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Handhelds Portables Apple

The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One 307

HughPickens.com writes: Five years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and insisted that it would do many things better than either a laptop or a smartphone. Will Oremus writes at Future Tense that by most standards, the iPad has been a success, and the tablet has indeed emerged as a third category of computing device. But there's another way of looking at the iPad. According to Oremus, Jobs was right to leave out the productivity features and go big on the simple tactile pleasure of holding the Internet in your hands.

But for all its popularity and appeal, the iPad never has quite cleared the bar Jobs set for it, which was to be "far better" at some key tasks than a laptop or a smartphone. The iPad may have been "far better" when it was first released, but smartphones have come a long way. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and their Android equivalents are now convenient enough for most mobile computing tasks that there's no need to carry around a tablet as well. That helps explain why iPad sales have plateaued, rather than continuing to ascend to the stratospheric levels of the iPhone. "The iPad remains an impressive machine. But it also remains a luxury item rather than a necessity," concludes Oremus. "Again, by most standards, it is a major success. Just not by the high standards that Jobs himself set for it five years ago."
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

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  • by cruff ( 171569 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:26AM (#48923793) Homepage
    Playing Angry Birds is much nicer on a larger screen, and DSLR remote shooting is also much easier with a large screen. With tablets being cheaper than smart phones, it is often a no brainer to just have one also.
    • agreed. gaming on the tablet is generally a much better experience over a phone, but with touchscreen laptops, and convertibles a standard tablet isnt for me. I had a kindle fire HD running CM but i found more and more it just sat collecting dust.
      • by tysonedwards ( 969693 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:12PM (#48924239)
        It is also worth noting here that there is more to this market equation than *just* Tablet vs. Smartphone. Since Q4 2013, Non-Windows Tablets have surpassed the PC (Windows, Mac, Linux, ...) Quarterly Sales Figures. When one factors in devices like the Microsoft Surface, the Fujitsu Stylistic, Motion Computing, and various other Windows-Only brands, said lead of Tablet PC Devices grows further at the expense of traditional Desktops and Laptops.

        One doesn't need to crush Cell Phones or even continue exponential growth to be successful in what Jobs described as the "Post PC World" as Oremus writes in his article. Apple secured for themselves what is effectively 35% of a wholly new market over the past 5 years, where they've previously only been selling 5m PCs a quarter. Other manufacturers like Samsung and Asus too have managed to secure quite large cuts of this new market, as have various "crapgadget" manufacturers for what it's worth. (PCs too have crapgadget manufacturers, so that doesn't feel too much like a new development)

        The fact of the matter is that pressure from Android and iOS has pushed Microsoft to take some very exciting risks as of late, and as such are now looking like they may again be a legitimate competitor in both landscapes that are being increasingly pressured by the likes of ChromeOS, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Thin Clients, People staying behind on old versions of Windows and the like.
        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:59PM (#48924837)

          It is also worth noting here that there is more to this market equation than *just* Tablet vs. Smartphone.

          Indeed.

          Steve Jobs didn't envision in a "Post PC" world that the PC would be dead - he noted there will always be a PC, just that they would do things more suited to a PC than trying to clunkily adapt when forced into situations they were not designed for.

          You have a smartphone, you have a tablet, and you have the PC. The deal is that each does stuff better than the others. What we used to do clumsily on PCs we did better with tablets and smartphones.

          I mean, people like to watch TV away from the TV - pre-iPad, that meant having to watch on a laptop or a phone. The phone was too small, the laptop too big and heavy and uncomfortable.

          Or read a book - you could use a Kindle which works, except when you need color Read it on your phone or laptop is not very appealing.

          There is not one device that's perfect for all tasks. There are things a smartphone will do better than either a tablet or laptop. There are things a tablet will do better than a smartphone or laptop. And there are plenty of things a laptop will do better than a tablet or smartphone. Sure you can substitute one for the other, but the end result is often sub-par.

          Jobs even did the mandatory car analogy - the PC is a truck - a very versatile vehicle that can do tons of things, but to be honest, there are times when a car is far better. And it's why we have a variety of vehicles out on the roads - each has their own place. Sure they could all be replaced with trucks, but the truck can be quite subpar in some respects over a car. Doesn't mean in a "post-truck" world you get rid of all trucks - no, that's stupid. It just means you now have vehicles more suited to different activities.

          • Or read a book - you could use a Kindle which works, except when you need color

            Got to admit I haven't looked at a Kindle in a while, but my Nook, which is several years old now, does color.

            Of course, my Nook (and I'm pretty sure Kindle these days) is basically an Android Tablet when all is said and done....

            • Of course, my Nook (and I'm pretty sure Kindle these days) is basically an Android Tablet when all is said and done....

              True, Kindle Fire is a tablet running the Fire OS distribution of Android. But I think tlhIngan was contrasting tablets with the e-ink Kindle readers, which are more like the Nook Simple Touch.

          • You have a smartphone, you have a tablet, and you have the PC.

            Except some people don't have the PC. Instead of engaging in productive activities that work better on a PC, they do without. One user predicted that this would happen in five years [slashdot.org], but it's happening now [slashdot.org].

            the laptop too big and heavy and uncomfortable

            Even a 10" laptop like the "netbooks" that were in fashion from 2008 to 2012?

            Jobs even did the mandatory car analogy - the PC is a truck - a very versatile vehicle that can do tons of things, but to be honest, there are times when a car is far better.

            To complete this analogy, someone who can use a car most of the time and only occasionally needs to do these "tons of things" can rent a truck, such as a moving truck from U-Haul or a pickup truck from The Home Depot. Is there a

    • by BreakBad ( 2955249 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:34AM (#48923867)

      The portability is nice in the working environment in many situations. Running around 'the factory floor' with a laptop is too clumsy, and fab phones are still to small to view complicated interfaces. I'd like to see kiosks in more coffee shops and fast food places utilize tablets. Also when an intruder breaks into my home I find slugging them with a tablet would be far more effective than hurling a phone at them. I've used it as a snow shovel as well, imagine shoveling snow with a laptop or phone!

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I carry a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga for work, and it's so useful that my wife bought one to be her next 5+ year portable computer.

        We need the capabilities of a full-featured computer. I don't want a light machine, I want a full machine. I want to be able to type when I need to type without having to haul around disconnected third-party accessories that I may lose.

        She wanted an e-book reader, a movie player, a word processor, a spreadsheet, and something that she could run Visio and ANSYS and Autocad on,
        • This is my biggest problem with Android and iOS tablets. The operating systems are built assuming a tiny 4-5 inch screen. Once you have a 10 in screen, there's a whole lot more you could be doing with the device. They both pretty much limit you to a single app at a time. They are both missing key features like mounting network drives, or connecting to printer or other USB device (Android has support for a very limited number of devices). That is why I think the tablet is kind of a stop-gap device that w
          • Why pay $500 for an iPad that can only do a small number of things if you could get a Surfrace Pro that can do so much more

            Because the Surface Pro 3 costs even more than an iPad Air, though a Transformer Book or Nextbook is cheaper. And there are plenty of applications that are on iOS but not Windows, such as games and messaging applications. If the game you want to play is exclusive to iOS, or the family member with whom you wish to communicate uses a proprietary instant messaging application that is available only for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, then a Surface Pro isn't going to be the best choice.

            • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @01:48PM (#48925469) Homepage
              That's why I said they will only be around for a few more years until they can bring the price of the Surface and other similar devices down to the price of the iPad. The iPad is much cheaper if you buy the base unit with 16 GB of storage, of which, only 12 GB are free out of the box. Once you get the 64 GB version, the price starts to move a lot closer to the price of a Surface Pro. And if you have a Surface Pro, that means you have something you can use as a laptop and as a tablet. So if you're OK with just the iPad, and no laptop, then sure the iPad is cheaper. But if you're the kind of person who wants both, which is a large number of people, then buying just the Surface Pro is very cost effective.
        • by JanneM ( 7445 )

          I kind of want the opposite. I've got a big, capable laptop at home, and several computers at work. When I go out, though, I'm not going to do any real programming or make a presentation or things like that when I'm at a cafe with my wife, or sitting on the train home from work. I'll surf the web, read a paper or play games. A tablet lets me do that just fine.

          A small, light laptop has too many compromises; little memory, slow CPU (that gets throttled after more than a few seconds at 100%), small screen and

      • I've used it as a snow shovel as well, imagine shoveling snow with a laptop or phone!

        A MacBook Air would make a great snow shovel. Have you seen the front edge? You could slice cheese with it.

    • Tablets are useful for reading colored PDF files (e.g. research articles), for which eBook readers are not meant (better for breakable text).If I were to buy a tablet, I would foremost go for battery life, the most important feature for reading.

      • Can't speak for the iPad, because the only real interaction I had with one was a day with an iPad 2, which I found a bit heavy. Further, I really do dislike IOS and have since even abandoned my iPhone for a Nexus 5.

        That all being said, I do use my Nexus 7 a lot. For me it is the perfect form factor. A 10" tablet is really too big, and my phone is on the smallish size. I pretty much do all my recreational reading, and a fairly large portion of my work-related reading on my Nexus 7, and it's small enough to b

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        Having just researched the market, battery life takes a back seat to at least a minimum level of durability. We passed on several tablets because they were just too flimsy for a frequent flyer.
      • To generalize this a little: ifI find myself stuck in line with no reading material, I can read another chapter of a novel on my phone (the Kindle app automatically syncs to my place in the book), but I defy anyone to read a textbook or fill out a tax form on the phone.

    • Playing Angry Birds is much nicer on a larger screen, and DSLR remote shooting is also much easier with a large screen. With tablets being cheaper than smart phones, it is often a no brainer to just have one also.

      I agree. Traveling with a tablet, unless you need to do work, is so much easier than taking a laptop. Granted, you can get ultra portable laptops and Microsoft Surface that would be close to the same form factor and weight, but they cost much more. I love that I can watch a 3 hour movie on a plane and still have battery life left over to play games, etc.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Might I add that reading magazines like Car and Driver, Motorcycle, or any other graphics/photo heavy reading material is much nicer on a large tablet.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      and DSLR remote shooting is also much easier with a large screen

      You have a tablet with a DSLR camera [wikipedia.org] in it?

  • Juuust Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:27AM (#48923797)

    Because I want to watch videos, view maps, view pictures, read stories, etc. on an itty bitty screen.

    Tablets are perfect for quick, portable interaction with the internet...email, web, apps like weather, video, etc.

    Phones work, too, but only in a pinch.

    Tablets aren't to big. They aren't too small. They are juuust right.

  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:31AM (#48923837)

    "Just not by the high standards that Jobs himself set for it five years ago."

    Jobs is dead, and Apple just announced the highest profit for a quarter for any company ever.

    They're crying all the way to the bank. =p

  • A lot of us don't need powerful Core i whatever or AMD Phenom something or anothers.

    Most of us could probably get buy with an ARM laptop running some oddball variant of Linux.

    Most of us aren't going to because the experience sucks.

    Even though my iPhone 6+ is plenty big, it's still not big enough and the form factor sucks for reading. Somehow 4:3 is really good for bashing out screeds on slashdot, reading reddit, facebook, writing email, etc. Not to mention specialized use cases like art creation tools and s

  • iPad is a luxury? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:35AM (#48923873)

    How come an iPad is a luxury, but a $700 smart phone isn't?

    I make perfectly fine phone calls on my old RAZR 3

    • by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:43AM (#48923945)

      A $700 smart phone is, too. Here in .us, a lot of the price is buried in your 2-year contract, so people see it as a $200 smart phone.

      Calling it a phone is also a misnomer. It's a small computer that also makes phone calls. If all you want to do is make phone calls, buy a dumbphone. Having a moderately powerful, always connected computer in my pocket is nice--but admittedly, it's still a luxury.

      • A $700 smart phone is, too. Here in .us, a lot of the price is buried in your 2-year contract, so people see it as a $200 smart phone.

        Calling it a phone is also a misnomer. It's a small computer that also makes phone calls. If all you want to do is make phone calls, buy a dumbphone. Having a moderately powerful, always connected computer in my pocket is nice--but admittedly, it's still a luxury.

        $200/month phone.. Oh you get one for free every two years, assuming you pay us $2400.. Yeah..

        • Two things:

          First, that's a helluva wireless plan you've got if it costs you $200 per month per person.

          Second, none of the US carriers (other than T-Mobile) will cut your rate if you bring your own phone. So in that regard, the phone really does cost you $200. Honestly, the way it's structured, you're a fool to bring your own phone since you're paying a subsidy regardless.

          • by alen ( 225700 )

            AT&T has mobile share and separates the price from the phone now if you use NEXT. unless you go traditional 2 year contract. Verizon does the same with EDGE

          • Nonsense. Every carrier offers a bring-your-own-phone plan, and T-Mobile doesn't offer a discount, they just don't offer a subsidized phone option at all. WTF why are you ranting about something you clearly know nothing about?

          • Second, none of the US carriers (other than T-Mobile) will cut your rate if you bring your own phone.

            T-Mobile has been doing it for at least 5 years (it's part of the reason why I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile when I bought my N900), but I think the other carriers are finally starting to implement it as well.

      • Re:iPad is a luxury? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by schlachter ( 862210 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:14PM (#48924263)

        I hate it when people say the iPhone costs $200. I obviously does not. It costs between $650 and $1,050 depending on model. The phone company will let you put $200 down if you agree to finance the rest through them for 2 yrs.

        When I leased my car for $0 down, my car was not free. I have 2 yrs of payments to make on it.

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        Calling it a phone is also a misnomer. It's a small computer that also makes phone calls.

        They are still called phones because that is the primary reason most people carry them around. It may not be what they use it for the most, but it is still the core reason a person owns it.

        Everyone basically needs to have a cellphone in today's world unless they want to deal with many social obstacles. If they have to carry the thing around anyway, why not use it as a computing device as well? The core reason they have the smartphone is still so they can call people and receive calls; they simply have found

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:35AM (#48923877)

    people replace phones every two years. you can keep an ipad at least twice as long. I have an ipad 2 i bought on launch day with a cracked screen that i plan to use for at least another two years if nothing else as a cheap ereader to carry tech books around.

    i will probably buy a refurb ipad air 2 this year when the new version comes out and keep it another 4-5 years as well

    • This post has it right. I've sold, traded, etc my iPads to family members. The tech still works, I have my sisters old iPad now and it's great for surfing the web and writing letters and stories while watching tv.
    • Why? iPads aren't anymore powerful than smartphone. Why would you need to replace your phone after 2 years but not your tablet?
      • With most high-end phones having glued-in batteries now, after a couple years the battery is starting to go.

        Most people don't use their tablets as much, so the battery lasts longer.

    • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @01:12PM (#48925021)
      Just because your contract is up does not mean you need to sign a new contract to get a new phone. If your phone wears out faster than your tablet, that is because you are carrying your phone every day, constantly cycling the battery. Your phone really is nothing more than a small tablet with more wireless options.
    • I've had the same phone for 5 years.

      Keeping up with the Joneses is overerated.

  • Still miss my Asus 901 netbook- Linux, light and took a beating. Easy to travel with, could be used in tight space like plane seats, great battery life and possible to get some real work done. Sigh.

    • Around 2008 when there was this all netbook craze I've owned E90x (the early one with 4GB+16GB flash storage). For the price and form factor it was OK but it had lots of flaws for me - slow processor (Atom @900MHz as I recall), small and slow storage (onboard 4GB was ok but the additional 16GB sucked) also I needed to plug wacky USB dongle to get 3G Internet acces which was inconviniently sticking out on the side. After few months I've given it to my mother so she could play Mahjong and got Lenovo S10...

      Len

  • by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:35AM (#48923885) Homepage Journal

    A client in the construction/demolition industry tells me that tablets are popular with those guys.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:39AM (#48923921) Journal

    I happen to be one of the people who admires many of Jobs' business decisions and ideas. But he was also known to "overshoot" reality at times, with expectations that went beyond what was reasonable.

    I think he was desperately looking for solutions for a "post PC" world, where people would give up traditional computers, in exchange for a superior device. (After all, in the sci-fi "Star Trek" universe, nobody was carrying around a laptop computer, right? The computer was just built in to the environment so you could speak commands to it.)

    I really like my iPad, especially since I started taking the train to and from work each day in a 1 hour long commute. It's the ideal device to read the news on, check email, waste time on Facebook, play a casual game or two on, etc. But it's really just a convenience item in the modern world. It's never been anything much more than a big version of Apple's smartphone, without the cellular voice call features.

    • by smash ( 1351 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:53PM (#48924741) Homepage Journal

      For many casual computer users, the iPad is enough - they do not need a computer. It does video calls, it does email, it does internet banking. With home kit, it will be able to control things in your house. It can do minor photo cropping and effects, basic shopping lists, inventory, and with a keyboard be used for basic documents.

      For many people (Not tech nerds), this is all they want a personal computer for. Thus, the iPad (or any other tablet type device) can replace it. A smartphone is simply too small to be convenient for a lot of those things.

      The flip-side to the things it can not do is the lack of malware, great battery life and silent operation.

  • I have a 4th generation iPad, and I recently bought my first smart phone, an iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone is a great device, I'm really glad to have it. But it's not as usable as the iPad. Mobile versions of web sites are usually less useful than desktop versions, and if I request the desktop version of a site on the iPhone, it's usually too small to read without a lot of panning and zooming. Reading things like books and magazines on the iPhone is also problematic.

    The iPhone's only advantages over the iPad ar

    • So now you know why they don't put telephony capability into tablets - people won't buy both a smartphone and a tablet, but opt for just one of the two.
      • So now you know why they don't put telephony capability into tablets - people won't buy both a smartphone and a tablet, but opt for just one of the two.

        That might depend on how you define people. Nobody who takes themselves seriously is going to use an iPad as a phone in public.

        • Bluetooth headset/handset and voice recognition would let you keep the tablet in a bag/rucksack/etc. and interact with it remotely.

      • My iphone fits well in my pocket. My iPad doesn't. There's no way I'm lugging a tablet around everywhere, with or without phone capability.

  • by Colin Castro ( 2881349 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:46AM (#48923977)
    I myself had a few laptops. IBM thinkpad, that super thin light Dell of the mid 2000's, then I got an iPad. Instantly I was like, "no need for a laptop anymore," (I still had a desktop for power using and torrents) they're great. The iPad even got my mom into computers more than she ever was, internet shopping, email, imgur, etc. is all because of my first iPad. They're great devices, relatively affordable and pretty affordable on the used market. Enough people buy one every year and put them in cases that you can find super clean ones in great condition. I just think that iPads have done a lot more for kids and older parents and grandparents than any other computing device has done in the last 5 years.
    • A side note, I have owned many Apple phones and recently went back to Windows Phones. I was never an Apple fanboy, but I was a Steve Jobs fanboy in that he pushed people (very hard) and they made amazing products. His grasp on what people wanted is why Apple survives today, but the lack of that driving force IMHO will slowly push Apple back to the 90s.
      • by smash ( 1351 )
        What makes you say that? I've been an iphone/mac user since 2007, just upgraded to the iPhone 6 (from a 4s) and I'm still pretty happy with things. TouchID actually works, and rocks for my password manager... the battery life is better than before, voice calls from my mac through it is neat, etc.
  • I don't know who this Hugh Pickens guy is but I bet he's mostly a writer. So I guess he has to write something. So he wrote some stuff which is sorta correct, maybe, and sorta just using "ink" to fill space. It has all the expected characteristics of something placed on a line between two points. For some things it's too x and some things it's not x enough and for some things, it's just right, etc. Yawn.

    And how does he know what Steve Jobs was expecting?
  • by John Bokma ( 834313 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:53AM (#48924041) Homepage

    Is that they don't become obsolete as fast? My mother still uses a iPad 2. I sold my iPad 4th generation to my wife's cousin, and she and I now both have an iPad Air 2. And to be honest, I just sold mine because I could, not because I needed to upgrade to the Air 2. I think the iPad 4th gen I sold will be OK for at least 2 more years. And it wouldn't surprise me if it will get an iOS 9 update. Moreover, it wouldn't surprise me if it will get an iOS 10 update as well.

  • by fractalus ( 322043 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:55AM (#48924053) Homepage

    I have an Android tablet (which I'm using right now to enter this post) and an iPad. I've had both for years and I've done some development for them.

    People DO use these things to be productive, but they are the exception rather than the norm. Part of the challenge is that even five years in our whole thinking about what an application should be has been shaped by thirty years of desktop and laptop devices. Anything that truly needs a keyboard (like writing this post) becomes cumbersome, even with something like Swype or SwiftKey. Pens suck, unless you're using a tablet with proper pen support (Note devices are great for this) but even then, most people don't currently need a pen.

    It's not just the touch thing, though. It's really, really hard to build a good UI for a powerful app, even on a LARGE screen. To do so on a small screen without eliminating "power" features is almost impossible. And those power features are what people really need for productive work. They might only need 10% of them, but if the one they need is missing, that work has to wait until they can get to a larger device.

    I don't think this is incurable, but it's hard to argue that writing a long essay on a 10" touch screen with no hardware keyboard is fun. I know people who use an 11" MacBook Air as their primary coding platform, but I know that I'm far more productive sitting at a desk with a properly-sized monitor and keyboard. (My MacBook Pro plugs in to those things if I have to use it for any extended period.)

    Productivity is all about removing obstacles to task completion. From that perspective, tablets satisfy a very narrow slice of uses and fail miserably at the rest.

    For non-productive tasks, though... I can sit on the couch and look up stuff while watching TV (for those few things I still watch on TV) and the tablet is far more portable for movie-watching, news reading, and light emailing than a laptop, without being as constricting as even the biggest phones are. I don't carry one everywhere but it's definitely one of the things I think of as I'm walking out the door. My kids love tablets (so I regulate their time on them) and being able to video chat with family is a slam dunk.

    You don't NEED a tablet but they are useful. They make excellent primary computing devices for people who ONLY have light computing needs. My late 87-year-old grandmother-in-law couldn't use a computer all that well but she rocked on her iPad.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      And as an owner of a Surface Pro... Microsoft failed at all of those even when they had a proper pen and proper setup.

      It's not the OS or the UI available. It's the Applications. 90% of the applications I need on that Surface Pro suck to high hell in a touch environment. They are designed for keyboard+Mouse and that is how they work best. It's so overwhelming that all surface pro users typically always use the device with a keyboard and a mouse.

      tablet use requires a dramatic shift in programming sty

      • by smash ( 1351 )

        here here!

        I have a surface pro 3 for work and I was also a big downer on the surface devices as a tablet. as a laptop, if you consider them as that they're great. but there's nothing useful i want to run on it that is in metro. Which means continually running classic windows apps, and the classic UI is just abysmal for touch. Even with a pen...

        I think MS has a long way go go to catch up with the functionality provided by Cocoa touch.

  • The screen is just too tiny... even the so-called phablets are too small for that purpose.

    There's nothing that I use my iPad for that almost any other tablet would not do the job equally well, but no phone has a display that is big enough to comfortably view an entire letter-sized page at once. I tend to read a lot of technical books and articles, and panning around the page to look at various points is disruptive to the experience of understanding the content if there are any illustrations on the page t

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 )

    The reason tablets haven't replaced conventional computers is that there are few compelling apps that rely on touch, and the ones that exist are for consumption only. All those commercials we saw in the early days of people doing creative things with esoteric hand motions... yeah, that didn't happen. Not the fault of the hardware, I think, but because those touch-centric content creation apps never really materialized.

  • It is far better for video consumption and document reading. Which is what he was claiming it would be better at.

  • by OldSport ( 2677879 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @11:59AM (#48924093)

    I'd say many if not most people who have smartphones don't *need* them either. If you have a job that has you on the road constantly, working offsite, etc., then you may need one, but a dumbphone is perfectly sufficient for the average person. We've let companies with slick marketing campaigns convince us that we need a LOT of stuff we actually don't need.

  • I know people who have an iPad but not an smart phone or laptop.

    I have been seeing a lot of pieces over the last few days interpreting the plateau as some sort of failure, which I find rather perplexing since what it probably represents is simple saturation and a good device lifespan.

    There seems to be this almost pathological obsession with constant rapid growth and if something is not on the way to dominating it is somehow failing, usually based off people looking around at others like themselves and con
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:00PM (#48924105) Homepage
    My iPad 2 makes for a great alarm clock with an air raid siren that's hard to ignore at 4:30AM.
  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:01PM (#48924113) Homepage Journal

    My iPad is more portable than a laptop, but my iPhone is much better. My iPad is better for book-reading than phone or PC, but a Kindle beats it. If I'm in a hurry, I can post to a forum or answer email on it, but my laptop is better. There are a few games that I play on the iPad, but that just puts it in the "fun toy" category.

  • by flopsquad ( 3518045 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:10PM (#48924199)
    I need my iPad. For me, it is excelling in a critical role that neither phones nor laptops can fill. As a performing musician, I post the iPad up on my mic stand, and the access to music and lyrics triples (or more) the range of songs I can play. Granted, my use case isn't the most common. But there are actually tons of musical performers, and IME they're increasingly turning to tablets to replace sheet music and chord charts.
  • This story should have come from the "well-thats-not-very-exciting dept."! [slashdot.org]
  • The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

    Who are you, Mr Headline, to tell me I don't need an iPad? I think most Slashdot readers are more than capable of making up their own minds on this one.

    Here [slashdot.org] is one Slashdotter who does need his iPad.

    Less op-ed clickbait, more actual news, please.

  • What you don't need is a PC. The majority of PC users don't do anything with their PC/laptop that can't be done with a tablet, and the experience on the tablet blows away the experience on a PC. Saying you don't need a tablet is like saying you don't need a cell phone 'cause your land line works just fine.

    • I disagree. I can post on my favorite forum from my iPad, but it's much easier from my laptop. I could probably update a spreadsheet for my home budget on the iPad, but never have because it's easier on the PC. And, though the iPad is much easier to carry than a laptop, the phone is much more portable, and adequate for most of the stuff I'd use an iPad for.

      The iPad IS better for quick web searches, reading (but not composing) emails, and some games, but if I had to get rid of one of my devices, the iPad

  • Garageband is iPads killer app

  • I bought an HTC Flyer about a year after it came out. I like my HTC phone, I liked the design of the tablet and its enclousure is still one of the best ever built. I mostly wanted to fiddle with it and programm a little for Android.

    Turns out that I used it every day, for real work and leisure on the go. Calendar, docs, portable hotspot, reading, watching movies or short videolectures on the go, listening to music, audiobook, taking notes, playing games, etc. I'm since convinced of the feasibility of tablet

  • My Nexus 7 is used every day while the iPad is somewhere probably with a dead battery. The Mini seems to be a better size for reading, but it's just too large for anything other than a TV replacement.

  • Unless Android tablets have also plateaued or started to decline .. can you actually say we've reached "peak tablet"?

    The people I know with tablets prefer them to a phone for the things they do with it.

    A friend keeps his Nexus 7 on his sofa so that while he's watching TV if he sees something he wants to Google he has it handy. My mother in law uses her tablet for almost everything she'd use a computer for. I still get a lot of use from my Nexus 7 as well.

    I admit, my Android tablet isn't a 'necessity', and

  • by Kazoo the Clown ( 644526 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @12:43PM (#48924613)
    It's the SMARTPHONE that's not the necessity. For >$80/mo given the data plan, I just don't need it. My iPad I pay for once, and can wifi from then on with it. When I need a mobile phone, I have a pay-as-you-go dumb cel phone that costs me $100/yr.
  • .... = smart phone with bigger screen and bigger battery. better for reading on, better for browsing on, better for video calls, just less portable. Can slashdot please try harder at the apple trolling?
  • I bought an iPad first generation not knowing what I would use it for. And indeed, I did not use it much after the first few days. That was until I started reading comic books and magazines on it. Admittedly, this is the only usage I have found for it and it is questionable just how "necessary" it is. I can also read magazines and comics on my laptop or desktop computers but the iPad format is somewhat better. There was a point when I played the strategy game Neuroshima on it but the recent versions run per
  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @01:42PM (#48925397)

    My wife loves her iPad. She doesn't get on her laptop now unless she needs Firefox to access her work's website. For everything else, she uses the iPad. Shopping, watching movies, trip planning, and so on.

    My parents can only use their iPads because they've never use a computer in their life. My mother will try to pinch and zoom on my computer monitor to make pictures bigger.

    Do they need the latest iPad every time Apple comes out with a new one? Hell no. My father is perfectly happy on his iPad 3, he gets his news, Netflix, and DirecTV app. My mother is happy on her iPad 4 because she can watch Youtube, music, and looking up new recipes. My wife is fine with her iPad Air, and she's not getting a new one because I just bought that last year.

    Only person without an iPad is me. I have no need for them, I get things done on my laptop or desktop. I don't need trimmed down apps, I do need full applications and a real keyboard.

  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @03:12PM (#48926309)

    'I don't like tablets and don't think you should either.'

  • by fulldecent ( 598482 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2015 @05:33PM (#48927571) Homepage

    iPad is a single-player device.

    The one in my house displays a pop-up when shoes go on sale that my wife wants or whenever a commit hits any of my GitHub projects. Multiply that by about 50 installed apps and this quickly become a device that is not fun for anyone.

    But sure, for business users and single people, it is just a big phone.

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