A collection of quotes and notes on the iPad

For the past couple of days since the announcement of Apple’s latest and greatest invention, the iPad, I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about it. The following is a collection of noteworthy quotes and opinions from the articles and blog posts on the matter.

I certainly don’t agree with everything, but what is linked to from this post is interesting to read none the less. I’ve divided the posts into categories on what’s been said about the iPad as a platform, stuff that focus on the user experience, posts about Amazon’s Kindle, what it means for magazines and lastly, interesting stuff that doesn’t fit these categories.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

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“The problem is, in hardware you can’t build a computer that’s twice as good as anyone else’s anymore. Too many people know how to do it. You’re lucky if you can do one that’s one and a third times better or one and a half times better. And then it’s only six months before everybody else catches up. But you can do it in software. As a matter of fact, I think that the leap that we’ve made is at least five years ahead of anybody.” – Steve Jobs.
In 1994.

iPad as platform:

Yehuda Katz

With the iPad, Apple has created two platforms. First, they have produced a heavily proprietary, native platform that requires Apple approval and has significant Apple restrictions. But ironically, with their heavy focus on improving the quality of Safari and the HTML standard, they have shipped the iPad with a platform based on open, unencumbered technologies.
If you haven’t been paying attention, over the past couple of years, the web platform has gotten offline APIs, improved caching support, local storage (on Safari, that includes an on-device SQLite database accessible through JavaScript), CSS-based animations, and custom, downloadable fonts. Mobile Safari has support for gestures, Geolocation, and hardware-accelerated graphics.

Peter Kirn

  • Blow to open source alternatives.
  • No standard ports.
  • Tied to iTunes.
  • Apple controls distribution of media.

Barb Dybwad (Mashable):

  • No multitasking.
  • No drag and drop file management
  • No USB port
  • No SD slot
  • No Flash
  • No HDMI out
  • No 1080p playback
  • No native widescreen
  • No camera
  • No full GPS
  • No open SDK

Adam Frucci (Gizmodo)

  • Big, ugly bezel
  • No multitasking
  • No cameras
  • Touch keyboard
  • No HDMI out
  • The name iPad
  • No Flash
  • Adapters
  • It’s not widescreen
  • Doesn’t support T-Mobile 3G
  • Closed app ecosystem.

Rob Griffiths (PCWorld)

  • No video camera
  • No multitasking
  • No support for flash (“Let me start by saying this… I have a strong dislike for Flash in general. The fact that it takes up to 80 percent of the CPU in a quad-core 2.66GHz Mac Pro to render a 400×300 Flash game just boggles my mind–full OpenGL games running at 1920×1200 often do so with lower CPU utilization! So yes, I know Flash is a CPU hog. I know it kills battery life. But like it or hate it, Flash is still a large part of the Web experience today for many people–and not just for those seeking Flash games.”)
  • True GPS only available with the 3G model
  • Video limitations (720p playback, but only 576p and 480p output)

Alex Payne

The tragedy of the iPad is that it truly seems to offer a better model of computing for many people – perhaps the majority of people. Gone are the confusing concepts and metaphors of the last thirty years of computing.

The thing that bothers me most about the iPad is this: if I had an iPad rather than a real computer as a kid, I’d never be a programmer today. I’d never have had the ability to run whatever stupid, potentially harmful, hugely educational programs I could download or write.

As long as real computers stick around for people who do need them, maybe there’s no harm in that.

Derek Powazek

I admit I have an optimistic bias. I think that computing devices that create better experiences will lead to more computer users, and those people will go on to make incredibly interesting things. It’s happened before.

Mike Chambers

What really surprises me though, is how the “open web” people are embracing this, especially as it relates to Flash. I am not sure if they are just being shortsighted, or are somehow kidding themselves because the iPhone includes a browser and is thus supporting the “open web”. Apple is not supporting the “open web”. In fact, they are doing the exact opposite by creating a platform which only allows a single browser (mobile Safari). Want to use Firefox or Opera on your iPhone? Tough. What about the iPad? Nope.

Rafe Colburn

I think that it’s a real possibility that in 10 years, general purpose computers will be seen as being strictly for developers and hobbyists. The descendants of the iPhone and iPad and their competitors will rule the consumer market and people will embrace the closed nature of these platforms for the same reason that Steve Levy hyped Palladium almost 10 years ago — because what you get for trading off freedom is reduced risk. There will be few (if any) viruses, and applications will “just work.”

The other question that arises for me is whether, in the the long term, the computer you hold in your hand really matters. If all of the applications we use run on other people’s Web servers, and all of our data lives in the cloud, then the fact that our computers are closed appliances we use to get to the Web isn’t such a big deal.

Joe Hewitt

Given my concerns about the way Apple runs the App Store, you might expect me to jump on the bandwagon screaming about how Apple is evil and iPad is the death of open computing. Nonsense. My only problem with Apple is the fact that they insist on pre-approving every app on the App Store. The store may not be open, but the iPhone/iPad platform itself could hardly be more open to tinkerers of all ages.

Greg Kumparak (Mobilecrunch) Five things the iPhone could learn from the iPad:

  • Bluetooth keyboard support
  • Desktop file syncing for third party apps
  • Apps can identify themselves as supporting specific file types
  • PDF creation support
  • Apple’s 1Ghz A4 Processor.

Annalee Newitz

Apple is marketing the iPad as a computer, when really it’s nothing more than a media-consumption device – a convergence television, if you will. Think of it this way: One of the fundamental attributes of computers is that they are interactive and reconfigurable. You can change the way a computer behaves at a very deep level. Interactivity on the iPad consists of touching icons on the screen to change which application you’re using. Hardly more interactive than changing channels on a TV. Sure, you can compose a short email or text message; you can use the Brushes app to draw a sketch. But those activities are not the same thing as programming the device to do something new. Unlike a computer, the iPad is simply not reconfigurable.

Tim Challies

In future versions they will add a camera. But the camera should be there now. What possible reason is there not to have a camera now? In future versions they will add more storage capacity. But it should already have more storage capacity. In future versions they will add some great new input abilities. But that should have been one of the fundamental features right from the start.

Dave Winer

I’ll take the lower fidelity but open playing field of the netbook, and keep my own data on my own hard drives, and back it up as I see fit. And continue to exercise my First Amendment rights.

MG Siegler (Techcrunch)

Meanwhile, Google has decided to target the market in between the laptop and the mobile phone as well. But whereas Apple is anti-netbook, Google is very pro-netbook — they just want to make them better.

Robert Scoble

Let’s go back a few years to when Firefox was just coming on the scene. Remember that? I remember that it didn’t work with a ton of websites. Things like banks, ecommerce sites, and others. Why not? Because those sites were coded specifically for the dominant Internet Explorer back then.

Some people thought Firefox was going to fail because of these broken links. Just like Adobe is trying to say that Apple’s iPad is going to fail because of its own set of broken links.

But just a few years later and have you seen a site that doesn’t work on Firefox? I haven’t.

What happened? Firefox FORCED developers to get on board with the standards-based web.

John Gruber (in response to Scoble’s post)

What’s Hulu going to do? Sit there and wait? Whine about the blue boxes? Or do the practical thing and write software that delivers video to iPhone OS? The answer is obvious. Hulu doesn’t care about what’s good for Adobe. They care about what’s good for Hulu. Hulu isn’t a Flash site, it’s a video site. Developers go where the users are.

Jeffrey Zeldman

You don’t add Default Folder or FontExplorer X Pro to your iPhone, you don’t choose your iPhone’s browser, and you don’t install plug-ins in your iPhone’s browser. This lack of extensibility may not please the Slashdot crowd but it’s the future of computing and browsing. The bulk of humanity doesn’t want a computing experience it can tinker with; it wants a computing experience that works.

Morgan, guifx.com (very nice overview of touchscreens)

Touchscreens are everywhere we look these days, but they’ve actually been around for a lot longer than you might think. Join us on a tour through nearly four decades of touchscreen devices that changed the world…

Marco Arment

I can’t think of any justifiable reason why it’s good for anyone in the long run — including Apple — to prohibit competition by apps that would otherwise be acceptable simply because Apple already made a similar one. And while most of the App Store’s policy issues are a mild nuisance at worst, we’re going to keep finding edge-case failures like this until the hopelessly broken policy of app review is significantly rethought.

SublimeVideo – very cool HTML5 Video Player. Works in Safari 4.0.4+ and Chrome 4.0+. Don’t forget to watch it in fullscreen!

John Gruber

In short, I’d say Apple likes its technology open and its products closed.

Simon St. Laurent (O’Reilly – on building web apps with jQTouch and Phonegap)

The last of those options, however, can incorporate all of the rest – even the iPhone applications. Given the space on the iPad screen and the reported speed of its A4 processor, web design is actually the easiest way to create applications for the iPad. Web design? On the iPad? Wasn’t that the bad idea Apple originally had for the iPhone, before they were overwhelmed with requests for a real SDK?
Well, yes. The early iPhone development environments felt maybe too sandboxed. A lot of features now available in Mobile Safari were only starting to develop, and key tools for connecting to features of the iPhone not typically found then in web browsers (vibration, accelerometer, geolocation) didn’t exist. Learning Objective C made sense at the time.

Milind Alvares (Smoking Apples)

The iPhone’s SDK allows an app to keep a totally persistent state. Take Tweetie 2 for instance. It’s like you never really ‘quit’ the application—the app returns to the exact same state you left it in—yet the OS makes sure Tweetie isn’t sucking up any precious mobile resources and battery life, along with the simplification of user interface workflows.

Steven Adams and Bill Zlatos (Pittsburgh Review)

“What makes the iPad interesting, and the reason why I think it will change the way people read, is because now it’s possible not only to carry the books you want to read, but the entire Web as a reference library with you,” said Edward H. Chi, who leads a team of researchers at Palo Alto Research Center in California, a subsidiary of Xerox, studying systems that enhance people’s ability to remember, think and reason through computers.

Lukas Mathis (on feature overload)

If you leave features in your application just because half a dozen people actually use them, you’ll end up with Microsoft Word. Most people only use a small percentage of all features in Word. Unfortunately, most people use a different small percentage of all features in Word. Even the most unpopular, most broken feature is used by somebody.

Kevin Lynch (Adobe CTO)

If HTML could reliably do everything Flash does that would certainly save us a lot of effort, but that does not appear to be coming to pass. Even in the case of video, where Flash is enabling over 75% of video on the Web today, the coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format across browsers, so users and content creators would be thrown back to the dark ages of video on the Web with incompatibility issues.

John Nack (Principal Project Manager, Photoshop)

Adobe isn’t in the Flash business. Seriously. It isn’t in the Photoshop business, or the Acrobat business, or the [take-your-pick product name] business, either. It’s in the helping people communicate business. We’d all do well to remember that, because it means that the company’s fortunes are tied to building great tools for solving problems. If we do that well, we prosper; if we do it poorly, we fail. When we get too wrapped up in this technology or that, we lose touch with the problems that we (and more importantly our customers) are trying to solve.

Mike Halsey (windows7news.com)

The iPad is nothing more than a large iPod Touch. It’s lacking a 16:9 screen and while the bezel has to be of a reasonable size to allow for holding the device with your hand without your thumb poking the screen all the time, it’s simply too big.

Greg Knauss (in a conversation with himself 20 years ago)

“It’s about the size of a piece of paper, half an inch thick and weighs a pound an a half. It has 64GB of storage, can play tens of thousands of songs and can display everything from photos to high-quality video. It has a touch-sensitive screen, is completely wireless and can connect to the Internet from just about anywhere.”

“Aaaaaagh!”

“Pretty cool, huh?”

“Holy crap! Oh, my God! Do you guys have, like, flying cars, too? Did aliens come and give you this technology? That means I can get USENET anywhere.”

Scott Gilbertson (webmonkey.com)

The HTML5 video tag does indeed allow you to embed videos in web pages without Flash, but it’s up to the browser to actually play that video. And that’s where the problem arises — what video codec should the browser use? Apple, with the iPad, iPhone and its desktop apps, is pushing the H.264 codec. But the H.264 video codec has licensing requirements and is not free in any sense of the word. Moving from the Flash plug-in to the H.264 codec is like moving backward — from Flash to a more expensive Flash.

Jamie Kosoy (bigspaceship.com)

The announcement that the iPad won’t support Flash kick started a lightning storm ofopinions. The alleged issue at hand is that the iPad doesn’t support Flash. This is a bad thing. It’s a bad thing for the same reason that it also doesn’t support Google Chrome, Firefox and (even) Internet Explorer. It’s a bad thing because it doesn’t support Unity and Java. It’s a bad thing because it supports what Apple wants it to supports and that’s all. Which isn’t to say that we don’t love making Apple applications… because we do. It’s just that the iPhone app store was an incredible leap forward from the previous generation of mobile applications and so was rightfully recognized as revolutionary. The iPad isn’t revolutionizing netbooks, it’s devolving them back to a fully closed era. One environment, one language. A cumbersome, time consuming distribution process.While you can certainly be expressive using Objective-C and with the iPad, the decisions on how a user engages with something we make should be left to the experts.

Dan Hill (City Of Sound)

That ‘Swiss army knife’ model may well be on the way out. It should be fine to say of a particular product, “Oh you can’t do that on that one”. That’s OK. We don’t expect, say, cars to do everything – off-roading in a Honda Jazz is not recommended, any more than doing the weekly shop in a Lamborghini is. When functions are attempted to combine we end up with monstrosities like the SUV.

User experience:

Stephen Fry

The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device.

9to5mac

“While laptops are focused on productivity, and mobile phones are still primarily about communication, the main focus of media tablets is entertainment,” said ABI Research senior analyst Jeff Orr.

Kyle Meyer

Think of your parents. They probably aren’t terribly tech savvy, but you buy them a laptop anyway. A laptop is a very powerful device even with average hardware specs, you can do a lot with it. But the ability to do a lot comes at the price of reduced usability. Introducing more choices means more mental hurdles to jump. To us (the geeks), these hurdles are skipped, we’re used to computers and we don’t even think when using most basic functionality. The iPad removes all of these choices, and as a result, increases the inherent usability of the device for those who normally have to jump those hurdles.

IKEA-app?

Mario R. Garcia

Right now, the iPad 1.0 is just that, a baby a few hours into a world that certainly needs it. I can only imagine how this baby will grow, and the potential it presents and the opportunities for all of us in the storytelling business. I’d like to see what this iPad will be like when it starts crawling (maybe by the end of the year), not to mention when it starts walking.

Derek Powazek

And as a designer, I’m very excited to see what kinds interface experimentation the new format inspires. Designing for finger gestures is different than designing for mouse clicks. I also could see the iPad becoming a powerful social computing experience. It’s easier to use a iPad with another person than it is to share a laptop.

Michael Sippey

I see the iPad not as the next evolution of the personal computer, but instead the beginning of the family computer.

Luke Wroblewski

Expecting it to provide the creation capabilities of a laptop is the wrong frame of reference.
Instead think of it a digital version of your leisure time activities –reading, chatting, light gaming, surfing, etc. The majority of these are consumption oriented –not creation oriented.

Seth Weintraub (after having played with it for an hour)

Not only is the browser really (MacBook Pro type) fast, but it is a much more natural way of “surfing”. Instead of hitting your trackpad you just point to what you want on the screen. There is no hand-eye coordination required. It is the best of the iPhone’s pinch/scroll/zoom/resolution independence on a sufficiently large laptop caliber display. If I want to go portrait? Boom.

Michael Cruft

I am a technology professional. For almost 20 years I’ve tested, used, broke, fixed, and played with all kinds of technology from broadcasting to air conditioning to software. I am not easily swayed in these things. But even with all my skepticism, I think the iPad is something different. A new way of computing that will become commonplace.

John Gruber

That’s where Apple is taking computing. A car with an automatic transmission still shifts gears; the driver just doesn’t need to know about it. A computer running iPhone OS still has a hierarchical file system; the user just never sees it.

Manual computers, like the Mac and Windows PCs, will slowly shift from the standard to the niche, something of interest only to experts and enthusiasts and developers.

John Gruber

Lastly, there’s the fact that the iPad is using a new CPU designed and made by Apple itself: the Apple A4. This is a huge deal. I got about 20 blessed minutes of time using the iPad demo units Apple had at the event today, and if I had to sum up the device with one word, that word would be “fast”.

The iPad hardware is exactly what you think. It looks great, it feels great. It’s very nice to hold. (People are complaining about the wide bezel around the display, but without that, where would your thumbs go? You don’t want your thumb that’s holding the device to cover on-screen content or register as a touch. Trust me, it’s just right.)

Fraser Speirs

Secretly, I suspect, we technologists quite liked the idea that Normals would be dependent on us for our technological shamanism. Those incantations that only we can perform to heal their computers, those oracular proclamations that we make over the future and the blessings we bestow on purchasing choices.
Ask yourself this: in what other walk of life do grown adults depend on other people to help them buy something?

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.

Think of the millions of hours of human effort spent on preventing and recovering from the problems caused by completely open computer systems. Think of the lengths that people have gone to in order to acquire skills that are orthogonal to their core interests and their job, just so they can get their job done.

Rory Marinich

There is a complaint running around that the iPad is a closed system, that people aren’t free to customize it, that it’s not opened up so that we can all poke around inside it. Complaints are the the iPad is killing off an idea of computing that’s open and free for all.

To which I say: Good! Does anybody remember what using a computer is like? I spent a week after reinstalling my operating system picking out the right tweaks and gizmos and gadgets to make things more manageable. Weblogs exist that do nothing but teach you how you can make your experience on a computer less shitty. On a closed system, you can’t do that. You work with what you’ve got. Even if what you have is suboptimal — and guys? We live in the future; suboptimal for us is leagues beyond what the poor savages of 2008 had — when you’re using a device, you have to use it do do something, not just to fuck around.

Opening up a system that wasn’t meant to be opened just makes little kids cry.

Chris Thorpe

The real world is all about gestures. We turn a page. We swish a piece of paper out of the way to see what is below. We press a button and the kettle boils. In none of these do I have to learn an arcane combination of buttons to press on an overburdened controller, nor do I have to learn that if I do something on a peripheral connected to the thing that something will happen.

Steven Frank

In that really incredibly short space of time we’ve gone from punchcards-and-printers to interactive terminals with command lines to window-and-mouse interfaces, each a paradigm shift unto themselves. A lot of thoughtful people, many of whom are bloggers, look at this history and say, “Look at this march of progress! Surely the desktop windows mouse interface can’t be the end of the road? What’s next?”

Then “next” arrived and it was so unrecognizable to most of them (myself included) that we looked at it said, “What in the shit is this?”

In the New World, computers are task-centric. We are reading email, browsing the web, playing a game, but not all at once. Applications are sandboxed, then moats dug around the sandboxes, and then barbed wire placed around the moats. As a direct result, New World computers do not need virus scanners, their batteries last longer, and they rarely crash, but their users have lost a degree of freedom. New World computers have unprecedented ease of use, and benefit from decades of research into human-computer interaction. They are immediately understandable, fast, stable, and laser-focused on the 80% of the famous 80/20 rule.

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.

New World devices are easy to learn and highly usable because they do not expose the filesystem to users and they are “data islands”. We are no longer working with “files” but we are still working with data blobs that it would be valuable to be able to exchange with each other.

A way of sharing data between applications. Something like the clipboard, but bigger. This is not a filesystem, but a way of saying “bring this data object from this app to this app”. I’ve made this painting in my painting app, and now I want to bring it over here to crop it and apply filters.

Neven Mrgan

Now you tell me if that person, the person the future is made of, will leave their iPad because the PC has more gigahertz.

Craig Hockenberry

There’s an inherent benefit to only doing one thing at a time: the load of worrying about other tasks is lifted. Knowing that there isn’t anything else competing for your attention is quite liberating.

Keith Lang

In the future, our children will all use rich multi-touch devices. They will look at the mouse & keyboard combination in the same way we today look at the Command Line Interface.

Victor Lombardi

Consequently the mood while interacting with an iPad may be more relaxed. The interaction has the potential to be more passive, though not necessarily. We’ll make bigger gestures and pivot at the elbow and shoulder rather than the wrist. We’ll scroll/size less than on a phone, using more eye movement to scan the screen. And while Apple has had to succumb to menus to make more functions available, we have the potential for powerful new forms of direct manipulation.

Prince McLean (AppleInsider)

With the iPad, Apple demonstrated new multitouch versions of desktop-class iWorks apps with user interfaces that need to open and save documents. There’s still no file system browser with open and save panels. Instead, each app displays the files it knows about at launch for the user to navigate through directly.

Stowe Boyd

But, when we were cooking up Unix, DOS, Windows, and Mac OS, we thought people would be ‘working’. And working meant fooling around with documents (files), since that what we thought was the logical atom of information: files. But it’s not. In fact, the layout of information on my hard drive bears little resemblance to what I do all day, since the overwhelming amount of my time is taken up in communication with others, buried in email, Twitter, blogs, and various other coordinative tools.

Steven Frank

I’m weary of this notion (even when presented as satire) that anyone who can’t master a computer must clearly be mentally retarded. The personal computer of 2010 is hard to understand for novices and people who struggle with abstract concepts. Macs, PCs, all of them. Folks, it’s us, the freaks who understand drive partitioning, regular expressions, virtual disk images, task switching, and shell scripting — we’re the exception.

Frank Chimero (on utility ambiguity – fantastic piece that applies to many other cases as well, e.g. Twitter vs. Facebook)

And what of the iPad? What do you do with it? “Isn’t it just a big iPhone? It doesn’t have Flash!” I don’t care. I look at it and all I see is potential. Essentially, a big, touch-sensitive blank slate. What’s it for? It’s hard to give a keynote on something that’s value is based on the fact that it’s a device that can go almost anywhere and do almost anything. How do you sell something that can be a medical device for doctors but also a gaming platform for bored tweens? A kiosk display unit for a sales person or an educational device for a fifth grader?

Michael Gartenberg (Engadget)

Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player market or the smartphone market, and it’s got a long way to go in the market for tablet devices. In each case, it refined the concept to make a device that appealed to the enthusiast market but was able to go beyond that space and capture the attention (and wallets) of the mass market.

Dennis Crowley (Foursquare) Now, I don’t expect that 60 days from now all those iPhones will be replaced with, er, bigger 10” iPhones, but the idea of a bunch of people sitting down and interacting with content on a shared screen is really interesting. I mean, maybe we make a foursquare app that’s designed for 4 people to look at at once? Maybe the app knows that your 4 friends are at T&J’s and shows you a map of where all you common friends are, or places to eat that none of you have been to yet.

Andy Ihnatko

Fast. Fast, fast, fast. I did absurd things, like zoom in and out of webpages with fast twitches of my finger tips. The iPad kept right up with me, millisecond by millisecond. When you drag something, you feel like you’re physically sliding a photo across a surface; no need to wait for the OS to catch up with you. When you turn the iPad, the screen switches display modes almost instantly.

Rob Foster (Northtemple)

The darndest thing happened in the last five days and I was fortunate to be privy to it. Apple has gotten people excited about computing. But this time, it’s not nerds or geeks and certainly not IT industry analysts. It’s everyone else. I had a curious set of three conversations this week. One with a grandma, one with a technophobe and the third with a self-proclaimed luddite.

Dan Moren (Macworld)

Like hot rodders, techies wear their tweaks and optimizations as badges of honor. To me, that’s the chief distinction between power users and your average user: power users adapt computers to the way they work, instead of adapting the way they work to computers.

But something strange happened last week when I sat down at my MacBook after watching Steve Jobs unveil the iPad. I looked at all those little inscrutable icons in my menubar and saw them for what they were: hacks and shortcuts to “fix” the way the computer worked. Surely there must be a better way.

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Mac OS X’s Exposé is a great example: it’s a fantastically helpful feature, but it’s indicative of what is wrong with the computer experience. It’s a shortcut, a hack to deal with something that’s inherently inelegant: the fact that we all have a huge mass of stacking, overlapping windows as a result of a three-dimensional interface shoehorned into a two-dimensional screen.

Cameron Hunt

The shallow assumption of Apple’s buttons is they hate buttons, the deeper conclusion is they love the shit out of a few important buttons. I bet they obsess over the placement, color, label, push-back and feel of every single button on every Apple device.

Randy Murray (on why a computer should be like a toaster)

For those of you who think yourselves special because you can set up your own computers (and I am one of them – I could build one from parts if I needed to), get over yourselves. You’re not so smart. It has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s simply training and experience, even if you’re self-taught. You have nothing to hold over those who don’t know how to do such things and don’t want to.

Personal computing has been stuck far too long in the hobbyist stages. They are complex, error prone, frustratingly buggy devices. Even the best, my beloved Mac, requires a surprising amount of expertise to set up and appear to be easy to use.

Computers are not appliances. But they should be.

Alan Kay interviewed by Wired (very interesting interview about Dynabook, netbooks, Kindle, OLPC etc.)

The Amazon Kindle is kind of a subset of a Dynabook — too much of a subset. The screen is too small, it is not very capable of dynamics, the keyboard is poor, etc. But it does have several limited service ideas that are good. The next version of a Kindle could be really exciting. The next versions of the e-Ink display are a much better size, they can be much more dynamic, the media range could be extended to what I called “Active Essays” years ago, etc.

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Wired.com: What challenges do you think notebooks face as they continue to get more powerful and faster?

Kay: The biggest challenges are: A.) to really think up service ideas that actually help people; B.) how to get people to learn them, if they are actually new; and C.) how not to be pulled along by bad de facto standards.

Kevin Fox (on multitasking and widgets)

As I alluded to earlier, what Stocks, Weather, Voice Memo, Clock, and Calculator have in common is that they’re all simple ‘minor’ apps that wouldn’t know what to do with 1024×768 if you gave it to them. They’re intended for quick reference, for quick ‘in and out’ tasks. In short, they’re multitasking apps. It’s clear that Apple believes this because with the exception of Voice Memo all these apps were OS X dashboard widgets before the iPhone ever existed. I would put forward that they’re going back to their rightful place.

Kindle:

Patrick Rhone

Pair the iBook store with Amazon’s Kindle.app and you not only have one killer book selling device, you also have witnessed the death of the Kindle itself. That’s OK though since Amazon likely does not make a profit (I say likely because they refuse to talk about those numbers) on the device, it is simply a way to sell more books.

Erick Schonfeld (Techcrunch)

  • Revenue of $9.5 billion in fourth quarter of 2009 ($24.5B for 2009).
  • Sells 6 Kindle-books for every 10 physical.

Michael Arrington (Techcrunch)

  • 3 million Kindles sold in December 2009.

Magazines:

Luke Hayman (designed Time, New York, Travel Leisure)

Combining the rich visual content of a print publication, the ever-changing immediacy of a website, and the portability of an e-book reader, the iPad is something new.

Mercedes Bunz (The Guardian)

This allows the iPad to reintroduce the serendipity and the browsing we know from print: several articles fit on one screen and the size of an article marks its importance.

Judy Sims

The format and shape of the iPad feels comfortable and familiar to print guys. And for that reason, they will think they know how to design for it despite having little or no digital product experience. They will want to lay out pages the way they do in a newspaper or magazine. They will want to charge per article or figure out a subscription model that can be included in their ABC numbers. They will want to keep reader interaction, community and linking to a minimum.
In short, they will kill any chances of real innovation. Don’t let them do it.
Get a couple great developers, a product manager, a smart ad sales person and some enthusiastic digital editors and designers and send them away for a few weeks. Don’t give them any rules. See what they come back with. It will likely be something you could never have thought of. And, it just might blow your socks off.

Cliff Kuang (Fast Company)

A homepage like New York comes about because you don’t want to hassle readers by making them click for sections. With iPad, that friction again is far lower–a touch is far easier than a point-and-click, meaning that pages can become simpler and rely on the user to drill down to what they like. Moreover, even highly complex layouts become more legible if you’re leaning back and absorbing the entire page at once, like you would on an iPad.

David Carr (New York Times – interesting quote from Sara Ohrwall, considering BERG’s Mag+ project.)

But many people could not help but notice that no magazine companies were involved in Wednesday’s presentation. “I saw iBooks today, but no iMagazine,” said Sara Ohrvall of Sweden’s Bonnier Corporation [...]

Other:

Mark Gurman (9to5mac)

You can have six icons in the dock.

Seth Weintraub (9to5mac)

But seriously, it seems that those Micro-SIMs that the iPad take aren’t technologically that different from their bigger brethren. In fact all you have to do is cut some of the plastic off of the regular SIM to make it a micro-SIM [...]

Luke Bornheimer (9to5mac) from Walt Mossberg interviewing Steve Jobs

  • The device will play music for “140-something hours” with the screen off.
  • The iPad will have “a bit more than 10 hours” of battery life when reading books.
  • You’ll be able to type in the Pages app, export to a Word .doc and send the file in an email all from the iPad.

Neven Mrgan

Product names currently topping Engadget’s feed:

  • Kula TV PMP
  • Optio I-10
  • Gateway EC14D
  • Alienware M11x
  • Projectiondesign Remote Light Source
  • DMC-ZS7 (Or is it 7SZ? Or SZ7? Or Z7S?)
  • MvixUSA Ultio Pro
  • Moto CLIQ
  • OLPC XO
  • Mustek MER-6T
I like “iPad”.

iPad Paper Template

Ken Case (from OmniGroup)

We started working on iPad adaptations of OmniGraffle and OmniFocus as soon as the SDK was made available Wednesday afternoon [...]

Merlin Mann

It’s a really nice computer. Get back to work.

Merlin Mann (on Adobe’s blogpost about how no Flash = broken web experience)

Guess I’ll have to get used to the blue legos; until you get used to the rapidly accelerating irrelevance.

Macrumors.com forum after the iPod was introduced

Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!

I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.

All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.

No matter what Apple does there are always people who are NEVER happy. Give it a rest. It’s a great idea and the first of many. Why don’t you give it a chance. It’s price point isn’t half bad either.

Why doesn’t it have the ability to record audio (compressed as an MP3 or uncompressed as well) directly to it?

(

a personal favorite

)

I have a cd walkman and a burner already, and besides that now that I don’t have a dotcom job anymore I need that $400 to pay car payments and rent.

CmdrTaco on Slashdot after the iPod was released

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Kristina Loring (on why Steve Jobs should not do tech, but save the world. Or something like that.)

If Jobs were truly thinking differently (or, better, radically) he would have used the media attention around the unveiling of the iPad to draw attention to social issues that go unnoticed by the nation at large—issues that could benefit from the tech community’s skills and attention.

Imagine it: Writers and journalists from all the major business, technology, and design publications are frantically preparing to live blog and tweet from their auditorium chairs. From his black leather chair Jobs rises, clutching his shiny iPad with a look of grave concern, and says: “California’s budget cuts have taken a huge toll on our public school system, all the way up to our universities, and Apple is going to change that.”

Chrome OS tablet UI mockup

This page contains visual explorations of how a Chrome OS tablet UI might look in hardware.

Luke Wroblewski (sums up the iPad Human Interface Guidelines)

According to Apple, the best iPad applications: downplay application UI so that the focus is on content; present content in beautiful, often realistic ways; and take full advantage of device capabilities to enable enhanced interaction.

Faser Speirs – collection of iPad UI Conventions. Very helpful when reading the Human Interface Guidelines.


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