Curious Rat

Buying An iPad Mini is Dumb Because 'Apps are Worse Than Websites' →

Betsy Isaacson, reminding us why it's important to link to bullshit sometimes:



Yes, you. You're thinking about buying an iPad mini. And I'm about to ask you — for God's sake, why?

Well, I wasn't going to, but now that you-

I suppose you could say I'm a technological curmudgeon, because I was never all that excited about tablet computers. When the original iPad first came out, I was one of those kids who made iTampon jokes and wondered snarkily how it would be different from a computer without a keyboard.

So you're perfectly qualified to tell people about what they should buy, seeing as how your byline lists you as "technology writer" and not "technological curmudgeon." I can see this forthcoming diatribe being well-reasoned and thoughtful.

Turns out, it's worse then a computer without a keyboard because you can't multitask.

You can't? Good thing I read your article before going to Apple Support, whose Q&A section is littered with bald-faced lies and untruths:

Multitasking in iOS allows you to switch instantly between apps and to resume an app. When you return to an app, you can pick up right where you left off. Multitasking doesn't slow down the performance of the foreground app or drain battery life unnecessarily.

Back to Betsy:

Apps, as far as I can tell, were invented for smartphones because browsing websites on a smartphone screen was infinitely irritating.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with native code running faster than Web apps that required a constant Internet connection to operate.

Given the choice of "website" or "square thing built originally for a smartphone," I'd pick "website" every time.

And this is why you write for the Huffington Post.

For the marginal effort of "sitting up in bed" you could stick a laptop on your lap and play FLASH GAMES on WEBSITES for FREE instead of playing the same games as APPS that you PAY FOR and are WORSE.

Flash games like these time-tested gems everyone remembers? When it comes to gaming, I'm all over titles like "Papa's Freezeria" and "Ray Part 1". Forget Infinity Blade II and its steep price of seven dollars, or addictive word games like Letterpress and its hefty price tag of free. And why would I want to play those iPhone games anyway? They don't require a Web connection or mouse-and-keyboard. Where's the challenge?

Also, all this hoopla about the iPad being more portable? Rubbish. An iPad is about as portable as a MacBook Air, but with a MacBook Air you get an actual keyboard and the ability to, you know, have different windows open at the same time so you can engage in the revolutionary activity of, say, taking notes while watching a video.

I'm surprised the "technological curmudgeon" didn't think of taking notes on paper while playing the video on the iPad. Not FLASH video, of course.

Moreover, are we sure that an iPad mini isn't just a largish iPod Touch being sold for an iPad price?

Seeing as how the iPad mini retails for $329 and the standard iPad sells for $499 and math isn't some voodoo magic invented by a witch doctor in rural Louisiana, yes, I'm pretty sure the iPad mini isn't just a largish iPod Touch being sold at an iPad price.

(Although, unlike a phone, the iPad doesn't come with calling and texting features baked in, so that's a big disadvantage.)

There's no native calling app for the iPad (though Skype could fill the void), but iMessage is a texting app available on all iOS devices. I'm wondering if Betsy has ever used an iPad before, or if she did any research prior to writing this piece, or if she knows how to tie her shoes without having to tell the story of the rabbit going through the hole in the log.

But an iPad Mini doesn't even make movie-watching easier — now you have to squint to watch the movies on its 7-inch screen! And it still doesn't have calling or texting.

Perhaps Betsy needs to hit a LensCrafters at lunch to get her eyes checked. I've never heard of actual complaints from people watching videos on their smartphones - I see commuters do it all the time - and I've definitely never heard of anyone squinting at a seven inch screen before.

But you can see where this is going. There are still four more paragraphs of this FUD-slinging garbage left. I'm not going to pick each of them apart, but I'll give you the highlights:

Also, smartphones can fit in your hand, and my smartphone even comes with a physical keyboard, although I know that's super special and not something every smartphone comes with.

Special. Yep.

At the end of the day, everything I could do with an iPad — miniature or no — I can do with a smartphone.

But wasn't the smartphone awful because of apps you had to pay for and video you had to squint at and a browser experience that was "irritating"?

But what if you just happen to have an extra $459 on hand and can't think of anything better to do with it…"

Hey now - look at Miss Leading here. $459 is the price of the 16GB iPad mini with LTE - not the base model iPad mini with WiFi. Glad to see the Huffington Post ethics department ran through this article prior to publication.

…If you still can't think of anything, go donate that $459 to One Laptop Per Child and give a small child her first computer instead of getting a another gadget/toy for yourself.

Ah, the ol' "give your money to charity instead of spending it on stuff I find stupid" argument. Is the revenue generated by page hits to this article going to OLPC, too?

Didn't think so.