Okay, on any normal day, I wouldn't be caught dead getting sucked into any of the religious debates that are rife in the technology industry. But today, it's starting to get a bit much for me.
The technology industry used to be a community of critics, objectivity and experimentation - tinkerers who were never satisfied with the gadgets in our arsenal until we'd eked every last morsel of functionality out of them. It used to be that journalists actually understood what they were writing about, held their objectivity and clarity above all else. Today though, it seems that Apple's marketing machine [which is never anything short of impressive] has sucked the world's journalists into the techno-lust of their religion and I'm hearing press-release grade reporting on the radio. What the **** is going on with the world? We need some Larry King grade reporters in this industry to get some of this marketing BS back in check. Reporters should understand what they're reporting about!
Everywhere I look, I see articles about how Apple is the harbinger of the end of the mouse era because of their magic touch pad. I'll admit, this sleek looking silver wireless touch pad that sits so alluringly at the side of their equally sexy slimline wireless keyboard is nothing short of gorgeous, a work of art for which I must tip my hat to their hardware designers. But where has everyone's objectivity gone?
Wacom have been making tablets for years, and they too have a range, called Bamboo [check them out at http://www.wacom.com/bamboo/], which is far more versatile and in the exact same price bracket as Apple's magic pad. They've got one that's just touch, one that's just pen and one that's both and all for under $100, they support multi-touch, gestures, their pen supports pressure sensitive graphics apps and a heap of other stuff too. So why then have they not received the acclaim that Apple's getting for this... knock off?
It may indeed be that this is the beginning of the end for the mouse, but please people - get some objectivity. Apple's offerings may indeed look gorgeous [so gorgeous], they may be perfectly usable but this religious attachment to their products is impairing your ability to see through their marketing crap and realize that all they're doing is packaging ideas that are already available [in some cases for quite a while], making them look sexy [which I've gotta admit, they're really good at], making you believe they're more usable and more stable [which in many cases, they're not], marking up the price by 20-50% and telling you that their products are changing the world.
...and you're hanging on to their every word like the nerd at high school hangs on to the pretty girl's every last word in the misguided hope that one day, she'll love you back. Apple are never going to love you back, they care about two things: How much money you have, and how to get you to give it to them. So far, their marketing machine seems to have you in their clutches.
One thing I have got to concede is that Apple do have an uncanny ability to understand what the market is ready for at any given time. They have an almost surreal knack of delivering a product that's dumbed down so far as to be usable by the average 5 year old, and only crippled so far that we will still buy it despite bitter complaints. We will continue to use it, all the while complaining that it doesn't have the quite feature set we really want [AD2P/Tethering/iTunes - quite possibly the shittiest music management system ever released, their BS walled garden app store etc.] and just as we're about to leave and go somewhere that promises us a better life, they give us a few more features - just enough to keep us from leaving, but not enough that we're truly happy about it. It's a classic abusive relationship. "He says he loves me and that he's sorry and he'll never do it again. I can't leave him, how will I support my family?"