I’ve quietly been watching all the opinions about the potential impact of the iPad over the past few days, and want to provide a roundup of perspectives. Though my initial reaction was lukewarm, (I believe my tweet was “iWasExpectingToBeMoreImpressed”), I decided that that reaction was completely ignorant. So, after spending some time *thinking* instead of just reacting, an interesting picture is beginning to form. Let’s take a look. Oh, and if you haven’t seen the keynote address or the video released by Apple, you can watch it here.
Many of the thoughts about the iPad are focused around what it’s missing, namely Flash, USB, camera, and multitasking. There are also heated arguments about it being a closed system that will kill creativity. I want to share some views around the web addressing these points:
I checked out a post over on Scoble’s blog, “Can Flash Be Saved?“, to get a sense of the conversation around this one. I found this in the comments section:
Steve Jobs is a genius in deciding which technologies are obsolete and thus should be discarded. He did this first with Floppies (and now the world has no floppies). He did this with serial ports and SCSI ports (and how we have USB). He is now doing the same with Flash. Thus, I predict Flash will be dead to the rest of the world soon. When Google has its HTML-5 YouTube up and running, then there will be no reason for using Flash on YouTube.
I found that rather insightful. According to Jobs, Flash is buggy and causes Mac crashes, and Adobe’s unwillingness/inability to fix it is just ‘lazy.’ So, he’s holding out on Flash in order to maintain the integrity of the user’s experience. The other part of the argument is that video is migrating to a new format, HTML5, and so this conversation will eventually be a non-issue. An article in today’s New York Times points out that several video sites, like YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv, and Flickr are already experimenting with alternatives to Flash, and a recent interview with Hulu implies they’re ready to convert their format if it means they’ll be where the eyeballs are:
“Mobile is a monster – we are very bullish. We will embrace any device.”
Apart from the Flash argument, there’s the issue of camera and multitasking. Well, according to a piece on engadget, there are indications that the platform could very well support video calling, file downloads, multitasking, and a handful of other features — so the foundation is already being laid for added bells and whistles on the second generation model.
And finally, the open system debate. I saw this article, “Are iPad’s Limitations Design Decisions?”, which I thought did a nice job addressing the “limitations” as choices that will ultimately enhance the overall experience of using the device.
Well what’s wrong with personal computing today? Complex operating system interfaces, technical input devices, security issues, and frequent crashes -to name just a few things…
…Closed systems enable companies to do seamless integration without putting the burden on their customers. An open system (like Android on smart phones) enables you to do what you like. It’s like Linux on the phone -with all that entails.
Apple, instead, makes their living by tightly controlling the experience of their customers. It’s why everyone praises their designs. From top to bottom, hardware to software -you get an integrated experience. Without this control, Apple could not be what it is today.
Another well-written post, by Frederic Filloux, echoes this sentiment:
This “limitation” is experienced (not an expressed thought, just a feeling) as a strength.
Over on Fast Company, Jamais Cascio wrote a post titled “iWorry: Does the iPad Signal the End of the Era of Open Computing?,” where he explains his fear that the developer restrictions will ‘narrow the scope of innovation.’ But from things I’ve read, part of the framework for facilitating innovation includes the creation of constraints:
…the interaction between feasibility (what is functionally possible within the foreseeable future); viability (what is likely to become part of a sustainable business model); and desirability (what makes sense to people and for people), with an emphasis on the people for which the product or service is being designed.
Those that are able to grasp this concept seem to be in agreement that a human-centered design approach that gives the user a simple, enjoyable experience is a fair trade for some restrictions.
Michael Coste describes the widget as interface as a new paradigm,
But something really new appears with the Widgets: a new paradigm is then tested by Apple. The widget layer is one level upon the application layer that we know since 1984. At that level you don’t need to know anything that happens under the hood. After all most car drivers never open the hood. They want to do the same with computers. The interface of the iPhone is based on this experiment. A button is an application and you want to do the thing that you know this application is able to do. You just push the button. If necessary a list will be shown to you but you never know where it’s going when it’s closed and you don’t care. That’s the most important new thing that brings this new interface.
software developer Joe Hewitt points out that you still have the ability to tinker with the Internet itself,
As a developer, it’s a bit sad losing the ability to come up with crazy plugins and daemons and system-level utilities, but I believe it’s a tradeoff worth making. What people are overlooking is that the Internet is an integral part of the iPhone OS, and it is the part of the OS you can tinker with to your heart’s delight. If you want to invent a new scripting language or background service or something, you’re still totally free to do that, but you’re going to have to run it on a web server. If you want total freedom on the client side, then write a web app. You’re simply no longer going to be able to tempt users into installing software that corrupts their computer.
and Steven Frank draw a comparison between ‘Old World’ and ‘New World’ devices, and points out the highlights and features we’d expect for the future of computing:
For as frustrated as I was with the restrictions, those exact same restrictions made the New World device a high-performance, high-reliability, absolute workhorse of a machine that got out of my way and just let me get things accomplished.
The bet is roughly that the future of computing:
- has a UI model based on direct manipulation of data objects
- completely hides the filesystem from the user
- favors ease of use and reduction of complexity over absolute flexibility
- favors benefit to the end-user rather than the developer or other vendors
- lives atop built-to-specific-purpose native applications and universally available web apps
The iPad as a particular device is not necessarily the future of computing. But as an ideology, I think it just might be.
Once you start looking past the device, and think about the behavior it enables, a new understanding emerges. I’ll wrap up this section with the sentiments by Fraser Speirs, which captures the essence of the human-centered design perspective:
I’m often saddened by the infantilising effect of high technology on adults. From being in control of their world, they’re thrust back to a childish, mediaeval world in which gremlins appear to torment them and disappear at will and against which magic, spells, and the local witch doctor are their only refuges.
With the iPhone OS as incarnated in the iPad, Apple proposes to do something about this, and I meanreally do something about it instead of just talking about doing something about it, and the world is going mental.
The tech industry will be in paroxysms of future shock for some time to come. Many will cling to their January-26th notions of what it takes to get “real work” done; cling to the idea that the computer-based part of it is the “real work”.
It’s not. The Real Work is not formatting the margins, installing the printer driver, uploading the document, finishing the PowerPoint slides, running the software update or reinstalling the OS.
The Real Work is teaching the child, healing the patient, selling the house, logging the road defects, fixing the car at the roadside, capturing the table’s order, designing the house and organising the party.
OK, so let’s take the focus off what the iPad is missing, and look at the areas in which it was designed to excel. In the keynote, Jobs says “Apple is a mobile devices company,” and that in order for the iPad to create a new product category, located somewhere between phones and laptops, it has to be “far better at some key tasks,” which he listed as follows:
A quick review of the list shows that the fundamental idea is to provide a fun, simple, seamless media consumption experience more than anything else. What’s being provided is the platform. What app developers do with it will be up to them, and we really don’t know what the manifestations will look like. As David Pogue put it:
Like the iPhone, the iPad is really a vessel, a tool, a 1.5-pound sack of potential. It may become many things. It may change an industry or two, or it may not. It may introduce a new category — something between phone and laptop — or it may not. And anyone who claims to know what will happen will wind up looking like a fool.
Some things to consider:
Do you remember when the iPod came out, and was starting at $399 with 5GB of storage? Or when the iPhone launched at $599 with 8GB storage? To have a 0.5 inch thin device with an almost 10″ multitouch display and 16GB of storage starting at $499 seems pretty impressive. (OK, the *actual* impact on your wallet will be higher, but we’ve come a long way.)
How might this device boost efficiency for businesses? A brief review of the iWork app on PopSci is making it seem like a touch-based interface will restructure the way we think about tasks and productivity altogether.
I was personally curious about which apps people were using on their iPhones/iPods, and if there might be an indication that the iPad would be a preferred tool at work. I sent out a tweet yesterday asking as much. From the responses I’ve gotten, the favorite/most used apps were Tweetie/Echofon/other Twitter client, Facebook, Google Earth & Maps, and a news outlet (NYTimes, CNN, etc). Now, I only got a small response from a specific audience, so this is in no way a representative sample of what most people may be using from the app store. But I do see that social networking and (trying to) keep up with information is important to people. I’ve written before about Twitter being a powerful informal learning environment, so even though we may not associate Twitter with “work,” it actually has become an important communications platform for people within an industry to exchange ideas and information. Will those factors justify purchasing another device to access it? We’ll see.
There’s been a lot of anticipation among educators about the uses of the iPad in the classroom, as well as its potential to transform the textbook industry. (CourseSmart, the country’s largest provider of electronic textbooks, has already developed an iPhone app in order to provide access to it’s library of over 87,000 textbooks.) I think of the 1:1 laptop initiative, combined with a collaborative creation tool like Sophie, and I can imagine so many ways that the learning experience could be enhanced. But even forget the classroom – an intuitive touch-based interface will be appealing to children for interactive learning in general.
Books & Magazines
It will be interesting to see what magazines will do to customize the experience. I saw this video by Sports Illustrated that shows what they plan to do. I’ve seen some ideas for new business models based around in-app purchasing , and new possibilities for creating contextual interactive graphics, woven narratives, and communal reading:
Now imagine if you could annotate a book–and have those annotations shared with a virtual book club. Or imagine if you could buy a textbook annotated by a commenter you trust, who could function basically as a tutor. And even wackier: Imagine if Oprah actually sold book editions where she’s offered her personal commentary or responses. Of it you could buy obscure books that Neil Gaiman loves but that you’ve never heard of–complete with Gaiman’s own critical responses.
As an aside, I think it’s interesting that when the Mag+ concept video came out a few months ago, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Now Apple has essentially released that product, and people seem disappointed. You can’t win.
I don’t have much to say about games beyond that playing them on a 10″ screen seems like it would be fun. I’ve seen a few ideas utilizing an iPad combined with your iPhone/iPod, like for board games or poker. The possibilities seem vast.
So, there’s the overview of what people are saying. I’m going to end this will two thoughts, the first a summary of everything so far, and the second the piece that puts it all into perspective:
1. People want a simple, intuitive, pleasant experience, with the technology hidden in the background.
A lengthy review by Freddy Snijder summed it up like this:
Many early adopting digital savvies often forget that most people don’t care about technology: they just want to get a job done, be productive, be social and have fun. In the past there was a strong need for more storage, (graphical) computing power, better hardware interfaces, better (wireless) Internet connections and a lot of other basic technologies to make computing more useful, even for the more technically skilled.
However, now we have entered a phase where technology can, in principle, already cater many of our computing needs. So, in this decade it is not about improving technological capabilities, it’s about developing & utilizing technology in ‘computing products’ to make them truly useful, effective and fun for consumers in more focused application areas.
2. We don’t know how this will play out.
Probably the most insightful post I’ve seen came from Tim Kastelle. He references a little piece, “What people said about the iPod 9 years ago when it launched…,” which has a collection of sentiments that were expressed back then that sound strikingly similar to what’s being said today. He goes on to say that no, the iPod itself was not a game-changing innovation. Then he looks at the iPod sales chart. What caused the sudden jump in market share by 2005?
The first iPod was introduced at the end of 2001, and you can see that sales figures for the first three years were not good at all. By the middle of 2004, the iPod’s market share had been sitting in the 20-30% range for a while. By the end of 2005, that had shot up to over 70%. What happened?
Because the iPod and iTunes are so closely interconnected now, it is easy to forget that iTunes didn’t exist for the first years of the iPod. At the time, the iPod was just another mp3 player. The innovation with the iPod was not in the product – it was the innovation in the product’s value network.
Aha. So all of the debate about the tool itself, and the features it does or does not have, may actually be less relevant than we think. Have we been asking the wrong question?
iTunes is what “made” the iPod (and the iPhone), not the devices in and of themselves. Of course we love the interface, but it’s what the interface gives us access to that we really love. So what’s Jobs got up his sleeve? Perhaps we should be focusing on the innovations that will come via the app store. Or a new model that’ll be born from the iBook store? Something else we don’t know about yet?
Jobs is not a fool. If he’s calling this “the most important thing I’ve ever done” (according to Arrington), do you think the culmination of his career is “an oversized iPod?” He’s probably been thinking about this device for decades, and has already thought about what it will be in decades to come. He’s been training us to consume music in a new way, then get familiar with a touch-based interface, and now wants to transform the way we consume media altogether. You’ve seen Pranav Mistry’s demonstration of SixthSense on TED by now, right? That is the future of technology, where the interface is haptic, and then ultimately becomes invisible. As many people have stated above, we don’t want to be encumbered by technology – we want it to improve our lives, to make things easier, and to not get in the way. Jobs gets this, and the iPad is a stepping stone.
In the end, Apple’s success isn’t just in satisfying current unmet needs, but to anticipate needs you don’t know you have and to beat you to the punch by creating a solution upfront. The iPad will be the platform. What are you going to do with it?
Michael J said:
Thank for the well researched and linked overview to the conversation. Most definitely helps to put it into perspective.
My $.02 , one reviewer in the San Fancisco Chronicle described it as a big iPod. I think that may be just right. From what I can tell following #edchat on twitter, the iPod has become seems a perfect medium delivery appliance in a classroom. The larger screen and low price point says to me that it should be a useful delivery appliance going forward.
I would keep a close eye on the deals Apple has made with publishers and movie makers. As with the iPod and iPhone the value is the network, not the hardware.
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks michael. i’m curious too about ‘deals with publishers and movie makers.’ we’ll see!
Ken Gillgren said:
Well done, Venessa, and I completely agree, especially with the iPod comparisons by Tim Kastelle. Too early to tell yet what the future holds for the iPad, although one might hope for a different name.
The really best stuff lays the groundwork for unexpected applications and uses. Just look at the continuing evolution of Twitter, largely if not completely driven by the user community. The proof for me will be the appearance of iPads “in the wild.” I’ve been consistently amazed how quickly Apple products show up on buses, in coffee shops (typically at least half the laptops present), libraries, other public places. I’ve even seen several of the not-so-well received Mac Airs in several public locations. Evidently dozens of my friends and colleagues have popped for iPhones, and one colleague is designing games for the platform. By comparison, I’ve yet to see a single Zune in the wild–although I watched one person buy one for a gift at a Walmart before Christmas (OK, don’t ask what I was doing at a Walmart!)
At a personal level, I’m still a year or so off from getting an iPhone and have little interest in an iPad–but then an upgrade for me was a Palm Centro (just too wedded to a few key applications–I actually have read more books on my various Palm iterations than in print), and***sigh***I still have half a dozen Newton MessagePads (various models, several still bootable) in my “tech” closet. I guess my days of “early adopter” have come and gone. It’s been more fun of late broadening access and adoption at the margins.
And it’s become something of a spectator sport to observe the pre- and post-hype surrounding almost anything Apple or Google do these days. Time for popcorn.
Venessa Miemis said:
ha. i upgraded to an iPhone when my verizon contract expired, and though i’ll say that i’m not impressed with AT&Ts service, at all, the phone is great. i’ll probably end up getting an ipad too – though i’ll wait for the 2nd or 3rd version when they’re down to $299 and have the kinks worked out.
p.s. stay outta walmart! 😉
Big Amen re: Waiting for f2 or f3, price + bugs!
Ken Gillgren said:
OK, this has just been too much fun watching the comments in response to this posting, so let me lead the pack to see what other mischief we can conceive.
I can’t believe that someone from Apple marketing or design has not been lurking or even participating in this thread, and I’m equally confident that VENESSA MIEMIS has earned an evaluation copy of the current iPad, or even better, a beta edition of iPad 2.0 (hopefully with another name!).
How about it Apple folk, how many relatively balanced threads around design considerations like this are out there, with this level and spread of readership? And you can see how Venessa would handle the review.
I’m just sayin…
You’ve given me so much to think about here–I’m going to reread your post after work when I have more time, but I just wanted to mention that I used Netflix to show a movie in my class because someone had checked the DVD out of our library and I don’t have my own copy. Last year, that would have been impossible.
Venessa Miemis said:
that’s great. is youtube blocked in your school? any other restrictions? i’ve heard teachers complain that the administration blocks them from using several sources that could be educational for the students.
Another in a series of outstanding posts!
The greatest question I’m left with is how the iPad will go beyond offering a way to more easily consume digital resources, to more easily (co)creating them.
Perhaps the new chip and iPad OS were designed to enable a seamless speech->text user experience (perhaps in combination with haptics) for the future?
That would be another milestone in Steve Jobs’ career of making things moot – letting us get by without actual or virtual keyboards.
Venessa Miemis said:
re: cocreating – wouldn’t it just be a matter of building an app that does it? or since it has the web, couldn’t people just access the sites they would typically use to cocreate? (wikis, google wave, sophie?)
>>re: cocreating – wouldn’t it just be a matter of building an app that does it?
Agree that iPad will let users interact with such apps via gestures on the touch-sensitive screen, or by using the virtual keyboard.
The challenge comes when one wants to write something more than Tweets and short emails. A virtual keyboard on the same viewing angle as the screen will make for some pretty awkward positions for sustained typing.
Having speech-to-text (such as Dragon/Macspeech) built into future iPads could be an answer for this.
A gesture might awaken a built-in directional mic with ambient noise cancellation. One could then draft longer emails and blog posts with the iPad. It would have to be done in pretty insulated work areas, or risk annoying anyone else within earshot.
“Speechless” dictation of thoughts could be a further option. A company called Audeo has developed a neckband that – with training – can transcribe unspoken words based on the signals that brains send to vocal chords: http://j.mp/ahoo19 . The system is pretty slow now, but could be ready for prime time in a few more years.
Perhaps this means we’ll see Steve Jobs setting a new trend in neckware during a future iPad intro? Unless Croatia, having given cravats/neckties to the world, beats him to it…
Tim Kastelle said:
Very thorough and good review Venessa! Thanks for mentioning my post.
The best summary I’ve seen so far has from Matt Perez (@matt_perez) who left this comment on my post:
“As I said in an tweet a couple of days ago: iPod is to iTunes as iPhone is to AppStore as iPad is to iBook.”
I think you’re right in saying that it’s naive to think that Jobs & Apple will screw this up. But I also still think that we won’t know if they have until we see the rest of the things that support the iPad.
Venessa Miemis said:
yeah, that phrase pretty much summarizes the post. ah, the brevity of twitter!
Alvis Brigis said:
Nice exhaustive analysis.
If the iPad is first and foremost a funbox, then I think dominance will be directly correlated with kick-ass individual games and applications, as has been the case with the PS3, Wii and XBox. Can Apple woo enough amazing game developers to fend off more open but messy approaches from netbooks and multi-tasking Flash-enabled tablet PCs? I am not so sure. They’d better have some amazing games ready for launch Day 1.
Also, Apple will not enjoy as a big a lead as with the iPod this time around. Like a college basketball team that’s ranked #1 everyone is gunning for them, analyzing their strategy, emulating, leapfrogging. I understand that Jobs nixed many many version of this, so this one’s probably solid, but the competition will come very quickly. That said, I won’t be purchasing a tablet that doesn’t run flash, can’t multi-task, and has no camera for AR – but maybe the children of the world will, with the device doubling as a recreational and a school reader – however, the PS3 initial $499 price tag proved too high, so Apple will have to add a ton of additional value to get parents to open their wallets.
Venessa Miemis said:
good points, from the gamer/AR perspective! btw, lookin forward to the rollout of in3d – keep me posted!
Freddy Snijder said:
This is a very rich post, taking us along the main thread of iPad discussions in the blogosphere, congrats!
It’s cool you were able to wrestle yourself through my lengthy iPad review and use some of my writings in your summary.
About the iPod/iTunes innovation : it has shown how important it is to optimized all aspects of a product (form & user-interface design, (technology) features, business model, etc..) into one synergistic whole, to make it a truly successful innovation.
In my opinion the iPad doesn’t need a magical new component to make it just as succesful as the iPod/iTunes combo, a ‘synergetic’ whole is already in place for it. iPad will build upon the eco-system (and business model) of music, video, games and apps that has been grown through iPod and iPhone. What has been added, is the iBook store, which is the iTunes augment specifically for the iPad.
The Apple iPad’s value can only increase for users, when developers start making applications that are really optimized for the iPad and that use all of its native features.
Last, something I should actually write my next post about: the discussion about the Apple proprietary, closed system. I do believe in open systems, it fosters (unexpected) innovation and subsequently new value.
However, I think the reaction by ‘open Internet advocates’ and reviling companies (like Google) sounds an awful lot like whining toddlers (yes, it ticks me off 😛 ) : it’s very simple, if they want the world to enjoy open systems, why don’t they put their energy in creating products themselves that can be enjoyed by users with the same ease-of-use and efficiency? As you also mention, Apple can control the usability and experience of their products by being closed. If we don’t like that, we should simply build a better alternative using open systems and stop pointing our fingers to others.
My blog: web2society.com
My company : Visionscapers
Me on Twitter : @visionscaper
Venessa Miemis said:
let me know when you’ve written the post on open systems. i support open too, and follow the work being done by various organizations to protect our civil liberties (EFF, p2p foundation), but maybe i’m missing the big picture of why people are up in arms about this.
on a side note, after the whole Amazon/MacMillan thing this weekend, i’ll be curious to see what kind of deal apple has struck with the publishers for the iBook service…..
Semira Soraya-Kandan said:
the past weeks have been pretty immerged in twitter and a wealth of ideas and discussions. The ipad left me pretty luke, too, to say the least. Now, I have used a computer since 1987. I wrote my first email 1988. I never saw any reason to buy an ipod. Now I know why I was so indifferent about the ipad. I also forced myself to follow the discussions as I sensed there were aspects in the debate I could not ignore. And I also realized that my questions (and anwsers) missed important points about Apple and innovation and the possible futures of the web and us using the web. I am grateful for these inputs. Your post summarizes the lines of reasoning very well. It mirrors some of my changes in thinking and goes beyond. I am very happy that we met and excited about future exchange. My next blog post on my own site may very well have the headline “Every advantage is a disadvantage; every disadvantage is an advantage”. This line also fits the ipad story so far.
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks semira, glad to meet you too. been enjoying your tweets! (@SemiraSK)
Pingback: Nerd Vittles » Apple’s iPad: A Home Run for Education
Great post – incredibly well researched.
I’m a flash / AIR developer. I’m also an educator – I recently wrote Head First 2D Geometry for O’Reilly.
I feel excited on both counts! A developer with depth to their understanding can quickly shift from one platform to another – and if you’re doing really interesting things in flash (and not just video or ads) then you can also do interesting things for iPad.
As an educator I’m bursting with excitement. Geometry and Physics text books where the learner can put their finger on the content and experiment – this is potentially amazing. I struggle sometimes to capture in words and stills what really needs a video of me waving my arms around to communicate.
I like the command line. I like to get under the hood – for a specific set of tasks. I also like that my toaster just makes toast, and I certainly don’t tweet or email from a unix terminal! At the moment I have a TV for most video, and a laptop for email, web and also officey documenty things, and the same machine for compiling complicated code stuff… I have a feeling the iPad is just going to shift the tasks I already undertake into different domains. I don’t complain that my Wii doesn’t have a shell prompt…
Venessa Miemis said:
i remember seeing the MIT Sketching video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZNTgglPbUA&feature=related) a few years back and thinking how it could be amazing for visually teaching information. now take it a step further – instead of watching the teacher demonstrating it on a smartboard, the student is experimenting on their own tablet.
Amazing Vanessa, You open my eyes, I was seeing the iPad as another status symbol device.
Venessa Miemis said:
glad you liked it
I’m sorry but Apple claiming that they’re not supporting Flash because it’s buggy is hogwash. If it was really about Flash’s instability they’d at least support Silverlight. HTML5 might be coming but it certainly is not going to be ubiquitous across the internet in the near future.
The reason Apple doesn’t support Flash or Silverlight is simply because sites like Hulu and Netflix directly undercut video content Apple sells in the App Store. Why pay $2 for an episode of a TV show when you can get it for free or watch the entire series for $9.99/month?
Hulu, Netflix, and the like may switch to HTML5 sometime in the future and in that case Apple cannot protect iTunes. But for now they can proceed competition free.
Venessa Miemis said:
fair enough. whatever the reasoning for not using flash, i guess it comes down to business strategy. whether it’s ethically right or wrong, it’s in apple’s interest as a business to try to protect (and reinforce) its competitive advantage.
Bob Spryn said:
I’m pretty sure undercutting the video content pricing has absolutely nothing to do with it. Have you used flash on a mac? Even the most basic animation has the CPU spinning like crazy, and quite often crashes the browser. Flash was cool, but video was totally shoe-horned in there merely because of the flash player’s level of saturation. Its a horrible delivery mechanism otherwise.
This two parts Apple choosing to drop a technology to push another forward which would immensely improve the customer experience, and one part spite for never repairing flash on the mac. Like others have said, Steve Jobs is incredibly good at, and one of the few in a position to, decide what antiquated technology should die. He’s able to prove he’s correct about the technology being disposable on his mac audience, and then the pc world follows suit. He’s been successful time and time again, so I’d give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. I’d also love to see flash die.
well thats not true GIrish, Flash is not good for any computer, MAC or PC, iphone or any Phone, it pulls all the power of your Computer and specially kill your battery.We all love YouTube videos. We all love Homestar Runner. But we don’t love it when Flash ads or other Flash-related junk forces our processors to run hot and leech our precious battery fluids.
Flash animations and videos are among the top processor hogs on Mac OS X. A single poorly-designed Flash banner – even in an inactive window or tab - can suck up an entire processor core with its shady mortgage offers.
Your 5-hour battery life gets cut in half, your laptop runs hotter, and your legs cook to medium-rare.
Every time you drain your battery, you bring it 0.2% closer to death’s door.
That’s, like, 25 cents per charge at Apple’s going rate of $129 for a replacement battery.
Not to mention the toll on your energy bill. And the nuclear coal burned to provide that electricity.
In a world without BashFlash, you may end up having to replace your MacBook’s battery over its lifetime, since the Flash plug-in is free to suck up your battery’s lithiums, ions, and polymers with wanton disregard to your pocketbook 😦
Specially I hate watching netflix or any stream, it has so cheap quality, And this is me who thinks when you watch a multimedia, Quality should be a big concern
you enjoy crisper details of video, play the sound with your home surround speakers
and sit on a couch and watch that crisp video on a big display.
Thats how one should be entertaining himself.
sorry but thats what I think, and thats my view………..
to know more about ipad read 10 myths about ipad here: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2010/01/31/ten-myth-of-apples-ipad-1-its-just-a-big-ipod-touch/
David Hunter said:
GIrish definitely has a point vic, but so do you!
I’m a new proud owner of an iPhone (as of yesterday) and also someone who makes a lot of Flash content, none of which I will be able to see on my new phone. boo hoo.
Cruising the appstore last night there is a lot on sale especially for those with money to spare like people who buy apple products. I can see how its making a lot of money. Allowing flash in the iPhone browser would undoubtedly knock the sales/make redundant some apps, why would you pay for something when you can get it free online. I’m not saying that moving to an internet where people actually pay for content or services is bad, broadly I’m in favour, but its clear that the tight controls like no flash are integral to generating revenue no different to DRM.
I thought the internet was about openness, anyone with a connection can put anything up there- any content and any software to interact with it. Thats why there are standards (even though they aren’t adhered to by all browsers- anyone who uses IE should not complain about flash) to help keep it as open to all as possible, and yes flash isn’t as open as we’d all like but the flashplayer is free for all to install and adoption rates are very high which is why flash is so successful and so many sites use it even in little chunks you might not notice. The iPhone and iPad are about apps and they cost money. With the iPhone/iPad you aren’t getting the whole web, and thats fine cos anyone who buys one knows this. But you might just miss out on something fantastic.
I agree with you, hey iplaced my order @8.30.12 lol
Hari Jayaram said:
Great post and I very much agree with your assessment of the ipad.
I believe It is going to change the way we consume content on the web. It is going to open up subscription ecosystems and get people used to paying those few cents to consume content, because we do it on itunes but almost never on our laptop otherwise…soon we will be doing it routinely on the ipad . Also It is going to be widely used at any and every location where you need a touch based intuitive interface to provide quick information to users – ( an ipad at you pharmacist or local grocery store) and many other locations where the ability of developers to create innovative applications and apple to provide monetization outlets for them will make the ipad a winner ..a big winner.
Just a point , the 6th sense device is by Pranav Mistry not Minsky as your post reads.
Venessa Miemis said:
ah, thank you. i corrected it. i’m curious about those subscription ecosystems too – i wonder what that will look like for magazines.
Andrew Herron said:
My first visit here today…driven by Dave Winers RT. A great summary of the iPad debate so far…picking up several sources i had seen too. Thanks i will certainly come back for more.
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks, and welcome!
Spiro Spiliadis said:
Great insights into what others are saying in a nice order, thanks for that.
My opinion, they are meeting an unmet need which in turn will produce unmet wants.
The need factor is simple, those that have the necessity for a bigger iphone because they can’t handle small devices, and for those that don’t want an imac because they don’t need all the fucntions.
iPad to create a new product category, located somewhere between phones and laptops, it has to be “far better at some key tasks,” which he listed as follows:
This is probably the most mainstream device that will satisfy this market, we sometimes forget but most of us are not using devices professionaly, Jobs is testing the market, and even if flash wasn’t added for the reasons suggested, it’s the perspective that it didn’t fit the budget projected for this product,
everything was thought out well, a frist device, cheap enough yet reliable like the ipod, no worries there… thus what you have is the needs being met by the mainstream…
this is just smart business, with well thought out design thinking,
the apps will add to the devices popularity…
but all in all, he’s just meeting a need and also satisfying the “wants” as well.
Venessa Miemis said:
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Thanks for collating all of this into one place. I was so tired of the speculation about the device in the lead-up to the product launch that I switched off: I’d much rather wait until the product is announced before speculating about it!
It’s worth drawing readers’ attention to a post by Gavin Heaton about Apple’s change in focus from pro-sumer to consumer of media – the iPad (and the iPhone and iPod) represent a move from providing tools for the creation of media to beautiful devices for the consumption of media.
Or perhaps this is simply the limitation of mobile devices?
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks, i checked out the post. i don’t know that transitioning to consumer from prosumer is due to the limitation of mobile devices…. i mean, the ipad isn’t positioned as a netbook or a touch-based laptop – it seems to be more of a “funbox”, as alvis called it above, lol. but there are laptops and netbooks with full operating systems (if that’s what you mean by mobile device). i think jobs is just casting a wide net and trying to appeal to everyday people who want an entertainment device, not a system to be programmed.
“Funbox” is a pretty good summary of what the iPad is for, although the inclusion of iWork apps suggests that they’re trying to chase after at least some basic business / productivity apps.
I agree with you that it’s not an inherent limitation of mobile devices. It does seem like a decision on Apple’s part to create products that are just for entertainment, though.
The iWork suite for iPad notwithstanding, it doesn’t seem that there’s much of an Apple product range for people who want to create media. Though it’s hard to argue against the notion that it’s more profitable to be taking a percentage of the price of every piece of media consumed than to try and make a living from the margin on the software / hardware for content creation!
Another amazing blog entry Venessa. I never stop being impressed by your entries. This one however is quite well rounded and so well researched and aggregated. Well done. ~RLavigne42
Venessa Miemis said:
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By February 1983 Laurie Anderson had compiled United States Live.
“Our plan is to drop a lot of odd objects onto your country from the air. And some of these objects will be useful. And some of them will just be…odd. Proving that these oddities were produced by a people free enough to think of making them in the first place. The United States helps, not harms, developing nations by using their natural resources and raw materials.”
Apple may not have begun this way, but now finds it successful to extend or rather redistribute the formerly government/academy owned web and it’s collection of things. The odd objects are increasingly familiar and occasionally appear more and more useful, self explanatory, self evident – hardly odd at all. And they do not merely suggest they were created by free people (what *is* a free person after all?) but they promise more freedom, more innovation, more development.
And there *are* new developments, products, apps and productions that might make us even more free. New web objects for every local stream customised and optimised for each dweller along every favoured stream.
Every beck, branch, brooklet, budge, burn, back, course, creek, cortege, concourse, column, cascade, cataract, crick, ditch, drift, drum, freshet, fullness, flux, fetch, fall, gleam, issue, kill, leam, mizzle, march, plenty, plunge, pass, refluence, reflux, race, rally, rill, rindle, rivulet, run, runnel, rush, spate, spout, soar, surge, spring, sternway, streamlet, syke, throng, tide, tributary, wake, wane, wend, washing past us in our increasingly familiar places.
Is Jobs the troubadour bringing us news from afar, the scholar gypsy, fellow traveler, personal trainer, priest, prophet or profiteer? Or is he content (pun intended) to be all things to all people, those that wait and those that clamour for more? He will deliver. The pudding gives proof. Take, Eat.
Venessa Miemis said:
not like those moderns and premoderns who insipred my list of synonyms. you know ’cause “the ladies they just rolled their eyes”
Ramiro Ferrer said:
Venessa: you are truly smart, and you have wonderful writing skills. This is the most clever piece of thought I have read about the iPad. If that device is going to change some paradigms, is a speculation. What is not a speculation whatsoever is that you are a gifted thinker.
Ramiro Ferrer Lavalle
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks ramiro, but don’t give me too much credit! i just pulled together the things that have already been said better by others…
Why does everyone keep missing the obvious on Flash. Most of the free web games are based on Flash. The reason Jobs is withholding flash is to save the iTunes store. No one would buy games if you could simply point the browser to a Flash-based game. A lot of Adobe’s products are buggy but I’ve never had a Windows or Mac application or OS fail due to Flash. He’s feeding you a red herring and you’re buying it.
Regarding multi-tasking it is irrelevant if it can do it or it will do it. This one can’t. We can revisit the platform once, and if, it gets that capability.
Venessa Miemis said:
just in time – A First Taste Of What The Google Tablet Will Look Like (Pics) – http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/02/01/google-tablet-photos/
Bob Spryn said:
Really? Never seen a browser crash due to flash? Do you use a mac? Even aside from crashing, have you noticed how bad the performance is?
Adobe has been snubbing fixing the mac flash player for years and years. I rather loudly complained about it maybe 8 years ago to the point where an employee contacted me. They’ve improved it a tiny bit over the years, but its still pathetic.
David Hunter said:
Bob, I’ve been using macs for many years, and NEVER had a problem running Flash and its certainly never crashed my browser. Yes an intense animation or video might take the CPU into its upper echelons, but it will be no different with HTML 5. The fact is playing video and animation is CPU intensive. I urge you to go check out some of the HTML 5 demos and watch your CPU take off!
Here’s a fairly more concise and realistic analysis :
* This device is sh*t (at least technically speaking)
* It is nothing near a visionnary creation from steve jobs, it is the same bullsh*t we’ve had all over the years with apple : a nicely packaged crap is designed, and massively advertised so that 1) People like it despite its flaws 2) Stupid analysts can praise apple strategy which just consist in f**king its customers as hard as they can without them noticing.
No they didn’t came up with anything new, same old strategy : apple software is only usable with apple hardware (and vice versa), and you can only do what apple decides you to on apple material. This is nonsense. That’s the same strategy that nearly had apple die in the 90’s, only applied with greater skills.
That’s a shame from apple which is THE compagny that draw benefit the most from open source software.
Luckily all the others manufacturers are not dumb enough to follow Apple’s lead. If every manufacturer was to develop such a “everything that run on my product must be SPECIFIC to my product”, this would just create major compatibility problems between brands, which is essential in today’s electronical world.
So please let’s stop making such noise about lame apple products, which are only designed to f**k everyone upside down
Venessa Miemis said:
you clearly feel strongly about it! sorry i edited your swears….just makes me feel better.
but anyway, as you said yourself – it’s a strategy. and it IS a strategy. they provide a simple design and pleasant experience in exchange for customer captivity – and i don’t know that the customers necessarily mind that. the creators aren’t happy with the deal, but for the general audience this product is targeted towards, it’s a good media consumption device. and if they can’t deal w/o Flash, they can wait for the Google tablet http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/02/01/google-tablet-photos/
i’m sorry the individual swore too, but i get the impression that you’ve hitched more than your consumer preference to the post outside the local watering hole. I suppose your personal ideologies are your own. I’m not buying or shorting Apple. I used it for a time and stopped and i’m glad i did before these days came to pass.
Bob Spryn said:
Clearly Juan is very open minded. I love the ‘if other people think its cool, I’m against it’ attitude.
Clearly there are huge benefits from controlling the user experience from the software through the hardware. And Apple doesn’t ‘owe’ Juan the ability to run OS X on other hardware. This self-entitled attitude is another weird one to me.
Closed platforms aren’t inherently evil. Only the by-products that have tended to stem from them. If a closed platform still allows for incredible innovation (and giving some constraints often helps provide a good direction for innovation), then there really isn’t an issue. Other platforms, open or closed, can still compete. Whatever the delivery, its about providing users with something they really enjoy. If google is able to achieve that level of user experience with their open platform, then they have the winning hand. If its sub-par (which IMO it currently is), then its not better by right of being open.
Being a closed system, with a bad product, stifling innovation, and winning through bad (some may say shrewd) business practices is definitely evil. But those things aren’t absolutely linked together. You can have any one of those without the others.
This is a wonderful perspective. Very thorough, fair and I learned a lot. And I think you are totally on to something!
Wondering what you think of my take on it: omaried.wordpress.com
Venessa Miemis said:
i had to do a double take of your blog’s title..i thought it was written in tibetan or something for a sec! loved your post! it’s so great b/c i’m reading so many bloggers say ‘this device is for my mom’, but no posts by moms saying ‘this device is for me’. (assuming you’re a mom). although, if you’ve been programming tricks on punchcards since the 70s, i don’t know if i’d put you in the ‘everyday mom’ category! but what you said makes total sense, and it seems like it’s the factor that will be most appealing to the masses – “a joyful experience”
Excellent posting and insights, Venessa! I wish all the self-important bloggers and pundits who spewed forth with ready-fire-aim reactions had stepped back and given the iPad as much thought as you. But they didn’t. But then, 99 percent of the whiners are guys. That should tell you something.
My reaction to the iPad was much more positive than most. I never expected that the rumors would have any relation to reality, and sadly, they took on a life of their own. I went into the keynote expecting a swoon of disappointment, and unfortunately, I was right. What I find downright silly is the focus on the hardware, on details that will evolve soon, and especially on the here-and-now. That pundits would not consider where all this will lead us in five, ten, twenty years is deeply disappointing.
David Pogue is right that anyone who believes they can predict what will be the favored uses of the iPad is a fool. The unexpected consequences of such an invention are often the most fun and compelling things about a bold new creation. To say that “duh, it’s just a big iPod touch” makes me shake my head. Of course it is – but the iPad is and will be so much more. Steve Jobs himself said that millions of people already know how to use the iPad, and I believe Apple’s decision to use a familiar form factor was the result of a lot of agonizing over alternatives, and in the end, rejecting them. The hardware did not disappoint me. But as you indicate, the hardware is but a starting point. To those who say there is little or nothing that can be done to tinker with the iPad is absurd and a sign of no imagination. Those same people should ask, “what can I do with this? And what will people want with this?” To me, the possibilities are endless.
Some day, we’ll tell our grandchildren how we used to read our news, our magazines and books all on printed paper. We’ll tell them that we used to strain as we walked to school with a heavy armload of books under our arms. We’ll tell them that we used to roam the stacks at our local public or college library, manually looking for books. We’ll tell them that we’d take a handwritten doctor’s prescription to the pharmacy, and that a physician would do his or her rounds with a clipboard. In response, your grandchildren will look at you as though you were insane. And that’s just the beginning.
As you say, it’s not the technology, but the uses we’ll make for the iPad and competing products to come. And that “one more thing…” moment we’d hoped we would hear last week? I believe Steve Jobs is still holding cards tucked under the sleeve of his turtleneck. For example, that huge data center that Apple is building in Tennessee (I believe that’s the location) – connect the dots. That AT&T 3G is in a plug-in device and not built-in – connect the dots, because I don’t think it will end there. From iTunes to iBooks, I have a feeling that the iPad is merely the starting point to much bigger things that have nothing to do with hardware, and everything to do with content, services and business deals. And this is just in the first year.
So think ahead. Way ahead. Imagine how a tablet can make your life different and better. A decade from now, we’ll barely remember 3G wireless or WiFi. Neither technology was ever really designed to handle the demands placed on them today. For computing and always-on Internet to really flourish anywhere you go, we’ll need something bigger, faster and better. The exploding market for mobile computing demands it, and I believe that devices like the iPad will be the catalyst for this.
That’s why I am so excited. I think Apple is off to a great start with the iPad. It’s not perfect, but I never expected it to be. Instead of dwelling on the silly details of why it does not have a camera, or multitasking (which could come this summer in iPhone/iPad OS 4), why only AT&T (which I think will change quickly – the plug-in 3G should be a tip-off that the iPad can go in other directions), I hope that people will think instead of what it can do for them, and how a device of this type will serve them in the future. I can’t wait.
Thanks again for your wonderful insights!
Venessa Miemis said:
agreed! i have nothing to add to that except Thanks for such a thoughtful comment!
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Wolfie Rankin said:
I’m tired of Microsoft and Apple ruling the roost and I would love a third party involved with the creation of an entirely new machine and OS, who? Nintendo, Why not… I reckon they’d could make the best computers ever.
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Good round up of the meaningful articles since the keynote. It would have good to see reference to Robert Scoble’s son’s thoughts on the iPad as an educational tool:
Also a basic understanding of gaming’s role in the evolution of user interfaces and the social web for that matter would be good to see. That Steve Jobs and the bloggers in his orbit see gaming as Poker, Doom and car racing is an awkwar. Situation.
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Thierry de Baillon said:
Amazing post and thorough analysis, Venessa.
Thanks so much for it. There is only a little thing you apparently missed: the way the iPad, similarly as Google intends to do with the Nexus One, may forever break the now familiar “one device, one carrier” model. See here for instance.
Innovation sometimes advances masked, and time will tell where the breakthrough sits.
Venessa Miemis said:
yea, i see i didn’t point out that aspect. i hope it “works.” – as someone in France, doesn’t the model of a 2 year service contract seem strange to you? (you don’t have contracts there, do you?) i can’t stand that i have to be tethered to a mobile provider just b/c i want a specific phone. it makes no sense, and it allows them to get away with crappy customer service and there’s nothing you can do about it. if this move by apple gets people to no longer accept that, i feel like that’s a step in the right direction.
Thierry de Baillon said:
We also have 1 year | 2 years service contracts in France too, but providers also sell prepaid cards which allow for more “freedom”, as long as you are ready to pay 100 extra euros to have your phone unlocked…
I don’t know if Apple will be able to get over this; there are clues nevertheless: last year Orange, who had an exclusive deal with Apple for iPhone, was condemned and forced to allow other providers to sell iPhones too (with respective contracts, we are not in a teddy bear world). If it does, mobile providers will go from dictatorial ‘brands’ to commodities, and will be forced to brand themselves through content… thus giving Apple a new lever to reinvent media consumption.
Michael J said:
I wanted to add a link to an article at Harvard Business Review blogs which argues that the iPad points to a serious threat to the cable business. I’m inclined to agree.
“The iPad Showdown: Apple Versus Comcast” http://ilnk.me/17bb
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks for that article. like the example right above yours indicating a disruption of the contract-based structure with phone carriers, maybe this disruption with cable will also be a good thing for consumers. i mean, i pay extra for the triple-play package, though i don’t even have a landline – it’s cheaper to have all 3. but on TV, there are maybe 4 channels i even watch, and even then it amounts to maybe an hour or two a week. it’s so hard to find quality content. (have you seen this article in the Onion?) it’s funny [sad] because it’s true! if i could find the proper cord to attach my laptop to the TV, i wouldn’t watch cable at all.
and how will this continue to impact advertising? i’m curious to see what creative new business models emerge. this gets into another conversation, but we’ve been getting fed ads for years, promoting a materialistic culture and losing a sense of true values, and the exponential growth of “stuff” is clearly not sustainable. i think if you step way back and look at all the different factors that are interacting right now, society in general is undergoing a fundamental disruption. (as you know, addressing these issues is the intention of this blog). the media is an enormous influence on public perception of reality, so i’m finding it interesting to see how things are shifting because of these new modes of consumption/creation/communication.
Michael J said:
I want to put on the table the notion that Print with 2d codes, either QR or Microsoft tags might be able to help solve the “what to watch” problem. The reality is that the massive amount of interesting video on the web is a new thing. ForaTV, TEDtalks, Google talks are just the tip of the iceberg.
Now that the Obama administration is continuing to reinvent the way Power engages People, important videos talking to citizens about complex issues will most likely break away from MSM. Interesting article in Politico on this subject. http://ilnk.me/17b2
The technology for producing versioned (for a defined community) or personalized (for one individual) has been developing in the world of Print for about 15 years. Now it’s pretty easy, for “clickable print” to be output wherever their is a web connected copier. With an iPad it means, get a one page paper document with “what’s on.” Type a shortened URL or “click” with a smartphone or other device, and watch the video.
A link to a use case by Ricoh Innovations http://ilnk.me/16a4 Ricoh is one of the largest Print companies in the world. In the US they sell web connected copiers to schools and through InfoPrint production digital printing equipment to the trade.
Michel Coste said:
thanks for the citation of an article in my new born site!
But what’s puzzlin’ me is that WordPress told me about another link of the exactly same article as yours somewhere else…
Do you know about it?
Venessa Miemis said:
yeah, someone gave me a heads up. they plagiarized the entire article without attribution. i’m not sure what i can do about it. any ideas?
Michel Coste said:
Maybe just tell them to put it out!
And perhaps put a copyright on your site (couldn’t find it anywhere! The thief probably count on that…)
And maybe also contact the Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au) who has been the victim too and unit with them (now I’m not so sure about the copyright thing since SMH has obviously a copyright!).
Venessa Miemis said:
got it. added a CC w/attribution badge to sidebar. we’ll see if that helps. thank you.
Eric Longo said:
Loved it Venessa! Beautifully framed and rigorous. I couldn’t agree more with the conclusions that it’s never about the technology.
I shared this with a friend yesterday about the use of digital mobile devices in museums:
The first generation iPhone, though popular because it was a technological breakthrough, was a neat device but its use was limited to a few native apps. It’s not until Apple decided to allow developers to develop new apps and sell them on the App store with the release of the second generation iPhone that it really became a hit. Why? Because of the gizmo itself? No. Because of what the iPhone allowed users to do thanks to apps.
Again, it’s not about the technology. The technology is an enabler. When Antonio Stradivari invented the modern violin in the late 1600s, that was a technological breakthrough then. But while his violins are beautifully crafted objects and may be found in museum collections, it’s only as beautiful as the music it generates when played. It’s an enabler, not an end unto itself.
Venessa Miemis said:
ha, i like the violin analogy. i guess it can be said for all technology, all the way back to the written word/symbol/hieroglyph, with each new iteration doing something to society and culture. (the medium is the message?)
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Unfortunately, I cannot accept a lot of your thinking for one simple reason: I refuse, for good or bad, to allow a company to dictate what I can or cannot use. I see exactly what you and others are saying, I understand what you are trying to infer may be happening and I honestly do not think the direction you want (and hope?) to go, is a good thing in the grand scheme.
Yes, I hate Apple and their products, that is very widely known in the circles I am in, but it’s not just blind hate and not something I can easily put into words. As you said about Jobs – “He’s probably been thinking about this device for decades, and has already thought about what it will be in decades to come.” – I think the same way.
Everything the iPad could possibly do, requires either a storage device (another computer, NAS, etc) and/or a connection to the internet. What happens when you have neither, don’t want either or can’t afford both? Apple’s iPhone and iPad are basically useless without that lifeline, and it’s a huge risk relying on that for business use. An annoyance for personal, if that line ever gets severed.
A device should not be dependent, forced or rendered half-functional if a completely unrelated service is not available, and that is what can happen to this device. If I have a brand new iPad in my hands, what can I do with it without connecting it to anything? I have no doubt it will have some games, possibly a few songs and certainly a book or two (they have to give you reason to buy more, after all) but then what?
Being dependent on other devices or services is a weakness, go no further than the iPhone and AT&T’s 3G for a prime example. How useless is that phone without 3G and no Wi-Fi in sight? Having everything being web-based, or relying on that connection for an app, is not something we are ready for in the world just yet, by a long shot.
To quote Fraser Speirs from above “they’re thrust back to a childish, mediaeval world in which” – He is right, but that too applies to an Apple device in the sense that smart people revert to child-like intelligence where the device does everything for them, and they happily surrender that intelligence over to the device! I would not be surprised that in some cases they utterly forget how to think or use common sense and it results in them hurting themselves.
That is NOT the way. /end
Yeah, I jump around a lot…sorry. My mind is always buzzing from idea to idea. I should really write an article or something, but I just can’t seem to focus long enough. Silly ADD.
I did enjoy your article, but for the higher level of pondering. How people react, act and change their ways to fit emerging technology. How companies try and “make” a market that isn’t needed or force people to spend money they shouldn’t. Apple certainly knows how to do that, for good or bad. 🙂
My sentiments largely Inacurate,
Venessa Miemis is inspiring lots pondering and some pandering. I wish all of us well and – well – just what we deserve.
Venessa Miemis said:
interesting. on thing i’m confused about – you said “A device should not be dependent, forced or rendered half-functional if a completely unrelated service is not available”…. what about ANY cell phone? is it not rendered half-functional or useless without satellite reception? isn’t your computer, laptop or desktop, rendered half-functional without the internet? i don’t see how your argument applies to just the iPad – any device that connects to the internet/satellites/electricity are rendered half-functional (or not functional at all) without it. i mean…even my stove is useless without natural gas. my car doesn’t work if i can’t fill the tank. you said “….if a completely unrelated service is not available.” these all seem to be very related services. i thought the ipad was positioned to be a product that would give you a great experience using the web….. so the web can’t be an unrelated service – they go hand in hand.
about your first point, about a company dictating what you can or cannot use – i just saw this article on the groundswell blog pointing out what you’re talking about, but also saying it’s not limited to apple. they use the example that facebook apps don’t work anywhere but facebook, widget for FiOS TV don’t work anywhere else – they’re calling it the “Splinternet”
and lastly about ‘smart people revert to child-like intelligence where the device does everything for them’…. again, i’m not following your line of reasoning. if i use a device that quickly connects me to the web, allows me to access content i want, how does that revert me to having child-like intelligence? it’s still up to the person to read, to think, to connect the dots, and to synthesize information.
when the automobile went from it’s early versions, where you had to virtually be a mechanic to understand how to operate one, to a present day automatic car with cruise-control – did people surrender their intelligence? well, sure, they no longer had to understand the mechanics of how cars work, but they could care less – they’re just interested in getting from point A to point B. i don’t understand how my microwave works, but i still enjoy popcorn now and then.
i understand where you’re coming from, but i don’t see how your argument doesn’t then apply to everything, not just apple. people are reduced to a “child-like intelligence” when watching TV and thinking that the way people live on Friends, working in a coffee shop yet living in a spacious manhattan apartment, was somehow reality. (ok, early 90s example, but it’s the first thing that popped into my head…….probably b/c when i used to watch it in middle school, i thought, ‘awesome! that’s what i’m gonna do when i graduate college!’) it’s a reduction to a child-like intelligence when people think they’re not destroying their local economy by shopping at walmart, but rather saving money. it’s a reduction to a child-like intelligence when people think that there’s a scarcity of diamonds, therefore justifying their price. (disclaimer: i have one. guilty!) where they think it’s ok for Monsanto to control our ability to grow food. where we think our educational system is actually competitive with the rest of the world. where the economy seems to run like this.
in the words of einstein: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
i don’t think the iPad is to be blamed for people to “utterly forget how to think or use common sense”….. that’s been a problem since man climbed down from the trees.
mason mckibben said:
In a social network which merges with other networks, the assertion “I don’t want ‘hits.’ I want ‘mindshare’” is evocative. It situates participants in a field of signifieds drawn from languages, systems and institutions – realities, in short – familiar to us all if not always felt, imagined or understood by us all. So, to be sure, bootstrapped or not, we all want the best information, facts or things however we choose to define, arrange, deploy or enjoy them.
And it *is* complicated! Who should we listen to and why? What song shall we play? What stock should we pick? Which product would we buy? What are the best platforms for what kinds of apps? Want something to drink? Can I supersize that? Do you like this kind of management or dress in that brand? Was it i-padded, cuneiformed or per force written by hand?
Dr Seuss aside, if I really care about an Apple product and marketing or brand strategy or any of the other things & philosophies attached to them I’d best invest time, send it by post or just make it rhyme. I’ll take hits. I want shares. I want bandwidth and minds! I can not leave Dr. Seuss and the rest to one side. I want options too, and freedom and feeds a mile wide! I want them sturdy and nerdy , the best a beggar could ride. I should like to see minds aflame making all the best choices; the best bread, best circus, the finest horse races.
– I read the news today o boy, o boyo boy –
I waxed poetic once or twice perhaps
Left apple in its original wraps
Hey man better check that batter
Make sure the devise is in the original wrapper
Ok, let’s take our concerns out of our boxes.
All of these things floating around between the participants, you, Inacurate and i, like so many animals, minerals, vegetables and fruits, are like proverbial “apples and oranges.” Once we distinguish between them we can put them back in relationship with one another.
The oil, electricity, the proprietary technologies, jurisdictions and identities, the strategies, the means & the ends not only to enjoy, but receive, synthesise and control information are the same things we use to enjoy, receive, synthesise and control wealth. They are the same things we operate or leverage to enjoy, receive, synthesise and control agency etc.
I have not yet heard a critique of Apple’s I Pad in light of any of these circumstances, nor am I likely any time soon in our vast splinternet. Of course “everyone else” is guilty! I’m guilty! “Alright let’s see your arms!” –William Burroughs, and fingers and hands. I don’t know. This is your blog page, but it seems only slightly more than a shill for a product. On another page you beautifully and honestly described how you feel opening boxes with certain products and devises in them. It was witty and poetic, waxy and original, like art for art’s sake.
Is it me or should all of us stop with the devises for a moment and feel about for an elephant in the room. Maybe we could describe what it feels like.
Bob Spryn said:
Really? You hate an internet device because its tied to the internet? That’s quite the bizarre statement. Do you hate cars because they are only useful on the road?
Its another self-entitled attitude. I hate Apple because they don’t make it easy for me to do things with their device that it wasn’t intended to do. Some would call that good user experience.
So maybe you aren’t their target audience, but that’s no reason to ‘hate’ a company. They aren’t preventing you from using other companies’ products. You can’t fault them for delivering something that millions of other people thoroughly enjoy using. If that wasn’t the case, Apple wouldn’t exist.
mason mckibben said:
Once upon a time we busted up a lot of industries, back yards and travel alternatives because some fellows brought home lots of oil after some wars and wanted a bigger market to sell it to. Henry Ford had to make his cars cheaper and get some innovative “It’s strictly business, kids” marketers on the case. But it wasn’t long before cars became so Personal, so Individual, so Familiar, so Comfortable, so American, so Romantic, all those good things we were told, well who can blame the Joneses? In America we don’t blame Jones, we just Jones. Never have, always will. You just get on. We were told lots of other things when the new infrastructure came through. Relocate to the new nodes kids. Big business opportunities ahead. This is gonna be frontier town on the tracks heading west. The new manifest destination, one more stop short of the promised land. They built it backwards and front like the Great Wall of China, Bob. You ever read Kafka Bob? It had “an engine in front and an engine behind!” You ever hear the Blues Bob? Then they put a radio in there so you could hear the news, whistle the blues and ‘dang nab it’ win another war! Lord how they accessorized and stylized! Before a male person’s House was a male person’s Castle and before Lady Colt Pistols and equal rights, the car was the American dream complete with stuff your horse, steam or electric vehicles didn’t have if you were still poor, fool, backwards or unentitledly hateful enough not to operate one of those. Well, that’s romance and customer satisfaction! Wouldn’t you say Bob? I almost get all satisfied thinking about it.
It *was* good business until people had the rights to organise and until some asshole suggested cars were unsafe at any speed. Just a long series of downers, regulations and Communist interference. But nothing was going to get between the contented customer and their cars. Year’s later, just around the time nothing was going to get between us and our calvin klein’s and other designer jeans, we were gagging on and swimming in our own filth, but the crackerjack kids just kept popping out of the box for two or three or four more decades mediating, strategizing and (er) suggestively marketing those accessorized vehicles.
Even today most everyone is a happy target when it comes to oil and cars. And when the targets complain we send their kids off to war, trade them cash for their clunkers and resume the tired mantra “Drill, baby drill!” Turn on your i pad and look it up if Apple has it in its summer reading list. Enjoy your personal user experience Bob. Without people like you Apple doesn’t exist.
Bob Spryn said:
You are a pretty weird cat Mason. At least you said my name a lot. Makes your argument way more powerful. Now if only I understood how anything you said was relevant to anything. But I’m guessing that’s your end game. Which means you have a LOT of free time on your hands.
Matt Murphy Garmur said:
Vanessa, this is a very well-researched summary of ideas. I find this article to be the perfect internet version of the old five-paragraph essay: you researched many different sources, put them together to showcase a point of view, and thanks to all your links, made it very easy for us to read about any background we wanted.
There’s a difference between throwing some links into an article and doing journalism truly made for the web, so kudos to you for doing the latter so well. I work at a school and I think this is a great model to show our kids about how a research paper of the 21st century should look.
Venessa Miemis said:
I can see the iPad making a dent with the “tweens” but for business users, I think they have a lot of work to do. Many business users would probably require more features, more storage, more external accessory compatibility and a lower price point.
As the iPad is right now, I don’t think it has a chance to compete against Netbooks for the business user market.
Venessa Miemis said:
you could be right….and i’m not sure that the ipad is targeted at the business user market anyway…..
K Krushel said:
Venessa: Very, very well done. I like Pogue’s comment best of all: the iPad is indeed a sack of potential. Whether that potential is realized or not is another issue, and will probably be influenced by the apps that developers introduce, and how other tablets, notebooks and E-readers evolve. The timing of the iPad introduction, whether deliberate or “accidental”, is fortuitous: already we have witnessed Apple influencing the context for others, as in the case Amazon’s backing off the price point restrictions with book publishers. Even if iPad is not the “Jesus tablet”, just its presence is causing other companies to genuflect.
I can see the iPad evolving in any one of several directions, and it will surely be exciting if not entertaining to observe how content publishers respond. Part of the magic will derive from the inspired work of developers who introduce apps that range from the utilitarian (blue tooth connection for an actual keyboard) to more esoteric and ingenious inventions. iPad won’t own the category, but much like iPhone and the smart phone category, we will observe other companies being reactive (such as Google, RIM, HP, Dell and Microsoft) in the tablet/notebook category as Apple defines the underlying product dynamic.
Venessa Miemis said:
i’m curious for your opinion about the ibook store. it was different when they introduced iTunes. as you said, 9 out of 10 songs that people download are pirated…..so at least iTunes made you OK with .99cents *some* of the time. what about books? i’m not famililar with the ebook market – is there a lot of theft in that category? will the ibook store bring publishers more money? and what do you think the price point for books will be? macmillan bumped up to $12.99-$14.99 on amazon, right? is there any reason they would offer a lower price thru ibooks?
oh, the other question i forgot to ask yesterday…. we were talking about bandwidth and net neutrality… what do you think is going to happen if this device takes off and video is being consumed like crazy? do you think the tiered service model will emerge?
Aaron Pressman said:
Great post, as almost everyone above has said. I think way down here in the comments you may have hit on one important difference between the growth and evolution of the iPod/iTunes ecosystem and at least the media-oriented part of the iPad ecosystem (including iBooks). And to get at that, I’d revise and extend your criteria of “unmet needs” in a slightly more business-y way: solving problems for customers.
The iTunes music store came about when piracy was still rampant and after the music industry itself had run through a series of horrific and failed initiatives to sell music online. iTunes offered a whole bunch of improvements over other emusic stores including vastly simpler rules and the one price, 99 cents a track. Versus pirated tunes, it offered consistent file quality, speedy downloads, great search and organization, reviews and other social networking features, etc. As central repository, it could (to some degree) fill the gap that had existed since Napster had been killed a few years before.
So the questions and concerns I have about the iPad’s media opportunities revolve around whether it will solve problems consumers have better than the existing solutions — will it meet any needs that need meeting? The very early indications about the iBooks store seem to me to be pretty negative — higher prices, tighter usage limits, less selection than existing ebook platforms from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others. In the case of magazines, newspapers and video, there’s no sign yet of any changes to existing models — no innovation or creativity in the realm of business models for online media. That’s not to say the iPad will fail — not at all. I just am not sure if it will fulfill the highest hopes of many in the old media industries.
I have been blogging about this over on my personal blog, most recently trying to get at the real motivations of big publishers.
p.s. I’m new to your blog and based on some of what you’ve written in other posts, wonder if you have any comments on a social media analysis I wrote, Facebook isn’t a web site (or a spaceship), it’s a time machine.
mason mckibben said:
@K Krushel, Venessa, et al
I was trying to persuade a student friend to buy the i-phone for a specific graduate project. The student was reluctant for months. I remember crouching on the ground and saying “Maybe they (i didn’t even think ‘Apple’) will build something large enough to type on so you could have one devise that integrated all of your input needs more comfortably and accommodated even more apps?” I wasn’t even considering the occasionally weak arguments about quirky troublesome apps made, used or designed outside the purview of the imaginary devise (because that always happens once or twice before somebody nails it). The more i carried on, the more she looked at me like i was some sort of excitable bourgeois. “Of course i’d never buy one, but you know they might be good for people flying around in planes, between appointments, networking or visiting their friends and relatives? I’m not going anywhere, so i don’t need one, at least not, probably not for a long time, you know, maybe when the price goes down.”
Who indeed knows what this will do to other businesses and prices and designs. Perhaps it does not matter. Everything is relative in the business world, right? I can only imagine what might happen as the new apps come flowing in and the pads get smaller again? Maybe we won’t have to type anymore? Maybe things will get even more comfortable, easier input and output. Maybe we could get a very high definition transmissions delivered in high quality straight to our ears or eyes with simpler, sleeker or more elegant design for less than $400? The satellite services could offer Low Def packages and most of us wouldn’t really know what we were missing, unless we interfaced with high end clients or associates. OTOH I’m sure we could find ways to temporarily enhance the bandwidth of every account.
Well, even though the competition and remote conglomerates are trembling, genuflecting, merging or changing strategies and marketing and bedfellows, it’s still too rich for me. If i had a broker, a personal trainer, accountant, lawyer, stable master, you get the idea, a “host of personal demons” as Calvin Trillin called them once, i’d probably get one for myself or maybe one for each of them. Until then, i’m going to sit back and watch interestedly. Oh, i’ll be banging and chatting away on my antique devises and, you know, trying to be a good neighbor most of the time. But who isn’t interested sometimes in the State of the Union Addresses and the latest technologies, faraway wars and currencies? And i pad, eye patch or ear plug i’ll check in and see the moving and shaking and the hustling and bustling.
And maybe someday i won’t even have to genuflect and all the good things will just come naturally and afford-ably from Apple or Someone Else Co. I know no one will believe me but my daughter just now came into the room with an odd object i had seen before (a party favor from a birthday party last summer, mid summer i believe). She entered saying “I Gotta have an i pod to make this work.”What is it?” i asked “It’s an i dog,” she said. “But what does it do? How does it work?” i work i solicited. “You gotta plug it in to an i-pod and it moves and lights up? She explained. I was thinking, “Holy i things a popping!” but i said “Where, how do you plug it in?” I fumbled with the increasing odd thing and finally gave it to her as she had patiently extended a helping hand. “Right there, behind the neck” she pointed. “And it moves and lights up?” i pronounced. “Yup!” she replied gaily. I said “You know that’s what i’m writing about right now! We will talk about it later.”
Mark B. said:
I’m curious why you credited a source as merely “another blogger”, when it might have been worthwhile to point out it was Steven Frank, co-founder of Panic Software. Even if he stated that post was not the opinion of his company, it’s still relevant to know he’s had a rather large hand in forming the state of what’s considered excellent software on the Mac today.
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks Mark. on his blog it just says “stephenf” and nowhere did i see a full name, so i wasn’t sure how to attribute it. got it updated now!
Nicolae Halmaghi said:
What a breath of fresh air. I have followed the evolution of DT since 2004. This is exactly what the movement needed: a TRUE critical eye without any bias.
One of my favorite minds, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote:
“Creativity results from a system comprised of three elements: a culture that contains symbolic rules, a person who brings novelty into the symbolic domain, and a field of experts who recognize and validate the innovation.”
This approach applies to every new domain, especially Design Thinking . The Market (culture) is here and the Design Thinkers are here (in a very limited number however). The only things the system is lacking are qualified critics, who question and expose, instead of pander and promote.
You, my friend, made me want to get back and write again on my blog about this amazing discipline. Thank You.
Venessa Miemis said:
i think we get too hung up on the naming of things. then everyone wants to ‘pander and promote’ instead of getting down to the essence. i guess it’s more of an ethos that we should be striving for, not a way to package the ‘next big thing.’
Joe McCarthy said:
This is an amazing compilation and analysis of perspectives on prospects for the iPad!
At the risk of adding yet another consideration to such a rich set of sources, prior to the actual announcement, TreeHugger offered a preliminary prospectus on “What Does Apple’s iPad Tablet Really Mean for Our Society?”, exploring some of the environmental implications of the iPad.
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Marco Guardigli said:
Hi Venessa! Great Post!
I like technologies, and I never had the occasion of owning anything from Apple.
I always thought that Apple technology is great and very carefully packaged.
This iPad is no exception. Careful market launch, accurate timing, well balanced pre-show hype, controlled market hysteria.
I always thought that Apple technology is not for me, as I am coming from a long experience in sw developing and system architectures, and accustomed to the *usual* nuisances and problems of having and keeping things working from the bottom up.
Apple always designed things top down, with a very careful design vision. They were removing cables when other were multiplying them. They were introducing simpler and smarted connectors going against “consolidated” (sic) industry standards, for the sake of a more human and cleaner (and much more rational) view.
Jobs constant effort was to integrate in a careful synthesis.
Others were assembling together analytically a number of components suited for specific tasks.
I do not know I will get one of these, but ultimately I am quite fed-up of traveling with an far-too-heavy laptop bag, which is taking ages to boot, eating too fast my batteries, and giving me continuous headaches. (I am always bringing that damn bag with me, even at the restaurants, because I can not even leave it in the car, where I had one laptop stolen).
I am currently thinking of “evaporating” my laptop virtualizing it into one server, with all of my tools, and all the needed horsepower, accessing it from remote, from a browser, from everywhere, and from my phone too. Always-on, Always-ready. Bandwidth availability will be the most important concern.
A place where I could use an iPad or similar device is in bed, where I usually read before sleeping, and where lately I find myself using twitter from my blackberry tiny screen, actually unable to follow the links as I would.
Battery duration will probably be the weakest side of the iPad.
But they will improve it, as usual.
Ipad is new.
And we need new things to grow better.
Marco ( @mgua on twitter )
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I explore why I think that the iPad has great potential but is immediately not the best bet for classroom teachers at my blog:
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks, i checked out your article. i don’t know that your 3 ‘glass half-empty’ reasons are compelling enough to be barriers to positive use in the classroom. in addition, did you see yesterday’s news – Textbook publishers heading to iPad, stating that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kaplan Publishing, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson have signed deals that will put their textbooks, study guides, and test prep manuals on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Also college textbook publisher McGraw Hill has alluded to the possibility of migrating to the iPad.
to me this seems like a step in the right direction, and imagine a new generation of children without scoliosis from carrying all those heavy books on their backs every day.
You’re in error about iTunes causing the spike in iPod sales. iTunes was introduced in 2001, January 9th. So, not that far off from when the iPod was introduced.
I’m not sure what caused the shift in 2005. I believe it was simple that the iPod crossed a tipping point in mass market awareness. Prior to that it was an early adopter / geek / mac fan device.
Venessa Miemis said:
interesting! i asked @timkastelle about it, and he said that though it was “introduced” in 2001, the iTunes Music Store “launched” on April 28, 2003 (according to the wikipedia page). Then it was launched on Windows in October of 2003, and then support for viewing and purchasing video content became available in October of 2005. So… i’d still argue that it was the software, not the hardware, that really helped it take off.
Tim Kastelle said:
The ‘Introduction’ was Jobs talking about it when he introduced the iPod. The actual launch dates are as you describe Venessa. The other thing to remember is that the original iTunes only had music from a handful of labels – they started with just 200,000 songs available (compare with 11 million now!) – so it took some time for iTunes to actually get good too.
That said, the tipping point idea has some merit. One of the reasons that the numbers on the sales graph got so big is that mp3 players as a category took off. I think that software/hardware combo was the driving factor both for iPod going from a market share in the 20% range to over 70%, as well as for the growth of the market segment as a whole.
James Thiele said:
I enjoyed your posting, had seen several of the postings you reference, enjoyed some I hadn’t seen, and didn’t think I had anything to add when I saw:
“He’s probably been thinking about this device for decades, and has already thought about what it will be in decades to come.”
My first thought was “Huh?” But then I remembered that when the Mac first came out Jobs talked about making a computer as easy to use as a toaster. The Mac wasn’t that computer – the technology wasn’t ready.
Have you read:
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks james.. just got through these 2 links. the gizmodo post was so thorough! i’m glad you provided the link. i think the points that were made in the articles make sense – i understand the ‘tinkerers’ feelings about losing control to tinker… but for mass appeal, a device “that just works” is what’s going to sell.
Daniel Boulet said:
For what it is worth . . . Flash really is quite buggy (I’ve read that a very significant proportion of the web browser crashes can be traced to the Flash plugin). Flash is also a major consumer of CPU cycles. Finally, Flash seems to be an ongoing ‘provider’ of security holes that the black hats can and do use to break into our computers.
Point 1 (buggy) is a deal breaker on a device where the user experience is key to the device’s chances for success.
Point 2 (CPU hog) is a deal breaker on a device with a 25 watt-hour battery and a planned/promised 10 hours of battery life.
Point 3 (security holes) should be a deal breaker on any computing platform.
All in all, I can’t say that I am all that surprised that Apple/Jobs are passing on the whole Flash thing.
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Ned Kumar said:
Kudos on a brilliant post – great overview, wonderful links, and insightful. This has been undoubtedly one of the most informative post and follow-up discussion I have every seen on a topic. These past few days I have made my nightly pilgrimage to this post and soaked in a ton of perspectives on the subject — and for once content to be quite while the experts speak.
Nothing more to add — other than looking forward to your next topic 🙂
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mason mckibben said:
Thought some might find this interesting:
My interest in this forum doesn’t come from a scholarly view point. I’m neither an academic nor a geek. I’m an architect that has used computers for a long time and I was curious what people have to say about the iPad. By the way, Venessa, I discovered your web site from a mention it received in one of Leo Laporte’s netcasts, it may have been ‘MacBreak Weekly’.
I thought I would address the suitability of the iPad for business use. I’ve owned Macs since the mid ’80s, when the first Mac became available that was capable of doing CADD drawing work (the Mac II). Having been in the Apple camp for so long, I looked forward to the announcement of the Apple tablet.
But I must tell you that my initial interest was in being able to use it as a book reader and for access to the internet around the house without having to lug a laptop around. What I’ve found interesting is that having decided I wanted to purchase one, I started thinking about what other uses I might have for it. In the past, when inspecting buildings under construction, I’ve had to carry around bulky rolls of working drawings for reference. I will now be able to load a full set of drawings in PDF format into the iPad and have them easily available. The 10 inch display will be large enough to display the full drawing at reduced scale and then with a finger action, be able to zoom in to view a small portion of the drawing in full detail. It has also occurred to me that I can use the iPad for inspection forms and check lists when determining what work is needed on a building that needs to be rehabilitated or remodeled. I have a feeling that once I start using the device, I’ll discover many more uses, both for personal and business.
I suppose it sounds trite, but it might literally replace the function of a paper pad. While this product got my interest as an entertainment device, I can see it becoming as much, if not more, useful for business.
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks so much for posting. it’s interesting to hear the practical ways it can be used for business. i think your examples of being able to look at blueprints and drawings on the device shows that it can be used as a functional tool. while it may not allow for the kind of flexibility a hacker might like, it can be helpful in reducing paper and bulk. and like you said, as time goes by, we’ll discover many more uses.
Mack McCoy said:
How have I missed this blog? I feel as though the clouds have cleared and I can see clearly now.
I’ve been commenting for awhile about how transformative iPhone has been for productivity and actually led me to avoid netbooks. Today, I have an iMac and an iPhone. I’ve wished for a slightly larger version of the iPhone as a laptop replacement. The iPad looks perfect for me even though I’m not the stereotypical Apple demographic. I’m an old-school geek. I still compile programs on my iMac, though macport rocks. 🙂
The reason iMac & iPhone have my custom: they are the best computing tools for improving productivity with minimal interference. I won’t be surprised if the iPad follows a similar trajectory as the iPod or iPhone. It’s not designed for all the geeks criticizing it right now. It’s for everyone else.
Venessa Miemis said:
hi mack, welcome! i hear ya with the ‘productivity with minimal interference.’ it’s funny, i go through these cycles… where i decide i’m gonna get really organized with my digital info, and i download all these browser plug-ins, and i start using new services, and add add add. then i spent more time managing the managing, and the info is still a mess.
and i delete it all and start over.
this is the issue. i don’t want more tools, i want less. i want the tools to fade in the background and let me get my work done. i’m not saying the iPad is the answer, but i think for most people, they just want simplicity and not to get too overwhelmed with the details.
Nuno Raphael Relvão said:
Just a little snippet at an old post.
iPad is clearly a result of Design Thinking, however not all design thinking is good. Bad decisions can also occur.
I will say that probably Flash and USB will not disappear before iPad 2.o ships then making the not inclusion of such features a decision beyond that of an obsolete trend.
Everything Apple does is Design Thinking, BUT everything Apple does is also about control and DRMs.
In a more and more open society and open mobility having tools that are not interchangeable is good for business but bad for the day-to-day life, i. e. I cannot recharge my iPod without a computer, I cannot use generic headphones in my cell, etc. It just gets so frustrating at times…
iPad I feel will suffer from this.
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I think its redicilous to simplify Flash as a Youtube video player. Flash was big before and still is when you want to create games, multimedia, visual art etc to share with everyone. So the problem arrives at the Ipad user that want to surf the web and see that sites are broken. You can’t force sites to change if there isn’t a good alternative. Limited HTML 5 and custom applications aren’t good enough. But Ipad doesn’t have to be perfect to be good, anyway, regardless its Ipad or Iphone, the competition will be really interesting when other can offer flash, multimasking and open systems. In the end, we want the best solutions for the users not what one big company claims.
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Andre Ivanchuk said:
Andre Ivanchuk said:
I stand humbly corrected. Who was I kidding, Jobs was a genius! He knew what he was doing.
my order done @ 8.30.12
64 GB with Cover
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iPad Case Dude said:
I have researched many iPad cases and sleeves, but when it comes to pros vs. cons about the iPad itself, sure there are some great features that the iPad offers, but I still cant quite look past the fact that there are NO USB or slots for SD cards or memory of any kind and also that it does not support flash. These are things that Apple should have considered in the design process. I am normally impressed by Apple’s products, but for such a multi-functional device such as this, I must say, all it is is a 10″ iPhone minus the phone. Worth it? Or overrated?
just a quick point about the last section of the article where he references an article that points to
the success of the iPod in 2005 being the introduction of iTunes. Although iTunes was launched in jan 2001 and the iPod in oct 2001. So it must have been the launch of the iTunes store that was the success of the iPod.
iPad Case said:
I believe it’s not a flop. Though it’s getting mixed reviews, once you own or try the iPad you are really immersed into this new gadget that you can’t take your hands off.
Susan Grewal said:
Are you still sticking to it will flop, it has already been a huge success. Now it is trying to find its way into corporate. Check this out.
iPad Case said:
This is NOT a flop. It’s amazing
iPad Case Review said:
Too many people are declaring that the ipad is a flop. I find that the majority of those people have never actually used an ipad for a large amount of time. To be fair, on paper the ipad does not seem to be a gadget that can be particulary helpful. However once you get an i-pad you quickly change your tune.
Yes, i agree that the ipad won’t take over from my macbook pro but it’s perfect for conferences, trains and for the times when i don’t want to lug a big laptop around the city.
A device can produce a great user experience and still be a flop, BEING a great device, *does not* make it a winner by default. Nor do people need to “actually use an ipad for a large amount of time.” to know if they are going to like it or not.
I say it is a flop because you are once again tied into the Apple ecosystem. I need go no further than that closed off, proprietary setup to declare any of their products still using it, a huge failure. I’ve used an iPad and really enjoy the device, it’s not for me but the hardware and software package is really tight and really polished.
That said, it’s useless for me. I already have a mobile computer (Nokia N900) that can do so much more than an iPad. Why do I need to spend that much money on something bigger, heavier, with less functionality and limited potential? Not to mention it’s still tied into that closed off system that I want no part of.
It’s another Apple product that will fall into the niche consumer market, just like the iPhone has done since 2007. It WILL sell, because it’s great for business’s to say “Look how cool we are!” and the rest of the people looking to make a statement, but saying it’s not a flop isn’t looking at the facts in an unbiased manner.
I find most of the people who say it isn’t a flop are based in the United States and haven’t really had their eyes opened to, you know..the rest of the world?
At a Google event in Paris earlier this week, the search giant broke the news that they would soon be offering iPad users the chance to view and edit Google Docs from within the browser. They’ve also been hard at work on collaborative editing of Microsoft Office documents via Google Docs too.
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