Courtesy MS Paint Adventures
Courtesy MS Paint Adventures

I’ve been fighting this. I haven’t had an Apple product of my own in any place I’ve lived with the exception of a 2nd generation iPod Shuffle I still use for walks. I’ve opted to install Linux on all but my latest laptop. I’ve had moments where I’ve considered purchasing an iPad in passing, but I’ve consciously struggled not to fall into the iCulture that seems to promote an attitude of smug superiority in some circles. No more or less so than Tux’s biggest fans, but that’s beside the point.

Those days might be over. I may soon own an iPhone, and perhaps an iPad before the end of the year.

Why the change of heart? Sure, it’ll pay homage to the memory of Steve Jobs, but expenditures and committments like this require more concrete, practical reasoning. So here it is.

As A Rich Media Professional

First and foremost, the position I now occupy requires a great deal of tasks and testing related to the iOS. The advertisement assets upon which I work can and often do appear on Apple’s mobile devices, and as HTML5 grows, the more prevalent those sorts of adverts will become. It’ll behoove me to have a platform on which I can test my work on these items, no matter where I might happen to be.

Other projects by other professionals will be created for the platform as well. I know a few very talented people invested in pursuing transmedia projects, and having a universally-available and name-brand platform is sure to be key in a few of them. Giving feedback on those projects, and reporting on them either for the blog or a professional publication, will require the use of such a device. There’s only so much of an ARG I can experience using my current dumbphone, after all.

As A Gamer

I know there’s a contingent of gamers who would like to say that platforms like the iPhone and iPad are not viable for gaming. I don’t think they can be more wrong. From graphically impressive RPGs like Infinity Blade, to simple and fun puzzle games like Angry Birds, to straightforward multiplayer standbys like Words with Friends, I can tell you that an iPhone or iPad can cater to just as many gamer tastes as a PC or console can. Sure, some of the graphics and depth of gameplay or story will be a few years behind, but it’s forgivable for being able to have that sort of thing in your pocket on the same device you use for communication, or even productivity.

It’s not just limited to what’s on the App Store under the Video Games category, either. Tabletopping could benefit from it. A quick, covert die roll or looking up a forgotten rule might be easier with one of these devices, even if it doesn’t have the same tactile feedback as a page or a polyhedral. And I hear there are emulators available, so I may be able to play Mega Man 2 on the train as I have long dreamed. Just remember, if you see a scruffy man approaching middle-age glaring at his iPhone and muttering curses at somebody named “Quick Man,” it’s probably me.

As A Writer

I’ve long been a proponent of the notion that a writer can write anywhere. Originally this was based on a writer only needing some basic tools: something to write on, and something to write with. And there’s nothing wrong with carrying a pen and paper with you at all times, if you’ve got a creative mind. But a technological tool can be helpful as well.

Imagine my delight upon discovering that PlainText is available for the iPhone as well as the iPad. Now, I can’t picture myself doing long passages of writing on the iPhone, but if an idea strikes me and I need to jot it down (or perhaps dictate it!), this device would provide me the means to do it, and always know where I left my notes. I know other writers who adore their Apple devices for various reasons, and I’m sure they’d be happy to tell me more about their experiences.

That’s why I have a comments section, after all.