Thanks to the New iPad, I Don’t Read Anything on Paper

Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
May 17 2012 7:04 PM

I’m Through With Paper

The new iPad finally made me prefer a screen to a magazine.

(Continued from Page 1)

But publishers fixed things surprisingly quickly. Now most major magazines have beautiful, technically sound apps. (The New Yorker’s hasn’t crashed in weeks.) Magazines have also begun to offer their digital content at a sensible price; indeed, many of them give you the digital version as part of a standard print subscription. That’s a terrific deal for everyone—magazines get to keep me as a print subscriber, which is good for their ad rates, while I get to read their stuff in a variety of ways .

The bigger surprise, though, is how much the Retina display has increased my enjoyment of the iPad. When Apple added the high-resolution display to the iPhone two years ago, I thought it was pretty but superfluous. A phone is a device that I glance at while on the run, not one that I bury my nose in when I’m looking to relax. However great the pictures and text look, I’m going to reach for a larger screen if I’m in the vicinity of one.

I used to think of convenience as the iPad’s main strength, too. Because of its shape and long battery life, it’s an easy way to browse the Web anywhere in the house. Plus, you can use it to play games in the bathroom. But the Retina screen has made the iPad more than just a convenient consumption device—now, for some uses, the iPad offers a qualitatively better experience than a PC. In addition to improving magazine browsing, the Retina screen has made the iPad my premier place for looking at photos. When I browse pictures on my much larger computer screen, and my even bigger TV screen, they look blurry by comparison.

Advertisement

This too-blurry thing has begun to haunt me, actually. When I switch from the iPad to a regular computer monitor, everything looks uglier, and it takes my eyes a few minutes to adjust. I put up with it because I have no choice—I can’t get a laptop or desktop with a screen as good as the iPad’s.

Apple seems to recognize the power of this effect—there are reports that it will soon add Retina displays to its laptops. This would be a boon to the many graphic artists and video producers who use Apple’s portable machines, but I think it would prove attractive to regular people, too, especially if the Retina upgrade comes at no additional price (as happened on the iPhone and iPad). No other computer maker has figured out how to add these super-resolution screens to their devices, so Apple has a chance to lead the market and force everyone to catch up. They’ll have to. Once you see how good these paper-killing screens look, you can never go back.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They just aren’t ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

How Steven Moffat Made the Best Doctor Who Episode in Years

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 16 2014 11:56 AM Iran and the U.S. Are Allies Against ISIS but Aren’t Ready to Admit It Yet
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 1:23 PM Germany Has Asked Google to Reveal Its Search Algorithm, but That's Not Going to Happen
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.