Jobs wanted people to love his products, take care to notice their craftsmanship, and be creative with them. They were supposed to help you make and do awesome things. But this love and attention to creativity was not extended to those involved in the manufacturing process.I've been meaning to write about this subject, and now seems a good time.
The iPad, the iPhone, and the Apple App Store are not leading to a new age of digital freedom and creativity. They are creating the real digital divide.
Original PCs used to ship with a Basic interpreter. When that stopped, you could still get a programming language implementation without too much trouble. But Apple goes out of its way to make the iPad and iPhone not programmable by anyone except a self-selected caste of "developers."
The awesome things you can do with the iPad have very real limits. Limits that are unnecessary, artificially imposed, and at core opposed to iPad's essence as a programmable computer.
Ellen Rose wrote about the infantilization of computer "users" in User Error: Resisting Computer Culture, but few products until the iPad have shown how literal this effect is. Consider Apple's marketing:
Does the above image remind you of anything?
Further evidence of how literal the infantilization has become is the infamous "fart app" - it is nothing but a direct throwback to the anal stage of Freud's model.
Richard Stallman made a poorly received comment on Jobs' legacy upon news of the latter's death. I think the negative consequences of the iPad extend well beyond Apple's hostile and exploitative stance towards Free Software