Every John Mayer album so far has had a song which I can relate to, this is the one from Born and Raised which does…
Close your eyes and clone yourself
Build your heart an army
To defend your innocence
While you do everything wrong
Don’t be scared to walk alone
Don’t be scared to like it
There’s no time that you must be home
So sleep where darkness falls
Alive in the age of worry
Smile in the age of worry
Go wild in the age of worry
And say worry, why should I care
Know your fight is not with them
Yours is with your time here
Dream your dreams, but don’t pretend
Make friends with what you are
Give your heart then change your mind
You’re allowed to do it
‘Cause God knows it’s been done to you
And somehow you got through it
Alive in the age of worry
Rage in the age of worry
Sing out in the age of worry
And say worry, why should I care
Rage in the age of worry
Act your age in the age of worry
And say worry, get out of here
The iPad has completely surprised me in the last two days.
When it first came out I commented positively on it because there was potential and you know that if there wasn’t, Jobs wouldn’t have released it.
But quietly, I was skeptical. I thought it looked thick and ugly. It was heavy. And most off-putting of all – what would it do?
When introducing the first iPad – which the purchasers of first-gen Apple products are essentially beta testers – Jobs said “for this to be successful it needs to be better [than a laptop and a smartphone] at some key things.”
He listed these “key things” as email, Internet browsing, photos and videos.
I didn’t believe him – how on Earth could a slate with no mouse or keyboard, on a mobile operating system be better for browsing the web or emails than a computer?
I’m not sure the iPad 1 with iOS 3 and 4 was, but as I did not own one I can’t comment on that.
I made the leap after iPad 2 met iOS 5 – and I’m blown away.
Of course there is a certain amount of personal preference – my friend Lee probably couldn’t store and edit a film on it (although it does have iMovie), but as a writer, I need a browser to search and read (I barely download anything), a word processor, my email and I need to take notes and organise meetings. It’s perfect for all those things.
Writing in pages on the keyboard in landscape mode (as I quite comfortably am right now) is an absolute dream and as fast for typing as a normal laptop keyboard.
Email is right there, its fast to receive, read, type and send. Boom.
Reminders and iCal sync with my phone and my laptop and with notification centre on iOS 5, means I will always get the message.
Notes and note apps such as Evernote and Voice Memo also sync with my other devises, but the greatest thing about these apps is they are so instant. With my laptop it takes a good few minutes to take out of my bag, rest it down, start it up, start the app up, type it up, save it. With my phone it’s a little fiddley to get everything down. With the iPad it’s right there, tap tap tap, back to sleep, back in bag. Job done. Pick up phone when home, its right there.
My other surprise was that not only are these “key things” better than on a laptop and a smartphone, so are the apps. App developers are genius’s and have clearly gone all out for the iPad.
The best place to use Facebook and Twitter is on the iPad. It’s the best place to read the news and blogs and as a gaming platform it, perhaps doesn’t threaten the big boys, but it certainly stands up.
The iPad has also got me reading in a different and very enjoyable way. I get The Times delivered to my device every morning ready for when I wake up, and I’m enjoying iBooks.
Gripes? Well it would have been nice to have been able to choose the 3G model, but having to shell out more money and another contract for a data plan was too much. I’m also slightly afraid that by this time next year the iPad 2 will seem ancient, as Apple updates it’s products so regularly.
After looking at the iPhone’s retina display, I can’t help but imagine what the iPad could look like with that kind of screen and I’m sure that will be the big thing at the iPad 3/2S announcement next month.
All in all I have to say, if you are on the edge with buying an iPad and can genuinely see a use in your life for it – if you like blogging, reading, social networking, or if you have a job where you find yourself in situations where you need to make a quick not or schedule an appointment but you can’t aways quickly pull out a computer and your smartphone isn’t quite capable enough, this is perfect.
If you need it for more than that, I’m sure you don’t have too long to wait. Look how far Apple has come with just ONE revision of the iPad … I’m sure being patient for a year or two would pay off.
Maybe it’s not for everyone and every need but I feel fairly safe in saying tablets are the future – but other companies are going to have to start stepping up before the iPad monopolises this particular market. Even if Apple didn’t release a successor to the iPad 2 this would still be way ahead for a good year or so.
But not all of the credit goes to Apple, it’s the apps which make it what it is.
Usually this happens in stages – with the iPhone the original was good enough for everyone to know they wanted one, but not good or cheap enough for everyone to get one. With the second-generation iPhone Apple released the phone people wanted to see and with the third perfected it.
Those who were brave enough forked out the money to get the original iPad but it wasn’t every day you saw someone carrying the tablet or using it as gleefully as in the adverts.
In 2011 the iPad 2 brought more people on board. Those who waited out for the batch of original iPad testers to tell Apple the thing needed to be thinner, lighter, more powerful and have a camera, joined the party.
By the end of 2011 those companies who had been caught flat-footed have finally released reasonable tablets after spending a few years playing catch up.
With the Samsung, Blackberry, Amazon, Motorola and Barnes and Nobel tablets, running a mobile version of Android, joining the market it seems people are now saying they need a tablet.
When the iPad 3 (or iPad 2S) is released in 2012, it is likely the iPad 2 will drop in price. This means those who have been waiting for Apple to iron out its product and those who have been waiting for a more affordable option will be satisfied.
And when Windows 8 is released, the new Microsoft operating system is designed to work on both desktop and mobile devices. The competition will then really be underway and the tablet computer will properly take off.
So what will it do to us? The rise of the smart phone turned us into a society of citizen journalists, tweeters and cameramen.
I don’t see the tablet replacing either the smartphone or the laptop, so it could really be more evolutionary than revolutionary with its greatest affect on the computer.
Companies are already making their computer operating systems and programmes match their tablet versions and sync with them.
With cloud storage now being pushed into the mainstream it is likely the iPad will be used in those moments when you haven’t got your laptop and your smartphone isn’t quite powerful enough.
Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
RIP Steve Jobs.
It will be an easy answer because that day will still be as clear in my head then as it is today.
I hate this cliché so much but it is absolutely true to say that Tuesday 11th September 2001 was a very normal September Tuesday – grey, dull, a little chilly and a school day.
I was sat in Mr Humphrey’s (the old one for those CWHSers) biology class blissfully unaware of what was happening.
No teacher ran in declaring the world was coming to an end (which is what happened while I was on a college open-day during the 7/7 London bombings) and, on reflection quite oddly, there was no typical high school over-exaggeratory bullshit whisper-thon: “I’ve heard World War Three is starting.”
There was one thing different on that day – no Will Lee show. Me, Lee and Goody walked home from school every day, but I had to go to the dentist at 4pm so instead I was meeting my dad outside the school gates who planned to drive me home so I could brush my teeth and go straight to the appointment.
Me and Lee used to like to walk home fast so we could watch Arthur and Woody Woodpecker on CBBC, so I asked my dad to drive fast so I could watch TV before the dentist.
“They won’t be on today Will,” he said.
“Nothing will be – the two tallest buildings in the world have been bombed and fallen down.”
I didn’t know what the World Trade Centres were and in my sweet young ignorance I was more annoyed by the cancellation of Arthur than the murder of 3,000 innocent people.
As I was in the car I didn’t have the aid of the completely shocking TV images or the mature mind to put together quite what a huge incident this was in my head – but two things made the event’s magnitude hit me straight away.
Firstly – the tone in my dad’s voice. It was confused, flat and shocked. It was like having to explain someone’s death – there’s so little to say but so many ways to say it you just end up choosing the simplest one. He told me that he and one of our neighbours (Brian) watched the news when they heard something had happened, at the time they thought it was a plane crash. He told me as they were watching the live coverage they saw the second plane hit the tower. At the time it didn’t hit me but now I’m older this is the thing that spooks me the most about 9/11 – it was timed for everyone to watch it on live TV. Chilling.
Secondly – we turned on The Chris Moyles Show, which of course was in the afternoon in those days, no talking, no laughing, no quirky jingles or funny voices. “There will be no show today because of what’s happened in America – so here’s some music.” It was like a normal boring old man on the radio. It’s what Chris Moyles would have sounded like if he had taken up a career as an insurance salesman.
From that moment the day was filled with the same images. I got home and turned on the TV – every channel was rolling news, showing images from throughout the day. If we weren’t shown them over and over again even 10 years on I would still remember exactly what they looked like.
A special edition of the Worcester Evening News was hitting the shelves as I walked down to the fish and chip shop to get dinner. With the same images throughout the paper – there was no other news.
When I got to the fish and chip shop, the images were on the TV and everyone was talking about it in the queue.
We got home and the evening TV schedule had been cleared for an ITV News special: “America’s Darkest Day.” My mum saw they were going to show footage of people jumping out of the building from the higher floors and told me not to watch.
I went to bed and woke up. The morning after something huge happens is always very weird because it always seems so surreal – like it didn’t happen. But it did and it was all anyone talked about. Every programme, every paper, every person. And when I got to school – every teacher and every student. Even the idiots.
Although it was obvious how huge the event was, I didn’t really understand until I was a little older, geopolitically and ideologically, how this would change the world because at the time I didn’t really know how it was before or understand the meaning of it all and it was the same for my friends.
This was evidenced by the first thing someone said to me at school the next day: “Will,” said my friend Tom, “Did you hear that the cleaner at the World Trade Centre got the sack?” “No?” “Yeah because she left the light on.” “?” “The fireball …” “Oh …”
Turns out that joke wasn’t actually funny. At all.
RIP to all those who lost their lives on that day and may God comfort those who lost love ones or who are still suffering.