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10/24/2013
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Woz Doesn't Like New iPads

Apple's co-founder wasn't wowed by the new tablets, and Microsoft doesn't think they're good enough for mobile professionals.

Apple's new iPads are drawing cheers and jeers across the Web. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, had a few negative things to say, as did Microsoft's corporate VP of communications, Frank Shaw.

Wozniak's biggest gripe is storage. Apparently the high-end 128-GB model isn't enough for him. "I am constantly following the gadget world but I was on a plane and missed all of the keynote, but when I finally took a look at the devices, the iPads didn't hit my needs," he said on the stage at Apps World in London. "Yes [the iPad Air] is thinner, but I wanted storage. I don't have broadband at home, so I carry all my personal media in the iPad. So I was hoping Apple has a 256-GB iPad. So I emailed my wife and said I didn't want one of those."

Woz must be dreaming. Apple's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops start at 128 GB. The Airs can be upgraded to a max of 256 GB, but the Pros can be configured up to 1 TB. Considering the cost of flash storage, a 256-GB drive in a tablet isn't out of the question, but we're not going to see it in an Apple tablet for a long time. The Surface Pro 2, which is a hybrid tablet/PC, can be configured with 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB.

[ What's our take on the new Apple tablets? See Apple's New iPads: Pros And Cons. ]

That said, some iPad competitors offer flexibility as far as the storage is concerned. Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, for example, offers 32 GB of built-in storage, but that can be expanded to 96 GB with microSD cards. Further, owners can carry multiple microSD cards and swap them out as needed.

It's just this kind of flexibility that has Microsoft's Shaw all worked up. He's not a fan of the iPad, it seems. Nor does Shaw think much of Apple's iWork productivity suite.

"Apple announced that they were dropping their fees on their 'iWork' suite of apps. Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it's hardly that surprising or significant a move," said Shaw. "And it doesn't change the fact that it's much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking."

As far as Shaw is concerned, the iPad is for content consumption, not content creation and productivity. The Surface and Surface RT tablets are better for productivity and getting work done, he said.

"The Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud," continued Shaw. The Surface comes "with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can't share docs with the rest of the world." They "offer additional native productivity enhancing capabilities like kickstands, USB ports, SD card slots and multiple keyboard options." And, perhaps most importantly, the Surface tablets "include interfaces for opening multiple windows, either side by side or layered to fit the way most people actually work."

Those are fair criticisms. True multitasking remains one of iOS's greatest weaknesses. Samsung's Android tablets offer split-window functionality, as do Microsoft's Surface tablets. The iWork suite is limited to Apple's iOS and Mac OS devices, and doesn't work on Windows machines, though documents can be shared between the two productivity suites without too much trouble.

What do you think? Is Shaw right? If not, what is he missing about Apple's iPads, which, by the way, have crushed Microsoft's Surface tablets in sales.

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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
10/28/2013 | 8:14:02 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
Yes, it's hard to believe the broadband thing. At the same stage Woz also adds: " I can't order a movie from iTunes and watch it straight away. I could wait for it but I get bored by then. It's because of my lousy phone company, but that is life"
I guess 4G is not available in the area either.
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
10/26/2013 | 2:08:11 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
Wow. What a shocker: a Microsoft exec thinks the iPad is a poor product?! And he thinks that Microsoft's own products are better?! Who would have ever thought that would happen?

Oh, only everyone.

Why not include some quotes from Google and Samsung and turn it into a good ol' fashioned Apple-bashing?

Let's be real: millions of iPad owners use them to create tons of content every day -- photos, videos, manuscripts, music, web sites, and more. That's not theoretical. That really happens. Every day. Implying that the iPad can't be used for creating content is as lame as Microsoft's age-old lament that Macs can't be used for "real work." You might as well say "computers are a fad."

And multitasking? Sure, if you're copying and pasting a ton from one app to another, that's easier with a split-screen mode. But other than that, the average consumer (not techies) have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, let alone trying to modify a spreadsheet, write an email and surf the web ... on a 10-inch screen. To me, screen size prevents multitasking from being useful on tablets. Even split-screen modes are a joke: each app runs in a tiny window. How useful is that? To get anything real done, you need to maximize that app to full-screen.

Don't get me wrong: I think the new iPads are ho-hum. They look pretty much the same. They're basically the same size. They weigh about the same. They do the same things. Nothing really new except a faster processor. Certainly not enough reason to upgrade, anyway, since my current iPad works just fine and doesn't really look that different.

But writing a one-sided story that claims that iPads are useless is pathetic and only makes you look like a fool who's sucking up to Microsoft.

Impartial, balanced journalism. You might try it some time. It'd actually make your stories pretty interesting. As a bonus: you'd get to both praise and tick off both (or more) sides at the same time, generating even more comments and click-throughs.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/25/2013 | 6:53:51 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
Reasonable cost? Seriously? It's Steve Wozniak. He's just being contrary and angling for headlines, which he got.
anon8282568646
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anon8282568646,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 6:16:53 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
Why does anyone even care what Woz thinks?

He was an Apple founder, and is a shareholder, yes. But he hasn't worked for them since 1987. He appears at trade shows, goes on "Dancing with the Stars," or criticizes Apple in sad attempts to get attention.
beezbo
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beezbo,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 6:11:05 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
Yes guys, in Silicon Valley it can be difficult to get decent broadband without cable for a reasonable cost. I have experienced this problem myself in Menlo Park. Reasonable access to broadband is an issue that many assume is not a problem.

The market needs more competition!!
CarlR211
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CarlR211,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 4:22:53 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
Apparently those swanky mansions on the hill have drawbacks... Kinda makes you wonder how those conversations went with the local cable and phone providers when the Woz got frustrated with his options.
DerkJ
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DerkJ,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 4:14:27 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
I agree. No broadband and he's a sage? I don't think so. If the 128GB iPad isn't enough he needs to learn about the Cloud.
motobat
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motobat,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 4:12:36 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
"Considering the cost of flash storage, a 128-GB drive in a tablet isn't out of the question, but we're not going to see it for a long time. "
Per above, it is certainly not out of the question; in fact the question has been answered since the 4th gen iPad...
And Woz with no broadband? Good thing he's not running Apple these days...
CarlR211
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CarlR211,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 4:10:00 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
FTA "Considering the cost of flash storage, a 128-GB drive in a tablet isn't out of the question, but we're not going to see it for a long time."

Are you not aware that a 128 GB version of the iPad started with the 4th gen model and continues with the iPad Air?
NelsonB922
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NelsonB922,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2013 | 4:07:13 PM
re: Woz Doesn't Like New iPads
The iPad Air comes in a 128G configuration, as did the previous model.
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