Yesterday, Apple announced the 128 GB iPad 4. I reckon it’s a good idea, giving those who need it extra storage capacity. In my post, I noted that Apple was (not necessarily intentionally) promoting a culture of discarding digital media, purely on the basis of how little heavy users could keep on a device. Although music, movies and TV are increasingly well catered for by the cloud, other content isn’t. Magazines can often (although not always) be redownloaded, but doing so is slow and could impact on capped broadband allocations; anyway, the advantage of digital is having a collection you can rapidly search, which is no good if most of the items aren’t immediately accessible. Elsewhere, apps and games continue to mushroom in size, due to devs doing increasingly complex things on iOS and also the demands of the Retina display. Years back, I thought iOS games approaching 500 MB were going a bit far; now, it’s relatively commonplace for titles to unpack to well over 1 GB. If you’re a keen gamer, you won’t just have one or two such titles on your device—you’ll have dozens, and you’ll be forced to delete some—including all your progress, unless you’ve manually backed it up.
What’s amazing is how few tech journalists get any of this. Tap! magazine deputy editor noted on Twitter that many of them are now making comparisons between the most expensive iPad option (the 3G 128 GB version) and the cheapest MacBook Air (which, note, lacks 3G):
If I am looking at the top-end iPad, then I’m clearly seriously in the market for an iPad. Switching to an entry-level PC won’t tempt me. “If you’re spending $800 dollars, why not spend $200 more?” …on something twice the weight that runs different apps on a non-Retina screen
It’s also extremely clear from some of those criticising Apple’s decision that they don’t use iOS all that much, presumably having dismissed it as a toy, unfit for any ‘real’ work (countered, of course, by the many companies now using iPads for real work in medicine, design, music, and so on). Bolton continued:
In one article, the author says they can kind of understand if you have loads of music or movies. Apps and games completely ignored. Lots of tech writers seem not to care about how people who actually use devices think, only about how the internet responds to announcements.
A big chunk of the tech journalism (and I use that word loosely) industry has yet to enact a much-demanded New Year’s resolution of thinking before typing, rather than just spewing their own opinion into your eyes as fact. Just because something isn’t for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s pointless or stupid, nor does it mean those considering buying it are crazy. To my mind, with the iPad increasingly used by all manner of professionals and consumers alike, it would have been inconceivable had Apple not bowed to the inevitable and offered a larger capacity. But then I actually use iPads rather than just write about them.