“So you must have got the 5, how do you like it?”
I looked on confused for a moment,… “Oh, the iPhone 5, yeah I did.”
In a world where tech moves so quickly being asked about a product I’d been using for more than a couple of weeks caught me off guard. (at least that’s my story and not that I’m getting old).
My response, once I got my head around the meaning or the question was simple. “I love it”.
That’s the short answer anyway. The long answer isn’t much different though, all in all a very positive experience. As with anything new if you delve in and immerse yourself in it you can pick it up fast and the subtle changes to the iPhone are such that I hardly notice them until I pick up a 4s or 4 and look at the screen. Where did the extra line of apps go?
I’m getting a little off topic, but bear with me, it’s a short trip down a sidetrack eventually leading to the point.
I am typing this on my iPad, because as I said the world of tech moves quickly. I did a post about that new toy recently (here) so I won’t get into that again, but suffice to say, between the iPad and iPhone 5, my laptop is getting lonely I think, and in reality, the iPhone is being put down more often now in favour of the iPad because I can see more of what I am typing, etc. (again, not because I’m getting old and my eyes are failing) Sure it’s no 60 words a minute but its a pretty good keyboard all things considered, maybe not as good as an actual tactile keyboard but definitely easier to use and transport around when space is limited.
From where I sit, typing away on my iPad or iPhone more than I do on my laptop, I think Microsoft is onto something with their latest foray into the tablet market, the “Surface“. Sure, they are late to the game, but they may be the one pushing the tablet in the direction it needs to go. A replacement for traditional laptops.
Most of what we do when mobile is word processing, gaming or content consumption, and the heavy lifting is done on other devices. As tablets become more and more powerful, the line between them and the traditional laptop fades. Really, the main difference between my iPad and my MacBook Air is the size of the hard drive. If I could get an iPad with a 250 gb drive in it I’d be as happy as a…. well, you know how that expression goes.
Whether its Microsoft’s way with a connectable keyboard, or taking Apple’s route of using bluetooth connected keyboards, the end result is the same, we are quickly heading towards a real shake up in the mobile computing world. Tablet sales are climbing at a crazy rate, seemingly at the expense of laptop sales. Desktop computers settled into their place in the world some time back and will always have their place in the work environment. I don’t see them going away for a while, maybe a shift in the way people use them though, becoming more like a server and storage area for our mobile devices.
As for which tablet will become king? At this point, Apple has a good lead, but Microsoft has its own army of followers that are pretty loyal and will quickly either jump on that train as their first tablet or switch from the Apple one. Either way, the sales will come at the expense of the laptop. Their time is limited as people as well as the business world keep adopting the even more portable tablet. Especially when it comes to travelling, I rarely see laptops being used in airports anymore, it is mostly tablets, and mostly iPads . Sure many people will still keep using laptops, but more as a replacement for a bulky desktop computer than a portable device they carry with them. As with phones, when it comes to tablets, you hitch yourself to an engine and hope you are on the right track, but thankfully another train will be coming along shortly so you can easily switch if you find yourself going the wrong way so their really is no wrong choice.
What’s with all the train references you may ask? Well, its Christmas time and I keep looking at the tree with the battery operated Christmas train slowly making circles around it, between the presents over and over again, the little chiming of Christmas tunes ringing out from the engine. A stark contrast to the laptop’s death knell I’m hearing in my head.