[FoRK] Aaron does (some of) it for me (re: iPad)

David Kammeyer kammeyer at rocketmail.com
Tue Feb 2 10:40:52 PST 2010

I've been out of town the past week, so catching up...

The announcement was a bit of a disappointment for me.  Most
everything Jeff said, I agree with.  The lack of camera is astounding,
and cuts out what is a completely obvious application of the device.
That said, I think that when people use this device, they're going like
using it.  Sitting on the couch, or in a meeting, etc, I find myself using
my phone, even when a laptop is available, because the laptop is too
heavy-weight in a few dimensions.  If I don't need a keyboard, it takes
up a lot of space.  The tablet is more like a clipboard -- imagine a
doctor coming in to see a patient carrying a laptop vs. one of these.
The laptop creates a psychological barrier between the patient and
doctor that a tablet does not.

The tablet is what we were promised from Star Trek.  It's the
perfect form factor for displaying information.  The only problem
is the input.  I have to believe that version 2 will incorporate
speech recognition, and if it has a camera, maybe they can
augment it with some lip reading.  If they can come up with a cool
multi-touch interface for correcting the speech recognizer, it could
get closer to a laptop replacement.

As for the application situation, the iPhone model is a bit of a
disappointment, but there are very real advantages to that model.
One app at at time and full screen means that you make the most of your
screen real estate.  Managing overlapping windows, and using space
for the window controls is not appropriate for a tablet.   The sandboxed
apps model, and limited communication between applications
means much less sysadmin hassle.  You can basically expect these
things to not require maintainence.  For a third device, it is unreasonable
to expect that people will want to fiddle with them like they would their computer.
The app store's model creates lots of problems for developers, and needing
Apple's approval for applications makes developing really innovative
applications risky, because who knows what Apple will accept.  However,
being able to very quickly pay for and download an application, with no
separate payment, no installer program on your computer, no running
an install program and having it ask to reboot, or restart your browser,
is a much more seamless experience.  This is really something that
Apple could do on the Mac as well, but the Mac doesn't seem to have
been their focus for the past couple of years.


> From: Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org>

> A few other thoughts:
> = Is Apple Confused? =
> I think, for the first time in a very long time, this event shows us a confused 
> Apple.  Lots of missteps and half-steps and design hesitation.  I'm not sure 
> they understand where they want to go with this product, their entire product 
> line, and their entire future.  I don't think they know what this product is;  
> from my perspective, this (kind of device / form factor --- repeat after me, 
> "the form factor is the application") is clearly an around-the-house / 
> around-the-office, mostly-impersonal (i.e., anybody picks it up and uses it as 
> needed, in situ) read-mostly de


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