. I reckoned that since the Apple TV has Netflix and the iPad has Hulu+, and they both have iTunes, my bases were covered. Unfortunately, iOS apps are watered down. I tried to enjoy Netflix streaming on Apple TV, but the buffering is so much worse than the Silverlight based web application. Even if you have a perfect internet connection, Netflix has issues with their back-end. There are all sorts of hops in between the client and server. Buffering smooths this out. The Apple TV app for Netflix has very poor buffering. It is just tears before bedtime.
Hulu+ does not have an Apple TV app, and there are rumors that this is because Apple didn’t want it on their TV platform. It is too much competition with iTunes. Indeed, would you rather watch a show now, for next to nothing, or wait two hours for it to download with iTunes and pay a lot more? So I figured the Hulu+ iPad app would work just fine. It does not support AirPlay (the technology to beam content from your OS X computer or iOS device). However, with AirPlay screen mirroring, introduced in iOS 5.0, you can get Hulu on the big screen. It’s a hack, but it does the trick. (continue…)