The iPad’s lack of a file system

Don Reisinger on why the tablet won’t replace the laptop:

“The operating systems lack worthwhile file systems, a more robust interface and all the other things that people will find in the operating systems running on notebooks.”

I’m not sure what Don means by “a more robust interface”, but I think he’s wrong about the importance of files systems. A file system is an abstraction, a metaphor, not something that’s set in stone. Not once in using the iPad have I pined for “a file system”.
What I want – and what people care about – is simple: “can I read and create the documents that I want to read or create?” I don’t need folders, volumes, and all the other baggage. I just want my stuff to be there.

  • http://twitter.com/Westwit Wesley M.

    I’m going to argue that there’s already something close to a file system on an iPad, and that’s the application organization system, as as time goes on, it will look and behave more and more like a file system.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    Possibly. However, I’d be willing to bet that it will look a lot more like the “Soup” concept from Newton than a conventional file system. The era of files organised in folders may be coming to a close…

  • http://twitter.com/mikecane Mike Cane

    The same thing was said about PalmOS. And you know what I wound up using? A utility called Filez that would give me access to the filesystem (one, by the way, that was inspired by the original Macintosh filesystem). And I’m no techie or haXXor. But even with the iPad, it’s faster to get things on it by dropping things directly into places iTunes would only s-l-o-w-l-y place them.

  • Anonymous

    double post

  • Anonymous

    I for one agree that not having a proper file system is utter nonsense on an ipad. Apparently apple think of it as only an entertainment device and that people do not need to sort and organise the documents. But the app base file system is the prime reason why we cannot attach an attachment from the default email client! And why it is such a hassle to get any serious work done when we have to send the file to another app, organise it, work on it and send it back again if we want to leverage on the strength of different apps!

  • Anonymous

    I for one agree that not having a file system is utter nonsense on an ipad. It is the prime cause of us not being able to insert a link DIRECTLY from the email program that we are typing. It is also the main reason why it is so hard to so any serious work on ipad, when it is such a hassle to move the document around, push it to another apps and organise it and shift it back again. All these if we just want to leverage on the strength of the different apps. :(