The iPhone, the iPad and The iPod touch may be wonderful devices but one thing I hate about them is the amount of hyperbole they inspire in people.. including the head honcho Steve Jobs himself. There's been a zeitgeist that Apple is going to depreciate the Mac in favor of iPhone devices. Tonight Steve Jobs said to walt mossberg of the walstreet journal
that this transition isn't going to happen anytime soon and when it does personal computers will still be around just like trucks are still around despite most people using cars for their transportation. In my opinion iPhones and iPads are more like scooters and bikes and or a smart car if you must do a car analogy. Sure they get you around town but they aren't like regular cars or trucks for all purposes.
People on the internet are acting like the personal computer is going away and it's easy to interpret steve's remarks and even apples recent actions that way on the surface. This makes me complain for a number of reasons... and I realize I'm speaking only for myself so with that in mind:Form Factor & Hardware
Sure the iPad or iPhone may be great form factors as a satellite device especially for doing simple tasks away from my desktop. However most of the time I like to create and "consume" on a large screen just like my iMac. Unless I'm on the go using a screen less than half the size of what I use every day doesn't appeal to me even with a bluetooth keyboard attached to it to do long text entry. The only way I can see it working is if they got a lot more powerful, you can dock them into an iMac shell and when it's docked the UI turns into a full OS X. Until then they would only suit my purposes as a satellite device for simple tasks and perhaps a game or two that fits the type of input it provides and mostly when I'm away from home.. and despite what they might have you believe not all games or apps are suited for that environment. Even if they make an iPhone OS device with an iMac form factor there's still problems. I don't want to always have to use a touch screen even on a big screened computing device that I'd do my main computing on. I don't want to have to keep the screen within arms length all the time. In fact I keep my 27 inch iMac's screen just outside of arms length. Nor does having to always touch a screen to do pointing and clicking tasks sound appealing to me both from an ergonomics point of view and from a keeping the screen clean point of view.
I agree with the person in the appleinsider forums who said this:Unless you are an illustrator who paints on a screen with a digital brush like a wacom tablet to mimic free-hand painting or drawing, a touch screen is useless for the intricacies of design. I can't imagine spending all day wearing out the joints and muscles in my whole arm pointing and swiping at a large screen, when a minor move of my wrist with a mouse or digital pen can cover the whole screen, corner to corner while resting comfortably on my desk as opposed to one holding an arm out to the point of muscle failure, like back in the day when corporal punishment was acceptable and teaches used to make kids stand with their arms stretched out as long as they could if they screwed up. Plus the great thing about a monitor vs. paper is you don't have to look around your own hand to see the image you're trying to create as you work. A touch screen is a step back in the evolution of design ergonomics in that respect.Software & Operating System
Certain people may look down upon OS X as somehow being more closed than windows or linux (I don't agree with this except when comparing how many components are open sourced compared to linux but that's another story.. and it being more closed than windows is a laugh). But the iPhone OS is even more closed than windows with its walled garden app store where they dictate what can run on it and what can't unless you jail break your OS. I don't relish using this as my every day OS even with jail-breaking as I'd have to do that with every OS revision and I don't want to do that.
Each application in the iPhone OS is full screen at all times and you have to essentially alt-tab into other applications when you are "multitasking" in iPhone OS 4. It reminds me of the day before the windows desktop operating system rose where all applications where forced to be full screen. My first computer had an OS called Tandy deskmate that was like this and it was a pain to use especially without a mouse. I don't want to return to this and I value being able to do things like have different application windows mixed on the same workspace. Even just simply being able to have several text files open for comparing\copying and pasting and being able to see them all at once is valuable to me. The only things I like permanently full screened are videos and games.
Steve Jobs may be a genius but he isn't always right and the fact is more people are buying the tech he often maligns... namely netbooks than they are iPads. It's not like he's a dictator that can shove things down my or anyone elses throat. If I don't agree with a product roadmap I wont invest in it... put that in your pipe and smoke it Steve. Some people envision Apple phasing out Mac OS in favor of the iPhone OS and that day they have lost me as well because using such a locked down OS as my primary OS doesn't appeal to me no matter how many people jump into that bandwagon... sorry. I see the iPhone OS as more suited to an apple TV device than a macintosh to be honest.
The day they either get rid of OS X or the Mac is the day I'm sorry to say I will be transitioning to systems that will welcome people like me with open arms. If push comes to shove I'll go wherever that may be. I doubt they are going to revise the iPhone OS to cater to people like me as their full time OS anytime soon. You can pry my "truck" from my cold dead hands!