Apple’s newest iPad is being released as of this Friday, with its new retinal display that makes for a marked improvement in reading but Apple’s latest is decidedly less than great. Already the new device has serious problems with power usage, heat and an incredibly LONG recharging time but the device summerizes a new Apple aesthetic that is very simple: the device is built around a credit transaction and the internet. To use the device, one loads software, to load software you must use Apple’s App Store, to use the App Store you must use a credit card, to use the credit card you must use an internet connection. Other than having more money to spend on this device, the user should like to type because the setup time for this device is the longest I have ever had for any Apple product and that includes my MacPro.
A real problem for the expatriate user is that they can only access software Apple allows you to purchase and only in the user’s localized market setting. This means that if an expatriate buys an iPad and starts it up here in Korea, they may want to use their local credit card to make a software purchase so that they can do something with their device, however, as soon as they use their local card, they can only access the local Korean Apple Store ONLY in Korean. If you mess around with the settings in another application (iTunes), you can view the iTunes Store in English but you can’t buy things from the American store because you have become Koreanized (you used a silly Korean credit card, didn’t you!), so I hope you have learned enough Korean to browse the approved App Store and can use Apple software in a foreign language. This means the user must have a credit card from America or the EU to access software that has been approved by Apple, for America or the EU AND a seperate Apple account that is linked to that credit card only (no cards from different countries under one account). If the user — frustrated by seeing only Korean and Korean content — tries to change their address to buy from the Apple Store in the US or where ever, they are still stuck with Korean unless they reset their iPad and create a new Apple ID.
Unfortunately Steve Jobs took more with him when he died — Apple is more about the Money now and has less to do with giving people a new way to work and live. Say you don’t like being forced to read Korean only and buying only localized, approved software: contact Apple and they will send you unrelated links on changing the language setting on your iGrab and nothing else; no comment on Apple’s failure to feed people content that might be in English, French or whatever, just localized content for localized products. Finally, let’s say you want to return this turd the next day to the Frisbee Store you bought it from — sorry, you can’t do that either. Maybe your Korean bank will do a stop payment? That works better than dealing with Apple, IMHO.
In short, Latin is applicable here: Caveat emptor. If you need to do work with a portable device, buy any laptop. If you want to read books, buy a book. If you want to watch a movie or listen to music, rent a DVD or use a laptop. If you want a gateway device to help you spend money the way Apple wants you to, buy and keep paying for an iPad.