Restored: No Longer an iPad and iPod Touch Owner

Somewhere around 2004, I remember writing a post [1] about how I saw the need for more ‘internet-enabled’ applications. Essentially – software applications native to a desktop or laptop computer that sends and receives internet-based data. A simple example of this in the Mac world is Mail.app, or Adium, or Tweetie.

At the time I wrote the post, the wins seemed obvious to me;

  • local storage keeps information available even without an internet connection
  • local computing performance is always faster than server-based computing + network latency
  • a local application conserves bandwidth by transferring fewer and smaller assets, rather than entire web pages.

Still today, my workflow primarily consists of interactions with applications that live natively on my MacBook Pro and interact with assets on some server; Mail.app, Adium, TextMate, Sequel Pro, Quicksilver, Calibre, Skype. Web browsers are where I check things, confirm things, identify things. It’s not where I live and work.

So, I was a little surprised when I realized I rarely use any of the more than 2 dozen applications I’ve downloaded for the iPod Touch and iPad. And given a few quiet, idle moments the ones I had any interest in re-opening had some issue – Netflix asked for a password I didn’t have, iBooks nor Kindle had the book I wanted to read, and Music didn’t sync the songs I wanted, and Movies/Video didn’t sync over any video I was in the mood for. In the end I opened up the web browser.

This realization reinforced a sense of stuck and suck I’ve increasingly had with the iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple’s management of their iOS platform.

In that moment, I aborted my ongoing experiments with the iPad and decided to sell it. A sale I completed today.

As I was restoring the iPad to sell, I did the same review of the iPod Touch – noticing the bulk of my satisfying interactions were via its browser – I clicked ‘Restore’ [2].

Yes, this means I am currently sans portable digital media player, address book, calendar, etc [3].

I’ve taken a cursory look around for a new mp3 player – and the Sony Walkmans sound quite promising. Also, the more I investigate, the more the Nokia N900 seems like a really solid all-around device – even comes with Skype pre-installed. Though Nokia’s Ovi app market isn’t as mature as Apple’s App Store or the Android Market – I think I’ll be OK – the default browser is Firefox Mobile.

Add in something like a PogoPlug or TonidoPlug at the home base and the VirginMobile MiFi in my pocket and I’ll have browser-based access to my files and media.

No syncing. No apps. No missing something.

And no longer feeling restricted to Apple’s iOS universe – I feel restored.

Update 21 August 2010.
The most likely iTunes-replacement: Instinctiv. Super minimalist. Reads the pre-existing iTunes library. I love it. And that was before I noticed it’s in the Nokia Ovi store.

Elsewhere:

“My app library–littered with exactly 87 apps I used once and never touched again–now reminds me of a graveyard of defunct company logos from the dot com boom.” – Aaron Shapiro


1. I haven’t been able to find it in any of my archives or in Google – it may be lost to history.
2. It’s now syncing against Jen’s iTunes.
3. It also means I’m reviewing both Songbird and DoubleTwist as a replacement for iTunes.

You should get my email