Via minimalmac, here’s Daring Fireball on writing on the iPad:
The scary part though, is that one recurrent theme I see in nearly every single “how I write on the iPad” story is Dropbox. It’s the linchpin in the workflow. Scary, because Dropbox is outside Apple’s control. Scary, because if not for Dropbox, many of these people would be using their iPads as much as they are. Scary, because Apple’s iCloud falls short of Dropbox.
Long-time readers know that I seldom opine that Apple should acquire other companies. But Apple should buy Dropbox.
The premise here is spot on. My conclusion, though, the exact opposite.
When nerds like me extol the virtues of working in plain text, we talk about portability: no matter what happens to computers or software over the coming years, we say, we’ll always be able to take our files and open and edit them somewhere else. It’s been that flexibility that’s allowed writers to feel comfortable working in one of the million billion iOS text editors without being locked into some proprietary format that’s costly or difficult to pry off the device.
Well, what’s good for the file format is good for the cloud service. If Dropbox goes away tomorrow, an iOS user can switch to iCloud. Or Google Drive. Or SugarSync. Or the sync service that would inevitably try to replace Dropbox’s core functionality. If worst comes to worst, that user will still be able to copy their text into an e-mail and send it to themselves. That flexibility provides the security, the security that means being able to work on something on whatever platform you like, whatever happens to that platform.
These are the virtues of text files, which are in turn the virtues of the file system, which Dropbox is probably the single strongest force for protecting in iOS. If that diversity goes away - if the objective of syncing platforms becomes being acquired by Apple in the same way Sparrow’s objective seemed to be being acquired by Google - then that flexibility goes away, and the tablet becomes a lot less like a tool and a lot more like a screen controlled by somebody else.