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January 30, 2010

More on the Apple iPad Debate, Why Moms Should Demand Open Web Standards

It is finally a beautiful sunny day so why I am online right now? It is that geeky side of me that has been glued to the online tech sites since the release of the Apple iPad. But not because of the iPad. I posted about the Apple iPad features which I think are a great fit for those using Apple gadgets and software already. My son has a Apple MACBook and iPod so the iPad would make a great addition, allowing him to enjoy the media he has on his iTunes, start finally reading eBooks, web browsing on the go and subscribing to online newspapers to read the news.

But what I have not seen discussed much by family bloggers is the Apple iPad's lack of flash support. I posted with my thoughts on the Apple iPad features including the lack of Adobe Flash support. To get some feedback I also tweeted ( TechMama ) about it - hearing that others were also confused. JessWeiss replied back to me with "I find the omission odd, anti-web-ish myself ". From a mom's perspective, the lack of Adobe Flash support on the Apple iPad means that there will be online content my son would not be able to access - including some of his favorite YouTube videos, CNN videos that he is now watching for news, online gaming sites and more.

I am Not so upset about him not being able to access some of the sites that the Wired Gadget Lab post pointed out. But kids can access inappropriate sites in many ways, Flash or no Flash. Internet Safety education and controls will still be an important step before any child uses any device with Internet access.

This all leads to the answer of why I am sneaking some time online while my kids are busy playing on this sunny weekend afternoon. The lack of Adobe Flash support on the Apple iPad has brought on a very interesting discussion about open web standards by the top tech minds, summarized nicely on TechMeme. For me, this is better then celebrity gossip and may even top my obsession with celebrity red carpet dresses..

Ok, I am a real geek..

Talk about geeks - Robert Scoble wrote a post today titled "Can Flash Be Saved?" on his blog Scobleizer that summed up the debate: "Adobe’s best hope is to get Android to support Flash and Adobe’s best hope is that developers ignore the iPad and ignore the iPhone, or, at least, build better experiences on the Android and Google Chrome platforms that include Flash". Click HERE to ready the whole post on Scobleizer, it provides a developer perspective to the current debate. He is a dad that seems to be spending his sunny weekend day the same way I am.

As a mom who is a PC user that also supports a household with numerous Apple products, I just wish everyone would stop going off in their corners and using applications with different web standards. I am tired of broken links.

I am giving tech companies a time out; You are leaving your customers confused and backing them into cyber walls. Please just adopt some open web standards already! Let gadgets communicate with  applications across the web. I will be happy and thrilled to pay for content over the web - as long as I can just get some open standards already.

I know the Apple iPad will be successful with Apple users. Whether the iPad will be adapted by PC Users  will depend on the amount of apps that allow access the cloud and other online content. I would not use the Apple iPad myself without applications that support flash and an application that would allow me to use my online calendering system instead of iCal (which I don't use because I have a PC). As PC World stated in their current post, "Women are the key to iPad's success".

The Apple iPad is a great gadget. But there are a great selection touch netbooks, tablets and multi-tasking eReaders currently available - as well as new tablets/slates coming out that will make it a very competitive market.

I was just about to go out and buy myself an iPod Touch before I found out about the Apple iPad. I may just wait and see what happens when all the dust settles. In the end with all the great hardware available, the mobile gadget that wins will have the best apps and one that includes open web standards.

Now - I am heading outside to enjoy some low tech time with my kids taking a bike ride.


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We are now an apple family. I blog from a macbook pro. I'm sadly on my 3rd iphone, but I don't see myself jumping to get my hands on an ipad.
I don't see what I would do with a larger iphone - ish device that doesn't let me use multiple apps at the same time... or the other litany of things it doesn't do...
I'm just not sure who this device is for and what gap it fills in the marketplace.

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