iPad’s Biggest Advantage- No File System

From the very moment of its’ launch the lack of user access to the file system has been touted by the various tech blogs as a serious liability for the iPad. The ability to organize files inside the OS, and ability to choose the file location when you download, save, or the all important save as command, are considered the minimum requirement for a computer OS.

However, is it just possible that this flaw of the iPad OS is exactly by design. MoD favorite Daring Fireball pointed out a great article on this very issue.

Nimble Design presents this especially true in my experience insight into file systems.

“Unfortunately for the average person, the file system is so complex that everything outside of the desktop and the documents folder appears to be a vast labyrinth which most likely hides booby traps and minotaurs.”

MoD cannot recall how many times he has helped any number of users with simple file navigation. The simple operation to geeks of downloading a file from the Web, finding that file, mounting it on the desktop in the case of OS X, and then installing the application might as well be actual rocket science.

Even in the Mac OS, files can be opened in myriad of locations and saved to those locations.

By default, Web files are saved to the Download folder.

Email attachments are saved somewhere else entirely.

MS Word should save files to the Documents folder.

It’s unclear how the iPad will work with opening attachments, saving new documents, and exporting documents. It appears that each application will have a “documents” folder and the application will direct the user to all the relevant files types. If you open Pages, and then want to open a file only Pages files will be available. In Pages, if you want to edit a Word file, Pages will show you only Word files. The iPad is going to make the process of working with files super easy.

Just like iTunes streamlined the process of getting music onto users’ iPods, the iPad will simplify the process of working with files for users who don’t really care about the elegance and organization power of full OS directory access. MoD believes once the iPad gets into the hands of those users at either an Apple store or seeing a relative, friend use the device, this population will be a big part of the iPad’s customer base.

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