[NTLK] The iPad is great, but...

Lord Groundhog lordgroundhog at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 12:39:59 EDT 2010

~~~ On 2010/04/06 15:38, Carlos Pessoa at carlos.pessoa at gmail.com wrote ~~~

> ...                                                            How
> come no one could develop something similar to the iPhone OS
> platform?? ...

Maybe because King Steven the Big Jobs neglected to see the point of
including HWR and a stylus?  As much as I like the Notes app on my Newtons,
I would hate -- yes, that's the word, **hate** -- to be using it with my
fingertip.  In fact, I just tried writing a sentence on my Newt with my
finger.  It's a really unsatisfying, "wrong" feeling, like eating an ice
cream soda, with mint chip ice cream covered in fudge sauce and whipped
cream and sliced almonds, with your fingers.  The sheer pleasure of the
stylus sliding over the screen with that ever-so-slight friction is a
tactile pleasure I would miss.
> Is it that difficult?

It is if there's no HWR, and only a choice of an optional real keyboard or
an on-screen keyboard.  No, actually, it's not so much "difficult" as
"unaesthetic" and pointless.

To be a little serious here, I really think that the primary issue at least
for iPad 1.0, is aesthetics + the projected market niche.  By market niche I
mean what Apple sees us doing with it; Jobs' "default" concept of what the
iPad brings to users.  By aesthetics I mean how Apple sees us doing those
things.  And to me, the way to define what those things will mean most of
the time is summed up by an image.   It's an image of people relaxing at a
sidewalk table at a café, or sitting in their living room or in bed or at
the breakfast table, or perhaps even lounging by a pool (carefully!!) at
home or on holiday, paging through the news or watching some web media or
tapping out a brief e-mail or two, and maybe the odd tweet (yes I know; most
tweets are odd).  

So in my imagination, what are the primary actions by the iPad user,
according to this aesthetic interpretation of what I believe is the initial
projected market niche?  Looking, turning pages, selecting, the occasional
formation of a few words or sentences by tapping on the on-screen keyboard,
and most of all, relaxing and consuming e-stuff.  Now why on earth would you
include even the regular Notes app with that?  That would be like installing
a wall of free weights, a squat rack and a Smith machine in a flotation

For me that's just not a tool I can use.  If it weren't so expensive I could
see getting one as a recreational/passive consumer device --  if I needed
one of those.  Now my Newton -- well, it's done over 5 hours of hard graft
so far today, and I don't even use it for e-mails yet.

OTOH, I suspect (or should I say "hope"?) the iPad will grow up to be a real
work-tool someday.  I can see it now.  Of course in my ideal world, it'd
have to become that bit smaller so it would be more portable, and it would
have a stylus and HWR, and fully integrated and interacting killer apps.  Oh
wait, I'm describing a Newton....  ;-)

Just my 2 tiny, copper-coloured coins of negligible value in the (inflated)
currency of your choice.


~~~ ~~~ ~~~

³Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from a Newton.²
            -- what Arthur C. Clarke meant

(With thanks to Chod Lang)

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
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