So I know I rambled on at great length last week about how I’ve converted to the Apple way of life. But I realized that I still have quite a bit more to say. I figured I could have either written an extra long post last week, or I could have just waited and written more about Apple this week. I figured it made more sense to spread my Apple love out.
Rest assured, this blog has not been paid for in any way by Apple. For starters, not nearly enough people read my blog for it to be worth anything to Apple. I would certainly be willing to spend a year writing about how wonderful Apple is in exchange for an iPad. If you or anyone you know works for Apple, please let them know. But as it stands, I am merely writing out of a newfound enthusiasm for their products.
There is a simplicity, an elegance if you will, to iOS, the operating system that powers the iPod Touch, the iPhone, and the iPad. Windows has always been bulky, cumbersome, and not overly reliable. For a long time, I believed that this was how computers were supposed to be. But when I first became aware, a few years ago, of what Apple was doing with Mac OS X, (which is the operating system that they use on their laptops and desktops) I began to wonder if that really was the case.
Of course, Apple’s laptops and desktops were and are way too expensive for me. But I’m not sure that that matters that much any more. When Apple released the iPhone in 2007, everybody realized that it was a big deal. But I’m not sure that anybody really realized how much of a game changer it would be.
Frankly, big, bulky, and cumbersome operating systems like Windows and, to a lesser extent, Mac OS, aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. But they’re becoming increasingly irrelevent and uninteresting. iOS, and other mobile operating systems such as Android and the unfortunately named Windows Phone 7, are the future.
And that future is, to a great extent, now. I have spent a great deal of time lately contemplating how to move all of the computing that I do onto iOS. Ever since the iPad was first announced earlier this year, I’ve heard a great deal of talk about how it is a toy, an accessory, and it can’t replace the computer you already have. I am becoming more and more convinced that, for me at least, this is not true.
I thought a great deal about what I actually do with a computer, and I did a little research, and I realized that there is absolutely nothing that I do on my computer that I can’t do on an iPad. In fact, I already do almost everything on my iPod Touch, and an iPad is basically a large iPod Touch. So I have to think that an iPad would be just about perfect for me.
I do lament the end of an era in my life, at least a little bit. I’ve been a Zune guy for almost as long as the Zune has been around. (Although I never went so far as to get the Zune logo tattooed on my arm. Yes, somebody actually did that. He eventually bought an iPod.) But I finally have had to accept that Zune is the inferior platform. Microsoft has done and is doing some nice things with Zune, and with Windows Phone 7, which grew out of the Zune platform. But frankly, they seem to always be a step or two behind Apple.
Now, granted, Apple pretty much caught the entire tech world with its collective pants down with the original version of the iPhone and with the original version of iOS (which was then known as iPhone OS). But it’s not as if no one has caught up to iOS either. Android, which is made by Google, is rapidly becoming the most popular mobile operating system in the world, and there are a lot of things that it does better than iOS. I would find Microsoft’s lack of urgency in this matter more forgivable if the existence of Android didn’t prove that it is, in fact, possible to match and even exceed Apple.
I really wanted to buy a device that was running Windows Phone 7. I still do. But I can’t afford a phone. And I don’t need a phone. I would be paying at least 50 bucks a month for a service that I can’t use, because I live in the middle of nowhere. And unfortunately, Microsoft dropped the ball and didn’t release a Windows Phone 7 device that was not a phone and thus didn’t require a contract. I simply got tired of waiting for Microsoft to do something that they really should have done two years ago.
So I bought an iPod Touch as something of a compromise, a device to hold me over until the Zune HD 2 with Windows Phone 7 (or whatever) was released. But I find that I don’t really care about Windows Phone 7 anymore. iOS is truly fantastic. And the stuff that sets WP7 apart from iOS isn’t stuff that I really care about. Heck, if the Zune Pass wasn’t such a fantastic service, I wouldn’t have any problem turning my back on Microsoft for good.
So there you have it. I’m now an Apple guy, which is not something that I ever thought I would say. But there is a certain indefinable quality to the products that Apple creates. Just holding my iPod in my hand, I can just sense the care and the craftsmanship that went creating this beautiful little device. It’s a feeling I’ve gotten from my Zunes as well, but never quite to this extent. After all these years of referring to Apple fans as “iSheep” and whatnot, I finally get it.
I still wish that Apple’s products were a little cheaper. But that’s okay. I’ll just save up my pennies, and someday that lovely iPad will be mine. Unless I get distracted by something else in the meantime. Maybe at this time next year I’ll be extolling the virtues of Android. You never know.