Apple has been talking about the Post-PC era since the introduction of the iPad. Now three years later I don’t feel we are any closer to it happening industry wide. Yes for a lot of people the iPad can seriously augment their PC use or even replace it. However when you talk about a Post-PC era it’s a very different thing. Well actually, it depends on the definition of Post-PC era doesn’t it? What is the Post-PC era?
There will always be a need for computers at least the way things are right now. It’s great that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is able to replace 80% of his computing needs by using an iPad and iPhone combination. However, just like his pay checks aren’t representative of the regular person’s neither are his computing needs. So using him as an example of the Post-PC era just doesn’t work. Does he need to use Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCAD, 3Ds Max or play hardcore computer games? Probably not and these are all examples of why a Post-PC era in terms of PCs disappearing completely is not possible now.
What is the Post-PC Era?
Like I said it all depends on the definition of a Post-PC era. Computers are all around us, from servers that run bank accounts and credit cards to fast food drive thrus. However if the computer becomes the workhorse, doing the heavy lifting then a Post-PC era could be one where smartphones and tablet devices become the interface. They become the way you control the workhorse and that definition of a Post-PC era might be a little closer than we ultimately think. There are already remote apps that allow smartphones and tablet devices to connect and control computers. Windows computers have had a Remote Desktop Connection client for awhile now.
Even using this definition, which is the way I look at it, that time while attainable is still a ways off. If people are to still have the same usefulness they do now the smartphones and tablet devices will need to be a lot more powerful and capable. However it is a lot closer than what the majority of people think when they hear “Post-PC era”. They picture a time when the current “computer” is obsolete and sits in a corner covered in dust and cobwebs. A time when smartphones and tablet devices are able to do everything a computer does now and more. This isn’t happening anytime soon because they simply are not capable of that now and will not be for the forseeable future.
I on the other hand do look forward to a time when all I carry around is a 15 inch iPad. My computer box stays parked at work and home with only a power cord and internet connection. No matter where I am I connect to the box and do whatever I need to do. All the processing power staying inside my computer box allowing me to upgrade it easily. The hardcore gamers would be able to touch their games and ofcourse as always they would have custom setups. It’s the thing of dreams but it wasn’t too long ago that people watched Star Trek or other science fiction shows and that kind of technology seemed like a dream. Yet here we are today with smartphones, 32GBs of data in your pocket and the ability to touch our screens.