Who is the iPad for?

Techies and Apple fanboys make a lot of noise about the iPad, but this gem buried in John Gruber’s extensive and balanced review of the device tells the real story:

When you create a new page in Safari on iPad, text focus goes to the Google search field by default, rather than the URL location field. That’s a change from both desktop and iPhone Safari. I’m finding this hard to get used to, but I can see how this might be a better design for typical users. It makes the default search engine all the more essential to the web browsing experience, though.

By “typical users”, he means people who get to their Hotmail accounts by going to google.com and typing in “hotmail” – people who have only a loose and slightly warped idea of what the web is and how it works, and who are keen to maintain as large a degree of willful ignorance as they can while still being able to check their email and read TMZ. Makers of hardware, software, websites, and everything else having to do with computing (including Apple) have been making their wares to a standard that was originally meant to accommodate the sort of people who make computing hardware, software, websites, et cetera. Apple is probably the first company to take a viable stab at making a computing device for everyone else.

It’s what I’ve been saying all along: The iPad is for your mom. (I know, not everyone’s mom. And, actually, not mine. But you know what I mean.)

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