The iPad makes you smarter (sort of)

Friday, July 9, 2010

We all know it makes you cooler and more desirable to the opposite sex, but Wired's Brian Chen wants to know: does using an iPad make you smarter? Running counter to the current popular argument that the internet is making us stupid, Chen suggests that the clean interface of the iPad and its ilk actually help us concentrate more. But the real answer, like any good one, is "sort of":

The iPad’s single-screen interface reduces elements of distraction and potentially enhances user orientation, but because of the lack of windows, it also eliminates the ability to read information from multiple sources simultaneously on a single screen to complete more complex tasks. This shortcoming is what makes the iPad lacking as a productivity device for doing work. But problems like this can be solved over time with software updates.

For what it's worth, I've been reading on my iPad a lot lately, and I have to admit that when I'm connected to the internet, the temptation is too great to check Twitter and email. I take a lot more breaks than I normally would. So the fact that I'm reading a book or article in a single window doesn't matter when you can close and catch up on LeBron news in two touches.