There's been a classic love affair brewing in the corridors of City Hall this year. First, Mayor Bloomberg played coy, flirting a bit; then they started showing up together in public; and then the Mayor was forced to defend his lover from scrutiny. Now, finally, the cat is out of the bag: "He takes the iPad with him everywhere. He uses it all the time," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson.
Yes, the Mayor loves his iPad, perhaps not as much as he loves Bermuda, but certainly much more than reporters. According to a Daily News story yesterday, Bloomberg reads his speeches off of it, gets his briefing material on it, reads books on it, and even switched his magazine subscriptions (including Aviation Week) to his "sleek black and silver security blanket." He once called Steve Jobs to tell him how much he adored his iPad, sounding like a schoolboy possessed: "It's amazing. I told Steve Jobs the other day, if he can improve on this, it'll really be amazing. I just, every time I play with it, I discover something new," he said recently at a technology conference in Manhattan.
And later yesterday afternoon, at a news conference about the city's new wireless electronic water meters, Bloomberg somehow shifted the conversation to his beloved iPad, and in particular Shazam, the app that really "blows" his mind:
"Do you guys know what Shazam is, even?" Bloomberg asked reporters, his voice dripping with disdain. "You really should. You should take a look. You're writing stories and you don't know what's out there. And the millions and millions of people that are doing these, this stuff every day. Shazam just happens to be something -- you hear a song on the radio, you hit a button, it tells you what the song is and gives you the, gives you the lyrics to the song. It's a ridiculous thing, but it's convenient. But it just shows the kind of things that you would never think of that you can do."
The Daily News' Adam LIsberg wrote, "Perhaps reporters are out of touch; perhaps we just don't need an app to tell us the names of our favorite songs. And perhaps the true proof of Bloomberg's commitment to open data will come when his FOIL office starts providing public information without months of unexplained delays."