Tuesday, 15 November 2011

daily life with the zPad

there's been a flurry of posts recently about how a quarter of iPad users hardly use them.

as someone who bought himself a no name Chinese android tablet a few months ago I thought I'd add my $0.02 about it.

First of all I do use it a lot - and I do mean a lot - so much so that the inkjet printed zPad name and banding information has worn off the back.

The way you use it is interesting - all these click and read operations - like email, like google reader, scanning the news on the BBC and Guardian apps, checking the weather, Twitter, all can be done from the lounge room or a chair on the deck, in a way that couldn't be done comfortably with a netbook or full size laptop.

Anything needing more than two lines of text to be written, photo editing, any vaguely serious work remains on a 'proper' computer.

In short, the tablet socializes computer use - just as in the same way reading the paper can be a social activity where one can engage with the cat, pass the device to one's partner if one finds something particularly interesting, wander into the kitchen with it.

I would however still take a netbook travelling in preference because of the convenience of having a keyboard and a set of editing tools, but certainly I could imagine taking the tablet travelling, and possibly a bluetooth keyboard is all that's needed to make the difference.

So, back to the quarter of iPad owners who never use it. The one question that doen't seem to be asked is their pattern of conventional computer use. Those of use locked into the great buzzing booming world of technology forget that there are a lot of people out there with fairly minimal computer skills and who only use a computer because  they want skype, they want a little bit of email and to deal with online banking and billing.

These people probably don't create or consume much in the way of content, nor do they feel the need to.  Just because they suddenly acquire a tablet are they not going to change their behaviour - people on the whole change when they need to, not when the potential exists

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