Anime Vice News

EDITORIAL: Why the iPad Kinda Sucks (for Anime)

Just some thoughts on the upcoming Apple device.

In the wake of Apple's announcement of the iPad, everyone is jumping around to get some action on the iPad searches by writing up some articles, so why should I be left out?

 So far, there is no app for that.
 So far, there is no app for that.

I'm kidding; most of the content I've seen about the iPad is pretty legit, and I was particularly impressed by Deb Aoki's collection of thoughts from manga publishers and comics creators, most of whom are really very excited for the device as another outlet for digital manga/comics. Which is kind of funny to me: the iPad is supposed to essentially be a very accessible tablet netbook type of device, but cooler because it doesn't have Windows or something...but publishers are decidedly reacting to it as primarily an eReader.

And they should. For manga, it makes a lot of sense, and the iPad could be really cool, provided that Apple doesn't block out all of the good stuff. (The exclusion of Yaoi Press's Zesty, a very tame BL manga, from the app store is disheartening-- if light gay romance isn't okay, why would something dark and violent like Hellsing be? Or something super-ecchi and awesome like Sundome?) Not being an iPhone user, I don't know if this applies as firmly to anime as to manga, but it's something to think about.

I don't think it'll be such a great device for anime, though, and here's why: the device will not support flash. YouTube will doubtless have an app, and Crunchyroll's iPhone app may also work if the video quality is decent enough (but at least at the moment you wouldn't be able to watch the simulcast eps, only the week-olds), and for the time being, there shall be no Hulu. (Hulu was developing an iPhone app as of spring 2009, but it hasn't launched-- yet.)

On the other hand, maybe it'll slightly discourage downloaders: there's no USB slot, so your options would be Bluetooth or computer-to-computer WiFi, assuming that there are iPad-specific releases or a codec pack app. Oh, and there'll be no DVD drive for those of us who actually, y'know, buy DVDs still. And no multitasking means that you presumably can't pause, do something else, and come bac to it.

Unless there are some pretty significant changes to the iPad, I think I'm going to just stick with a clunky netbook, which will be more amenable to my otaku habits. How about you?
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.
 The dock connector will allow for third-party data transfer peripherals and all of the current anime streaming apps on the iPhone will work with no changes.  As far as video is concerned, it'll still be the same as far as access to episodes in iTunes.  I'm guessing you were thinking the iPad was supposed to be a netbook?
 
I should mention that I was at the media event when the iPad was unveiled so if anyone has any questions on hardware, ask away here or via PM.
Kuroon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.
The fact the iPad doesn't support flash is ridiculous. End of story.
Konandaon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.

Nope it's just another Apple product I have no intention of buying at the moment.

HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:18 p.m.
@Kuro: Apple doesn't like Flash because it cuts into their platform. Dumb, but it just now started running smoothly with the 10.1 beta for OS X on Apple desktops and notebooks.
giaon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.
@HSaabedra: So I have to buy an additional item to get a USB port? That's...still kind of a pain. >_>;
 
That said, as I understand it the iPad was supposed to blow netbooks out of the water-- replace them entirely. So, when it isn't remotely capable of what my netbook is, yeah, I'm a little disappointed.
sora_thekey moderator on Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:25 p.m.

Just when i was finally getting excited for iPad! 
 
Forget it... Toshiba you're my new best friend!
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
@gia said:

So I have to buy an additional item to get a USB port? That's...still kind of a pain. >_>; "

They love them accessories over at Infinite Loop.  More money. You really should have followed my coverage. :)
 
@gia said:

 That said, as I understand it the iPad was supposed to blow netbooks out of the water-- replace them entirely. So, when it isn't remotely capable of what my netbook is, yeah, I'm a little disappointed. "

According to who, exactly?  From everything my business partner/boss and I gathered, it was going to be a larger iPod Touch with support for iWork.  Apple isn't going to waste time with a netbook, that's what the 13" MacBook/Pro and the Air are for. I should also say that a lot of the speculation on the iPad was really wishful thinking because people forget that Apple wants to leverage iTunes and its own app platform despite the complaints of no Flash support.
 
In its current implementation, Flash runs like garbage on OS X, but as I stated previously, the beta version of Flash 10.1 for OS X actually makes it worthwhile to use YouTube and Hulu on a Mac.  It can be easily ported to the iPhone/iPad, but its up to Apple to open up, and they aren't going to give up control so easily.
Sombreon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
It can't support MKV or OGM. I can pass.
GodLen staff on Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:54 p.m.
The iPad isn't a laptop, we have macbooks for that. It is for people who don't already have a smartphone, or a laptop or net book. This isn't a killer product that's super fast and better than the electronics you already have. It is for people who wand to do basic things like search the internet, look at email, while being able to do it anywhere.  Think about it, your grandma has no idea how to use a computer, the thing scares her half to death; but with something like an iPad that is easy to use and intuitive she will be more likely to use a computer then. 
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 12:59 p.m.
@GodLen said:
" The iPad isn't a laptop, we have macbooks for that. It is for people who don't already have a smartphone, or a laptop or net book. This isn't a killer product that's super fast and better than the electronics you already have. It is for people who wand to do basic things like search the internet, look at email, while being able to do it anywhere.  Think about it, your grandma has no idea how to use a computer, the thing scares her half to death; but with something like an iPad that is easy to use and intuitive she will be more likely to use a computer then.  "
I'd say the iPad bridges the user interface of the iPhone while adding elements from OS X like the Dock while not overwhelming the user.  When I used it briefly, the interface was just like using my iPhone, except everything was larger in scope.
giaon Feb. 3, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
@HSaabedra: I think that's the problem for me-- people keep talking about this as though it's going to revolutionize computing, but it's really just a giant iPod touch.
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.
@gia: As Flavor Flav said in his oh so unique style, "Don't believe the hype". :)  The iPad is Apple's take on the tablet computer that Microsoft failed to push into the mainstream at the beginning of the decade.  Now, I recently entered a contest where a 64GB 3G version of the iPad is being given away via Twitter.  Hopefully my entry was unique enough, as I'd like to start the quest to find the girl of my dreams this summer and the iPad would be the perfect tool for the job.
HeeroYuyon Feb. 3, 2010 at 2:19 p.m.
Mac fans simply have Stockholm syndrome
 
I could leave it there, but allow me to clarify. Every single time they release a new gadget, there's always a bunch of stupid rules attached that no one else would ever be able to get away with, but they're able to purely because they have a bunch of mindless zombies with wallets under their control. A netbook that for whatever stupid reason that couldn't run flash or didn't have a disc drive or USB ports or even at the very very least a memory card slot would've never sold even close to enough to make up production costs if it was made by anyone other than Apple.
 
Do you know what we call iPad's that have flash, have USB ports, still have all the portability and touch screen capability? TABLET PCs.
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 3:57 p.m.
@HeeroYuy said:
" Mac fans simply have Stockholm syndrome.   I could leave it there, but allow me to clarify. Every single time they release a new gadget, there's always a bunch of stupid rules attached that no one else would ever be able to get away with, but they're able to purely because they have a bunch of mindless zombies with wallets under their control. A netbook that for whatever stupid reason that couldn't run flash or didn't have a disc drive or USB ports or even at the very very least a memory card slot would've never sold even close to enough to make up production costs if it was made by anyone other than Apple.  Do you know what we call iPad's that have flash, have USB ports, still have all the portability and touch screen capability? TABLET PCs. "
But until last year, Tablet PCs blew chunks because they used resistive displays and Windows wasn't really built around touch displays until 7 was released. The forthcoming wave of Windows 7-based slates should prove to be interesting.
 
Another minor point, Stockholm Syndrome is incorrect when referring to Apple fans.  That would imply they were held hostage by the company and in turn grew affectionate towards it.  I hope you meant to say cultists, because that would be more apt to describe the typical Apple fan: fanatical, irrational and totally devoted to the brand to the detriment of common sense.
Roveron Feb. 3, 2010 at 4:33 p.m.
@Sombre: Exactly! Apple's fear of supporting anything besides MP4 (or MOV or MV4 as it is sometimes marked as on an apple) is really starting to get me a little upset. Not all MKVs are pirated matterial for the love of god >.<!
 
Also Mac haters are just as bad as Mac Fan boys, you guys really need to get over all this MAC VS PC OMG BBQ CHICKEN stuff. They both run Intel now... the true difference has become laughable, not to mention you can run Windows 7, Mac OSX, and Linux on a Mac Pro all at the same time. Apple is just a hardware company now with a software division....
lanaswifton Feb. 3, 2010 at 4:46 p.m.
@HSaabedra said:
" I'd like to start the quest to find the girl of my dreams this summer and the iPad would be the perfect tool for the job. "
I assume we're talking 2D girls, then.  
 
@Rover said:
" you guys really need to get over all this MAC VS PC OMG BBQ CHICKEN stuff.  "

Amen.
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 5:03 p.m.
@lanaswift said:
I assume we're talking 2D girls, then.  
Nothing could be further from the truth.  I've been alive for 24 going on 25 years, it's time I went out and looked for my dream girl who will help me build my empire.
DJTyranton Feb. 3, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.
You forgot to mention that it only goes up to 480p and 4x3. 
 
It's a great device and I'm sure the 2nd revision (which I'll get) will be much better. 
 
If flash were not such a piece of garbage on OSX I'm sure we would have it on iPhone OS to be honest.
HSaabedraon Feb. 3, 2010 at 5:22 p.m.
@DJTyrant said:
" You forgot to mention that it only goes up to 480p and 4x3.  It's a great device and I'm sure the 2nd revision (which I'll get) will be much better.  If flash were not such a piece of garbage on OSX I'm sure we would have it on iPhone OS to be honest. "
This is fact. Although the fact that it only outputs in 480p is an artificial limitation.  Apple's A4 chipset can output 1080p24 via the Dock connector through HDMI or DisplayPort, but its a big drain on battery life.
HeeroYuyon Feb. 3, 2010 at 7:06 p.m.
@HSaabedra: No, I meant Stockholm Syndrome from the (somewhat joking) perspective of them feeling the need to defend something that abuses and hurts them. Though as you said, cultist fits the bill pretty well.

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