If iPads are “post-pc devices” why must I sync with iTunes before I can use one?

- mark 3-06-2011 6:10 am

The FTC should get after Jobs, that's ridiculous.
- tom moody 3-07-2011 1:19 pm

So you're not allowed to have specific software that syncs a mobile device? Your FTC is going to be busy! All those printers that need drivers better watch out too!
- jim 3-07-2011 1:39 pm

But yeah, iTunes is not the finest moment in software development. And you'd think they would get it right since it's so important.

And it will remain important, but I think Apple is clearly moving towards the day when you don't have to sync with a PC. I think this is part of what the giant N.C. data center is for. But booting (and reinstalling from backup) hundreds of millions of devices off the cloud is just not ready for prime time yet. Nobody is doing this that I am aware of. I would guess Apple will get there some time in 2012 or 2013.
- jim 3-07-2011 2:41 pm

The sync, like the store, is all about Apple maintaining control. IMHO.
- mark 3-07-2011 4:17 pm

Yes, agreed. That's obviously their strategy. And it is reinforced by the media deals they have cut with the studios. I guess someone like me who is impressed by what they have been able to do see their desire for control as a desire to create a specific product / experience, while someone very critical of Apple might see the desire for control as merely a greedy attempt to make more money. I guess both can be true, but for me it's the former that makes them interesting. Personally, and as something of a geek, when I can't sync something exactly the way I want because of iTunes restrictions I find it incredibly frustrating. But the market obviously finds something to like, and I don't think it's just because people are stupid and being outfoxed by Steve Jobs. People actually like his products. In large part because of the control he exerts.

But, as I mentioned before, I'm really surprised that iTunes isn't a better piece of software!
- jim 3-09-2011 2:28 pm

The trade-off between the wild, wild west and an encapsulated environment is a recurring theme in technology. There are times when their restrictions make sense in terms of providing a stable, seamless experience. There are other times when the restrictions don't have any visible benefit from the perspective of providing a system that "just works".

For example, why do I have to go through so many gyrations to load my own video on my own iPad? Well, it's not a use case they care about (no incremental revenue). And it creates a hole to be exploited by people who want get content without going through the iStore. It's a stupid restriction driven purely by commercial interests.

Sticking to that example, their focus on products that are platforms for consumption impairs those same products as platforms for creation. The interwebs are best when they're a two way street.
- mark 3-09-2011 11:10 pm

The reason I mentioned the FTC is it (supposedly) regulates false advertising claims, such as saying you're post-PC when you're not.
- tom moody 3-10-2011 3:20 am

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