In case you missed it, a company from sunny Cupertino, CA announced a new product yesterday. The new iPad is said to amaze us and push consumers further into the post-PC era.
The post-PC era sounds all fine and good for the consumers out there sucking up content, replying to emails, and looking at photos, but what about creators? Are they left out of the post-PC era, or can they (we) too use post-PC devices and ideas to create content, products, and things that change our world?
For the creators
I remember when the first iPad came out. Many tech pundits and media said that the device what a “consumption-only” device because of its lack of a physical keyboard, camera, etc. No one could really create anything on this thing. Then we saw
Creators need tools that can react to input and changes immediately[1. Thanks to Mr. Schechter for the link], showing them what they are in the process of creating. Creators need tools that are ubiquitous and easy to use. To think that someone can’t possibly create something because they aren’t “doing it the hard way” is starting to be an annoying remnant of curmudgeons that are showing that they are afraid of the future.
The new tools like iPhoto, iMovie, and the iWorks suite show us that we can use thin, light, and “limited” devices to create. We are slowly seeing that we won’t need bloated devices, 8GB of RAM, and spec crazy devices to create with.
The fact is that creators want tools they don’t have to think about and that get the job done. If it is in the form of dictating to an iPad, using a Bluetooth 4.0 pressure-sensitive stylus, or just a plain old wireless keyboard then that is awesome. If technology is reducing the friction of creation by giving us easier and more beautiful tools to use, then that is the new way to create.
What about programmers and technologists?
Programming on the iPad (or any tablet/post-PC device) is a bit of a bear and something that hasn’t been fully paid attention to yet. Other than remotely connecting to another PC, Mac, or Linux box and using your device as a dumb terminal, there isn’t really any way to compile and create software directly on the device. Other than programming, tasks like creating documentation, project plans, flow charts, business proposals, etc. But this is mostly “administration” type of work, not technological creation.
As of now, technologists and programmers are still tied to their Macs and PCs until there is a good way to incorporate all of their powerful tools on a post-PC era type of device. Sure, we can use remote facilities of our devices to program, compile, and even push code out for consumers to use, but there is not yet a way to do all of this natively.
In due time.
Being a creator now
It’s not easy to be a full-time, post-PC era creator. But neither is being a creator, developer, or technologist in general.
This is a new time and place and we are still feeling it out. It’s still the early days and as of now, it appears much easier to be a consumer. The tools will definitely get better as we the creators demand them and create them for each other. So, don’t give up your MacBooks and PCs just yet; the post-PC era isn’t fully realized for technological creation.