Many of us more experienced users see this as ultimately a bad thing. Proliferation of the 'walled garden' model of computing is antithetical to the idea of an open and free net.
All the devices are walled gardens compared to the net and a bunch of the complaints about it are requests for walled gardens like flash and downloads.
A true open non-walled garden would be something like Google's Chrome OS that only boots to the browser. Completely open, nothing proprietary. Thing is, all your complaints will stand. It isn't a swiss army knife.
Your internet activity differs heavily from mine, then. And no flash? You're telling me that 99% of your internet activity doesn't use flash? I find that hard to believe.
When I'm working no such device is enough for me. For example, I couldn't program on this thing. So in content consumption mode yeah, I don't really use Flash much. It might be used in ads on the pages I am reading but other than that video is really the only use case I have for flash personally and I don't tend to watch video that much on the internet. When I do it's mainly youtube and they redirect those to a local player so it still works.
It's a horrible solution from a theoretical point of view, and yes I absolutely despise what they are doing, but in practice that means that it's very very rare for me to run into something in flash I want to see that I can't. It usually means something like a reddit link to a video that isn't on Youtube.
A browser that doesn't let you download files and doesn't let you use Flash isn't a damn good browser.
Flash is proprietary, HTML 5 is replacing the need for flash as a plugin at all. You shouldn't need plugins for this kind of thing. On a theoretical level a browser without flash is a very good thing.
On a practical level flash has momentum and it's absence is a bad thing.
As for downloading files I wish the world could do less of that. It would make the internet a better place as well if more of that content was just browser-based.
How can you support a computer manufacturer that goes out of it's way to **** innovation over?
The same way you can by owning your iPod touch. I have one single device from this manufacturer.
Defending them from bad arguments doesn't mean I have to support their bad behavior. I absolutely despise Apple's proprietary nature and it is why I avoid their products. However sometimes their product has no great alternative (such as the iPhone right now, but I'm cheering hard for the more open Android platform and if it ever gets there I'll switch) and this will be such a case for a while.
Who is more interested in selling you content (at grossly inflated and unrealistic prices relative to the delivery cost) then they are allowing people to explore and create themselves? It boggles my mind that anyone who is in to high-tech stuff could think this is a good idea.
You are getting hung up on the ideology, which I actually agree with you about. But quit pretending like Apple is the only person doing this. Every company does, just to different extents. Apple is high on my evil chart but this device is the only one in its class right now and I"m defending the concept of the device (which isn't their own, Microsoft has been touting this for a decade but just couldn't get the usability right and the tech just wasn't there).
I am simply not supporting the proprietary nature I despise, I'm countering arguments that don't understand usability and don't understand the concept of this content consumption device. So I'm defending the concept of this device (which doesn't have to be proprietary except in that it's not a computer and isn't supposed to have a kitchen sink on it). Sure, letting it sync with anything (not just itunes) and opening up formats (let flash on etc) would be great but this particular device doesn't
Re: the screen, I note that the Ipad doesn't support HD resolution. That's ******* lame. Movies would look WORSE on this thing then they did on the smaller Ipod.
This is where a kid will be smarter than a geek, instantly realizing that the bigger size is better than the resolution differences. I never really watch video on my iPhone because of the tiny screen. Thing is, I'd not watch video on the iPad either though.
I think the touch-screen keyboard is also lame. Try typing a long post on A2K with the thing while holding it at the same time - are you going to be hunting and pecking?
I think a2k and email is ok, it really hurts when it goes to stuff like programming where you need non-letters more. But yeah, it certainly isn't much of a content creation
device. More of a content consumption
Lots of people read books that don't do very well at content generation either. This kind of device is aimed at getting more of them to use digital and the ability to create content can be a distraction to this purpose (e.g. the keyboard protruding would make them less likely to see this as a book replacement).
I find the keyboard on the Ipod to be cumbersome and extremely slow, I use it on the Ipod because I have to, not because it represents a better input device then a keyboard.
I think it sucks too, but honestly all mobile keyboards suck to different degrees. Before the iPhone I used many phones with physical keyboards and I didn't type on them much either. I used writing recognition (starting with palm etc) and mobile input is always going to be challenge.
Hell, most mobile computing can almost be defined as two problems: battery life and input.
Also, I have a solution to your 'local files' problem -
Costs about ten bucks and works with no internet access. You ought to look into it.
You clearly don't understand the problem if you are suggesting a USB key as the solution and suggesting it's better than my current use of the internet as my storage device. Let me count the ways:
1) USB sticks don't scale. What happens when I have terabytes of files? Amazon s3 just charges me more as I go, USB won't scale.
2) USB sticks are dumb. They can't do things like send those files to another USB stick to back them up. My online storage will replicate my files to different locations around the world so that a whole city can blow up where my data resides and I still have my files in another city.
3) USB sticks only connect to one computer at a time. The way I store my documents in the "cloud" we can edit it together and see our changes live as we type. Just now someone in San Diego and I were writing a document together and we can watch each other's changes as we type. How would you do that with your USB stick?
And then look at these common scenarios and tell me how you do it with your USB stick:
1) I want my email, including state (whether it is read or not) on all my computers. Should I store email on a USB stick or online?
2) I want my contacts syncronized effortlessly (i.e. not plugging into anything) from my computer to other devices. Right now I do this over the internet, and if a change a number on my phone it's reflected on my online version of my contacts. I don't want to have to backup to a USB drive the connection should always be there.
3) I want my online bookmarks everywhere. Do you think I should backup my bookmarks to a USB drive each time I bookmark a site or just put my bookmarks online so they are always available.
The internet connection is network attached storage, I've used a USB drive a couple of times in my life because it's really silly. Dropbox is an example of a simple, free online replacement to a USB drive that you can do much more with.
I personally use Google apps for much of my business needs in the cloud and all I need is a browser to get to it all, a USB stick just isn't going to cut it man.