Practical Technology

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Linux-powered iPad-like tablets can’t come quickly enough


Apple has long had a history of being arrogant. But, more often than not, they’ve been able to back it up by the quality of their products. Now, though, with Apple locking out Adobe Flash and Google Ads, not to mention their cute trick of setting up an HTML 5 demo site that only works with Apple’s own Safari Web browser. I think Apple has over-stepped their welcome. It’s time for Linux-powered smartphones, tablets, and devices to give users top-notch options to Apple’s offerings.

Linux, largely thanks to Google Android, has already made a lot of progress that way in smartphones. Indeed, even hard-core iPhone users are now thinking about switching to Android phones. There’s also a wave of Linux-powered tablets and would-be iPad rivals on their way. But, they’re not here yet.

And, while I think that these new Linux devices will do well, I also think they need to be more than just tablets that are cheaper and more open than iPads. They need, as Jim Zemlin, the head of the Linux Foundation, wrote in BusinessWeek, “It’s important that open-source products add more value for users than simply being free. Open-source software also needs to be fabulous.”


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