Recently, I ran across something that I found to be a tad strange. Last week, I went to England to visit my dear old mom, who will be 83 years old this year. Mom has an old PC in her bedroom that she uses to browse the Internet (to some small extent) and to access her AOL email (yes, AOL is still around, it seems).
Mom's PC is "sad and tired" to say the least, and it takes forever to boot up. So, as a special treat we went down town and I bought her an iPad as an early Birthday present.
The first thing I did was to hook the iPad up to mom's wireless router. The next thing was to link it to her AOL email account. It works wonderfully. The iPad uses solid state memory so it's "instant on." Now, mom can be sitting in her front room and simply open the iPad cover and immediately see if anyone has emailed her and respond from the comfort of her armchair.
I also downloaded some common apps like Google Earth, which had my mother absolutely entranced. Now, she can spend hours looking at the satellite view of all the streets and houses she's known for so long, peering into her friends and neighbors back gardens, and generally seeing things from a completely different perspective.
But here's the strange part. There are two main television "entities" in the UK – the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and the ITV (Independent Television). My brother told me that each of them had free iPad apps that let you watch programs you might have missed.
In the case of my mother, for example, she loves the "soaps" like Coronation Street and EastEnders and Emmerdale Farm. However, mom is also very active with regard to things like going out to the theatre and the opera (plus she's in a walking club and a writing club, and numerous other activities), so she often misses episodes, which she hates.
So I downloaded the BBC and ITV apps to her iPad. One day, while I was working in my brother's dining room, mom sat in a rocking chair next to me reading her newspaper. A little later she decided to use her iPad to watch a quiz show she'd missed. She didn’t want to disturb me, so she plugged in the headphones we'd bought with her iPad. Sad to relate, the use of the headphones was negated a little by the fact that she kept on shouting out the answers ("It was Henry the Eighth, you fool!!!"), but it's the thought that counts.
But the point of this blog (yes, of course there is a point) is that I thought I might like to keep touch with what's happening on British television – an interesting series on Zombies has just started, for example. Thus, while I was still in England and while I was still using her wireless router, I tried to download the BBC and ITV apps onto my iPad, but it wouldn’t let me (as I recall, they didn’t even appear in the app store, but I may be mistaken about this).
So, now I'm wondering how "they" knew that my iPad usually lives in the USA. Are iPads locked to a particular region, or is there some other explanation?
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