Don’t Try To Make It Something It Isn’t

An IBM PCjr was not a Commodore 64. An iPhone was not a Blackberry. An iPad is not a Mac or a PC. The PCjr, while far more useful than a Commodore 64 for things that were rapidly becoming more important than easily programming sprite graphics in the exact same way it was done on the C64, or using an already-purchased Commodore cassette recorder to save programs, was a bitter pill to swallow for a 14-year old boy who cared nothing about IBM-compatible Okidata dot matrix printers. I didn’t care about writing papers that I could print out for school; I wanted to do what I had taught myself to do, the way I had taught myself to do it, and I needed a C64 for that. Soon enough, however, the capabilities of the PC changed the daily existences of millions, even billions, of people around the world, and the C64 (along with the PCjr) was eventually, inevitably, left for dead.

I also recall years spent in a corporate environment with people who were more obsessed with their Blackberries than any teenager with an iPhone. The thumb-operated physical keyboards blazed away at all hours of the day and night, at desks, during meetings, around the house. Then the iPhone came along, and it had NO KEYBOARD BUTTONS. How IDIOTIC! It may seem hard to fathom for those who did not witness it firsthand, but for a long time, many Blackberry loyalists completely eschewed iPhones. But what the iPhone COULD do, once understood, changed the daily existences of millions, going on billions, of people around the world in the years that followed, once again relegating a beloved technology to the graveyard of gadgets past.

Will the same be able to be written about the iPad vanquishing laptops with desktop OS’s when the annals of tech history are updated at some point in the future? No one can answer that (yet). I can state that I am banging out the letters that form the words which convey these thoughts on an Apple Magic Keyboard paired wirelessly via Bluetooth to a 10.5 inch 2017 iPad Pro, alongside an Apple Pencil which is soon to tap the Publish button in the WordPress interface above and to the right. I have the iPad oriented vertically, in portrait mode, rather than in the traditional pc landscape orientation that is preferred by so many. It is my personal preference to closely replicate the experience of writing in a portrait-oriented pad or notebook, which I am able to freely exercise due to the fact that this is an iPad, not a laptop. The device also affords me the unreasonably delightful experience of slowly flicking the page up and down with the Apple Pencil to linger over what I have written as I write, then to touch the screen with the Pencil tip directly where I want to make a revision, all without having to grasp a mouse and hold buttons down while some primitive, non-True Tone screen featuring Stone Age refresh rates jerkily scrolls up or down as it impatiently waits for a mouse button click to engage a disembodied pointer icon for insertion of a cursor to make a change.

For more than a few iPad users, the choice of device/screen orientation is often removed, dictated by the Apple Smart Keyboards attached to their iPads, forcing the horizontal layout of the screen. Many others simply prefer landscape mode, likely as a subconscious vestige of years of traditional Mac or PC use, or perhaps due to the iPad Pro’s split screen that can be enabled in landscape mode for exceedingly useful multitasking capabilities. In fact, as I sit here typing in portrait mode, contemplating said utility of landscape split screen while I ponder a synonym for the word “beautiful” that I  employed in the preceding paragraph, I just rotated the iPad into landscape and drug a Safari tab over to split the screen and look up a better word than “beautiful.” “Delightful” is much better. There, the change has been made.

And now, after scrolling through my words for one final pass with a screen possessing a buttery smoothness that is still, if you pause to consider it, almost impossible to describe with words, an incomparable experience that is available on no device other than the iPad Pro, I use the Pencil to touch the Publish button.

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