Do you like your directory?
Seeing files in a hierarchy tree?
I do not like them Sam-I-Am
I do not like file/folder land.
(…apologies to Dr. Seuss.)
This will seem a bit contradictory after my last post, but one of the complete joys about working on my iPad is the lack of a file/folder structure to navigate. This is one of those discoveries that I would not have predicted at the beginning of this experiment.
I love just going into any application and just working on what I need to work on. The headaches (and time suck) of organizing folders, finding where things are, is gone, simply because the iPad doesn’t have any user-facing file/folder structure. Any files are stored within the application. I don’t have to worry about where that last Word doc is, because when I open Pages or QuickOffice (more on that later), there it is.
It kind of make sense, right?
Do you search Finder or Explorer for a file, or do you open Microsoft Word, go to “File>; Open Recent”? I bet the latter. The iPad, ever the bastion of simplicity, takes that to the next level. It is training us (me) to learn to love the lack of file/folders. In fact, dealing with folders and files when I use my computer has begun to really frustrate me.
The idea of files and folders is just that: an idea. The desktop metaphor is just that: a metaphor. Ideas and metaphors can change. And this experiment with the iPad is making me think that perhaps the time is ripe for a change. We’re living in an app-centric world now, after all. Why not link files only to the apps that they belong to?
The only problem is that, with any change, there is usually an uncomfortable period where the old status quo competes with the potentially new status quo. Which is why sometimes the lack of a file/folder structure is annoying. (Though apps can help mitigate this. Thanks Adamo, for your suggestion!) I have a feeling though, as Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion take more features from mobile to the desktop, the less we are going to have to deal with these annoyances.
There’s a good chance my future kids will back look at files and folders the same way I look back at DOS. “Jeez, how did they DEAL with that?”
File folder land: