Our Mums are about to join the web

That new device from Apple (avoiding putting it in the blog post title or body to avoid Googler traffic during the hype cycle) is going to make using the web easy for people who up to know found using a mouse, keyboard and a browser a tad intimidating. Webstats show that iPod Touch traffic has been quite strong and growing and this larger version is going to bring a whole new demographic online who might never use such an onbnoxious pointing device. A device without a “real” OS so no need to install patches, no need to shut down properly, no need to figure out all the shite UI gotchas and so on. A thin piece of glass that we touch and the full blown web and all the data she carries.

I’m sure it’s killing those that want the web acessible only via oily machines and those that somehow “deserve” the web but tough. The majority of people don’t give a shit that you can’t modify the device or Jobs owns their functionality. The same way most people don’t add a big fuckoff exhaust and go faster stripes to their car. Apple’s obsessive paranoia about control gives us devices like the iPhone and the iPad and the proponents of openness give us … the Nexus Phone two years later and One Laptop Per Child. Out of the box, Apple devices work for the greatest number. That really must take the power away from those that are called upon by the family to sort a driver for some device.

A tweet that sums up the massive potential for the device is this:

I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike towards the iPad but I still want one. Imagine – not having to carry anything to class but a slate!

iPhones and iPod Touches are already being bought en-masse by educational institutions. Bye bye school labs and awkward desk setups. Schoolbooks and courseware direct to the device. Art galleries use iPod Touches for multimedia tours. Tate Modern has a great one. Apple from feedback knew the screen on the touch was an issue for lots of further uses of the device so this new device will fill a gap. It will probably impact on the Touch. Apple has shifted 20 million iPod Touches so far.

So, democratisation of the web. Is it open platforms that need an engineer or is it easiest route to get to the web, even if in a “closed” device?

Oh yes and ChromeOS, I think you just got sunk.

13 Responses to “Our Mums are about to join the web”

  1. Steph says:

    Agreed. One of the first things I thought upon seeing the design and specs was that this is the device that would get my dad using the internet for more than printing forms off the Dept. of Agriculture website. With one great exception – there’s no such thing as wi-fi down there and you can only get a dodgy 3G signal at the front of the house.

    I can’t wait to see where it is this time 3 years and see where and how it has been put to use.

  2. Can’t see my mum using this (she won’t use a mobile) but I’d love my dad to get one – perfect for non-business travellers and couch-surfing.

    Still miss flash though

  3. Paul McClean says:

    > A thin piece of glass that we touch and the full blown web and all the data she carries.

    Minus Flash, of course. This is the one thing about it that really gets my goat. On an iPhone, grand, you can probably live without it. It’s forgivable. But on a tablet based ‘multimedia’ device, it’s a crime. It’s more than likely in the pipeline though.

    Also, the lack of multi-tasking is a bit crap, even for a ‘lite’ computer user. The Amiga had this by 1987.

    The Chrome OS reference… I dunno. I think it’s more in competition with Android.

  4. lisadom says:

    I want my mum to buy me one. xx

  5. danger says:

    It’s up to the likes of us to care Damien because we do understand. We can’t send a signal to apple that it’s ok to make locked down computers the norm.

    We can’t let our mums get these.

    etc: http://lifehacker.com/5458690/the-problem-with-the-apple-ipad

  6. GammagOblin says:

    “Is it open platforms that need an engineer or is it easiest route to get to the web, even if in a “closed” device?”

    Microsoft own a patent on this mantra.

  7. On Flash: I think it’s perfectly clear at this point that Apple won’t be supporting this, ever, on the iPhoneOS devices. This is not as bad as it seems, because Flash is probably on its way out anyway; its only major application is video, and there are other approaches to that emerging…

    On multi-tasking, wait and see what is in iPhone OS 4. I’m quite sure the issue will be dealt with though I think they may decide to be clever about it.

  8. danger says:

    Oh, and all mums would be pretty dissapointed that 90% of streaming porn sites would not work.

  9. Joe Scanlon says:

    My mum will finally join the web, but it’s more to do with the fact that we can finally get a bit of a 3G o2 signal in the house in Kerry. Finally dial-up is no more.

    Will take a look at this thing you speak of in 10 years or so, that’s about how far we are behind here.

  10. Nathalie says:

    One of the first things I said when I saw the presentation is that my mum would love it! We’ve given her a second-hand laptop, and although she’s well able to use her phone and Sat Nav, learning all the OS stuff, figuring out what to do with warning and pop-ups and just navigating her way around it just didn’t do it for her. The iPhone screen is too small and fiddly, so this will be much mor eher thing. And my aunt’s thing. And even my Nanny’s thing.

  11. I can see the ads now… Knitting patterns? There’s an app for that! Also, it automatically triggers the kettle to make a nice cup of tea. 🙂

  12. John says:

    Think you hit the nail on the head with this one, the ipad may open up the internet to a new market who were previously scared of the lump of technology in the corner of their living rooms!