Original Link: http://www.macstories.net/links/ipad-and-content-creation/

In doing research this week, I came across an article by Richard Gaywood that I found to be one of the most balanced takes on the three year-old iPad is for consumption/creation subject.

No device is one-size-fits-all, including the iPad. It’s fine to acknowledge the shortcomings of an iPad for content creation, whilst keeping in mind that these are only shortcomings — not hard limits. What’s important is understanding your needs and the ways different devices can fulfil or frustrate them. What’s important is the nuance; the shades of grey between the “the iPad is a toy” and “the iPad is the future of computing” extremes.

Whenever I “criticize” a shortcoming of iOS or the iPad, I’m accused of being a “bored geek” who doesn’t consider “real life scenarios”. In this regard, I particularly appreciate Richard’s real-life practical examples:

Other tasks are complicated by the way you can only see one app at once and because switching back and forth is relatively slow and relatively laborious (which is why many bloggers have asked for cmd-tab support on iOS.) Try making a calendar entry from details sent in an email, for example — if the automatic tap-to-make-entry fails you, lots of tedious back-and-forthing between two apps becomes necessary. Try collating data from a dozen disconnected cells in a spreadsheet into a wordprocessor document. Try cross-checking two spreadsheets against each other. Try following a tutorial in a web page about how to carry out a task in your presentation software. Try plagiarising a Wikipedia page by subtly rewording it into a high school paper. And so on, and so forth.

Saying that the iPad can be used for “content creation” isn’t a crusade against people who don’t like Apple, iOS, or the iPad. Similarly, blindly insisting that the iPad is for “consumption only” is just silly and shortsighted. More importantly, the term content is awful. So, for the sake of this linked post, I’m going to refer to the issue as: doing real work and/or tasks that you’d normally do on a computer.

This debate is one that never goes away. I use my iPad all the time for content creation, and yet, I know many who just use theirs to read or surf the Internet from their couch.