Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So simple, a child can use it.

A survey commissioned by a security app developer that polled parents in the U.K. has revealed surprising attitudes about children and access to technology and the internet. The study focused on primary-school children (ages 5-10) and found that one in 10 kids under the age of 10 years old already owns their own iPhone. One in 20 have their own iPad...
Certainly the number of children who use iPhones and iPads is amazing. But the bigger story, in my opinion, is that so many children CAN use iPhones and iPads.

iPhones and iPads are sophisticated computers. They have far more computing power than the computers used ub the Apollo space flights. They allow one to communicate via text and FaceTime, surf the net, listen and view content and run a seemingly infinite number of powerful software applications. Oh yeah, the iPhone allows phone calls too.

Critics of modern computers would say that the fact that children can use iPhones and iPads is simply more proof that today's computers are "dumbed down". That "real" computing requires a "real" user interface. By "real" user interface, they seem to mean a "complicated, hard to use" interface.

If that's what "dumbed down" means, then I everything to be "dumbed down:. I don't want to think about how my car's engine runs, I just want to get where I'm going. I don't want to know how my microwave works, I just want to eat my food at the proper temperature. I don't understand how to access my hundreds of cable channels, use my DVR and navigate my remote control, I just want to watch my television programs.

The iPhone and the iPad aren't dumbing us down, they are freeing us. Freeing us from knowing how our computing devices work. Freeing us to focus on our tasks, not how we get those tasks done. Because despite what the technorrati thinks, we don't want to know how to use our computers. We just want to get things done.

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