How the iPad spoils us for other computers

I do a lot of my reading on the iPad through applications such as Flipboard, Zite and Instapaper.  These applications provide an easy way for you to keep up with your regular news and blog reading, without having to navigate to all the sites individually.  These applications also allow you to share whatever you are reading through a variety of means.

My personal favorites for sharing content are email and Twitter. While I tend to email articles directly to just a couple of close friends, I do so quite frequently.  Twitter is also a great means of sharing interesting news and articles, but with a lot of people at once, and the ease with which you can avail yourself of these mechanisms on the iPad has really hooked me.

In order to get a closer experience when using a Mac, I customized Safari and added the “Mail” button to the toolbar.  While this makes it possible for me to share information as easily as I do on the iPad, while browsing, doesn’t feel quite as natural.  This is probably because Safari is one of the applications I least use on my iPad as the other content centric apps I mentioned allow you to view the full online version of  the articles without ever leaving them.

Most iPad applications seem to have information sharing and bookmarking as a normal function, while on the desktop (including notebooks) things seem a lot less “connected”.   This might just be due to the origin of most iPad applications, which come mostly from developers which started out creating apps for the iPhone.

Whatever the reason that led iPad apps to embrace sharing, it has become a feature that I expect and which deeply miss when I’m working on another computer.  I’m eager to see if future updates to OS X and Mac apps will add increased support for information sharing and social tools integration.


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