Archive for January, 2010

Was it all for naught? – the iPad

January 27, 2010

It’s out: Apple’s iPad.

And if you know me you know that not having had my hands on it will never deter me from forming an opinion – this time, that happened right quick:

It would seem Apple have lost their collective mind. This is the first time since the Performa series that a new product from Apple didn’t get me thinking “I want that and I can’t believe I could ever live without it!!”.

In my eyes, no amount of slick video and uber-hype (from Jony Ive he-self no less) can gloss over the obvious fact that they made a screen which can’t stand or sit on any surface as it doesn’t have feet or a bottom or anything, and also doesn’t have a handle of any kind.
They defend this by comparing it with a book or a magazine but this is neither – it’s a computer without a keyboard, that you hold by the screen.

ipad

OK, try this: – turn your laptop sideways and grab it by the upper screen edge. Try to ignore the awkward weight distribution (the iPad is, of course, not unbalanced like that), and try to imagine yourself… actually, what exactly is it you’re supposed to be doing with this thing?
You’re not working, because working, as it involves computers and the internet, requires writing, and this thing doesn’t have a keyboard. Using the touch screen one for actual work would be like writing a small essay on a 9-key phone keypad.

You’re also not kicking back watching a movie, because even the smallest of TVs, as well as your laptop, has a screen at least twice as big as this one, and can be placed before you – the iPad has to be held.
Or leaned against the wall or a can of beans or something.

If you’re checking your email you’re using the iPad because you have to – because mostly that means having to write back, enter stuff in calendars and to-do-lists etc., and this thing doesn’t have a keyboard (I may have already mentioned that).

So it would seem Apple put their considerable powers to work in creating a device you only need when you can’t get to your actual computers, and for some reason also don’t have your iPhone with you.

Apple should know better – they know that most of the stuff we use computers for requires navigation around interfaces of many sorts. If they didn’t acknowledge this, then why give us the Magic Mouse?
They have also consistantly had the best, most consistant and most intuitive hotkey layouts in their OS since the days of yore, and they gave us Spaces, Exposé and Sneak Peak – all functions of the OS which make navigating easier by putting powerful tools at our fingertips.

Now, they seem hell-bent on taking tools away from us, leaving us, ironically, with just the fingertips.

I don’t want that, and what’s more, I’d like for Apple to stop playing one-up with their own iPhone by giving us hi-tech versions of “Babys First Pointing Book”, and get back to making the worlds greatest computers and OS better…

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