After months of giddy waiting the next iOS update is finally here. Yesterday I dutifully upgraded my iTunes, started the morning by setting up iCloud online, by lunch installed the significant upgrade to Lion. Waiting patiently for the end of the day when the iOS finally launched. Laugh if you want but I really don’t see myself as an Apple fanboy, I like to think of myself as a device junkie. I don’t care who makes the software or hardware, if it’s something I want to play with, I’m all in.
Over these months I read article after article about the amazing features of amazing gadgetry which will propel my current devices into fresh new toys to play with. I wasn’t concerned about compatibility as I was only about 6 months behind the tech curve for hardware. Hell, the oldest device I owned was an iPad 1 which was a Christmas acquisition. I complete my install of iOS on iPhone and iPad and away I go.
Well it’s officially 2 hours in to playtime when, what I like to call, ‘the Apple effect’ kicked in. This effect can be identified by the discovery that things are missing, that something is not right. Specifically the removal of multitouch functionality from the original iPad. You may not even know what I am referring to. Multitouch is a function that allows the user to use the swipe of fingers across the screen surface, called gestures, to move between apps, close screens , pinch and zoom into text or photos. It’s an extremely handy bit of interface interactivity that I assure you once you use it you will wonder what you did before.
This function was a planned addition in an earlier iOS that was never enabled, most likely held back for the next release. In fact if you do a little online scrounging and have an i-device still running ios4 you can enable it and use it freely. I was one of those folks that had to give it a try and with little effort and had it working in less than 30 minutes seamlessly.
This brings me to THIS version No gestures. After futzing with settings, searching online for answers, I finally found the answer. Apple disabled this functionality. But only on the iPad 1. For iPad 2 owners, no problem.
Why? My device is certainly powerful enough to use it, it’s not like a new feature like the voice control AI that would need the latest processor. It’s a simple interface control that has made my user experience even better. But it’s been disabled. Let me say that again. Disabled. Its actually there on my device right now, hidden from view because of a marketing decision to make me want to upgrade my device. I could enable it by jail breaking and hacking my iPad. But I don’t want to do that. Why should I be forced to void my warranty to let me use a function?
I know gestures work on my iPad 1. Allow me that feature. Don’t restrict me from its use because you are trying to force me to buy the next device. When this iPad wears out I’ll be there with card in hand to get the next iPad but don’t mess with me now when I literally have the one model previous.
This brings me to Apple’s ‘one more thing’ culture. Made famous by the man himself Steve Jobs. Always dazzling us with that one more feature, that one more device that we scramble for. But what Apple users don’t talk about is that one little thing we do not care to admit pops up. That, ‘I was expecting it to at least do this’ feature that is left out, that as lovers of this wonderful tech accept again and again, because we know what we are getting is so far ahead of the rest of what is out there we make exception. Why no camera in the iPad? Why can’t I sync music to video with the Airport Express? Why can’t I play any type of video file on the AppleTV? Why can I not use multitouch gestures on my 8 month old iPad?
I’ll tell you why. Control. They want us to buy the next device. They want us to need it. Salivate for it. Waiting, hoping the next one will have that ‘one more thing’ that feature we should have had but didn’t get. They spoil us with these wonderful devices, but hold back just enough to keep us coming back. Brilliant.