I applaud Samsung [and Motorola] for giving it a real try, but I think they fall short of the iPad. Few people are buying those things. I wouldn't, myself. I have some Android phones, but I probably won't get an Android tablet, if Honeycomb indicates where the platform is heading.
The lack of competition is allowing Apple to, rightfully, do whatever it wants to with the App Store. And I don't see the situation changing anytime soon. Apple is making the rest of the consumer tech industry look incompetent.
edit: Updated with Xoom.
But while they lead, they will rake in the bucks, and more power to them. I don't want them to be the only viable company out there and I'm not personally a fan of their products per se (don't "hate" them but they do not sing to me) but I'm glad they're out there pushing the envelope in a way few other companies are. Smartphones and tablets would still have happened eventually but I'm sure they moved the timeline up a good two or three years. (I wouldn't go much further though; the major factor driving the iPad is that the tech is finally ready. You simply couldn't build an iPad as recently as 2007 and have anything like the same experience at any price.)
It's stunning how long that has been true. The modern desktop OS is patterned after the Macintosh, modern laptops all use the form factor introduced by the Powerbook 100s, and now all the best phones are made to look like an iPhone.
* Clamshell with hinge at the back of the case, not in the middle.
* Keyboard at the back of the case.
* Blank area in front of the keyboard to rest your wrists.
* Pointing device centered in this blank area, with mouse buttons below pointer.
Depending on how deep you go into details you certanily can't find any other laptops because you're describing an exact copy of the PowerBook.
I recognize that Apple have left their fingerprint on computing. So have MS, Linux, IBM, the Osborne, etc.
Where form factor includes size, shape, interaction paradigm and user interface conventions, software delivery mechanism, full web browser, on screen keyboard, accelerometer as a key user input device, ... and probably many other things I am forgetting.
If you look at most "smart phones" today, they will be surprisingly similar to the original iPhone (or at least the iPhone version when the App Store appeared).
That's a huge similarity, though. Didn't the original Android plans have a keyboard and look like a Blackberry? And what about the talk about using a stylus with a touchscreen - that talk didn't die until after the iPhone came out.
That being said, I don't think that touchscreens should win against keyboard phones, both have certain advantages. A stylus is not necessarily a bad thing either. e.g: drawing, using the phone with gloves on, etc.
I'm not convinced that's true.
The more integrated the iOS platform gets, the more effort it takes another company to get from scratch to competitor.
The more effort it takes, the more money and people it needs, and the bigger the potential competitor has to be to try it.
And what are bigger companies worse at? Pivoting, innovating, making well integrated polished products that mass market consumers thrill over.
Is it possible that the further we get from "any company putting current off-the-shelf technology into a package", the less likely we are to ever see "serious competition"?
Maybe Apple is a freak one-off. Maybe Apple will put a retina screen in the iPad 3, enable wireless sync and full airplay so it doesn't need a storage space bump, and that's it. No revolutionary changes left in that niche, "Post PC" finished, no other companies in any position to do anything but copycat and Apple spends a few years polishing the software integration in their ecosystem, SJ leaves, Apple stagnates. The next decade of "computing" started, dead-ended and finished and it's iPad clones and Windows 8 notebooks until 2020.
The browser is far better. The OS is far more usable than the iPad, the higher screen resolution is great - I can RDP into my work PC and use it all day. The hardware is top notch, and battery life is plenty. I haven't connected it to a PC yet - have my apps, music and video wirelessly synced! Once Flash is out and Moto ships SD Card enabling update I have everything I need from a PC replacement tablet.
People sadly have just decided to exclusively fall for whatever Apple markets them and there is no convincing them to drop their prejudices.
This all happened in the first 15 minutes of us pulling it out of the box. If this thing is supposed to compete with the iPad and now the iPad 2, I'd say Motorola already blew it with most consumers. I'm a geek, and so are my coworkers, so we have more patience than many, but at the end of yesterday the consensus in engineering was that the Xoom is a hunk of junk compared to the iPad, and even the Apple-haters at work admitted so.
My Xoom had greasy fingerprints all over the protective plastic film, which was gross. But once I peeled the plastic off, everything worked great. It found my password-protected wifi network without any configuration at all, which means that Google must somehow have copied the access credentials from my phone. Freaky but convenient.
I've seen a couple of the built-in apps force close in about a week of very heavy use, and the OS rebooted once after I did something unkind to it.
It's definitely a 1.0-quality product, with some rough edges, but my experience has been vastly better than what you went through. If it weren't so pricey, I'd happily give one to a non-technical family member. Oh, and if it had decent video-watching options: The biggest problem right now is the lack of Flash and Netflix.
I had a Droid 2 that had all sorts of problems (I've been complaining about it on HN for a few months). Finally the camera stopped focusing, and I took it to Verizon. They gave me a brand new unit on warranty (which I was impressed with, it took two minutes for the Vz guy to suggest that. Or maybe they have a lot of problems with these?).
This phone is so much better than the one I had before. The problems I had with my original Droid - home screen weirdness, four different camera problems, locking up on the unlock screen, etc. are not present in this phone. I don't know if it's new firmware, or that the hardware on my old one was bad, or a combination.
So you might just have a flaky individual tablet. That wouldn't really be excusable, of course... Motorola needs to step up their game if they are going to challenge Apple.
Like I said, I use my iPad constantly. But the things I hate about the first one, I hate about the second one too (notifications, no filesystem access, low-res screen). It's smaller, lighter, and faster, but the first one was small, fast, and light enough.
Meanwhile, I have an Android phone and there's a lot of stuff I like there. Especially on a large screen like the iPad/Xoom, the iOS notification system and static grid of icons on the home screen are just criminal. I'm going to buy a Xoom and give it a shot.
Although, for non-gamers, I fully agree with your argument.
Have you looked at iPad apps lately? Even if you don't include iMove and GarageBand that were just announced, how about OmniGraffle, Sketchbook, Inkpad, the Korg Apps, Reeder, Osmos, iWork, etc.
I believe the parent is trying to claim that blown up android phone apps on Xoom are no worse than blown up iPhone apps were when the iPad first came out.
I'm not saying the Android tablets aren't competitive with how the iPad was at launch. I'm asking why a regular consumer would choose an unproven tablet with a tiny number of apps over a proven tablet with 65,000 apps today.
Guess what, you can do that with a 386 laptop from 1995. Apple's success comes from convincing people, through marketing, that they want to do that on an iPad and not on something else.
However I think you're underestimating how many non-tech savvy users find appliance-like apps much easier to understand than the web. Yesterday my wife borrowed my iPad to use with her mother to look at furniture on Craigslist.
She got me to buy a $2 craigslist app that I'd never dream of buying for myself which turned the iPad into a light-table of photos of stuff for sale linked to a map. Suddenly her mother could use Craigslist. At a certain point the screen blanked and she had a moment of panic of not knowing what to do - but then she realized there was only one button to press and everything was ok again.
That 386 laptop from 1995, or for that matter an iMac from 2011 requires a vastly more developed mental model in order to do anything. Even if most people can eventually learn this, it's work, whereas the ease of the app model on the iPad makes it relaxing and fun.
The apps matter a lot.
Then why do I want to do that on a 2011 Android clone tablet that costs more than the baseline Apple one (as of 3/2/11 more than $100 more)?
"Apple's success comes from convincing people, through marketing, that they want to do that on an iPad and not on something else."
They convince people that the things that they normally did on their desktop or notebook propped on their lap, they can now do on the couch curled up leaning against the arm of their favorite chair, perhaps with the TV on, as they pinch and zoom and tap and slide freely around a large, bright touchscreen instead of a tiny glidepad.
Apps matter. More than any other consideration, including brand.
Ah, the old meme that people are just brainwashed by marketing into being happy with their Apple products, complete with made-up "95%" statistics.
"Blown up phone apps" are much better on Android than the pixel doubling that the iPad does for iPhone apps. Android apps aren't hardcoded for a specific resolution, so most of them work well on tablets even without being specifically designed to.
Are you seriously claiming that apps developed for android phones are as good as the dedicated iPad apps?
In many cases, yes. Especially fullscreen games; Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and several others look as if they were designed specifically for my Nook Color, even though they weren't.
The converse of above statement is a richer ecosystem is not really an advantage or incentive for developers!
Android phones had a captive market.
iPads are more useful, cheaper and not limited by carrier. Why would a non-enthusiast buy an Android tablet based on the idea they they might get better over time, when iPads are good now?
The same way that people bought Android phones when it first came out. Not everybody wants Apple.
Now, Android phones are genuinely competitive with the iPhone, but they got there because they had real advantages in availability and price from day one. Android tablets don't have those advantages.
There are a lot of people who prefer other products over Apple's in the same way that there are still a lot of people who still prefer a feature phone over a smartphone.
Ok - so I was off by 4% - 24% of people pick non-Apple mp3 players.
So what's your point again?
Why did anyone buy an iPad when they came out? There were no iPad specific apps when it came out, and yet it sold well.
Clearly, Android has a good web browser and email client, and that's enough for many. Just as clearly there are a huge number of non-tablet specific apps that will run fine on the Android tablets, and Android developers are desperately releasing tablet apps as fast as they can to try and take advantage of the "gold rush" when a new platform launches.
New platforms don't automatically lead to a gold rush. There hasn't been one for the palm pre.
The argument you are making is that normal consumers will pick a more expensive android tablet with very few apps over an iPad 2 with thousands of apps, some of then mind-blowing on the basis that there will surely be a developer gold-rush.
Even if there is a developer gold-rush, people will still have to wait a year for then software to be written.
I can see enthusiasts doing that by but why on earth would a regular consumer?
Compare the Android phones, where you get HTC Desires for free, on 12 or 18-month contracts with monthly charges in the £20s.
Apple has a big price problem competing in the UK in phones. It gets away with $1:£1 in computing, just, but it won't when Android is "good enough".
I worked out a way to do this with my iPad. And you know what made me say "wow"?
The way a triple head 1920x1280(ish) 24" desktop was so usable on a 10" 1024x768 iPad because I could zoom out.
You're not going to get desktop resolution on a tablet any time soon, and not properly without it being the same size. A few hundred pixels here or there is not much of an advantage really, good software is the advantage. It Feels good. iOS has it. Has Android? Has webOS? Has Windows phone 7?
Years ago I remember playing around with a proof of concept for Archy, a new user-interface concept by Jef Raskin. The basic idea was that all the contents of the computer were on a great big canvas, which you could zoom in and out of. One "folder" of pictures, might be little specks up in this corner, which you could then zoom in on and browse. Then you would zoom out, pan to the side and zoom in on something else. The browser's "links" were really tiny pages, so if you wanted to follow a link you would just zoom in on it and the new page would take up the screen.
It was a very interesting concept, although it was difficult to use at the time. But with pinch and zoom multitouch, I'm sure the whole experience would be worlds different.
I unfortunately can't seem now to find the demo I played with. :-(
Honeycomb does have the good feel although it is different obviously from iOS feel.
Well, how did that turn out? Android is selling more than the IPhone.
A proper tablet OS didn't arrive until last month and people are already saying it's almost too late for Android to catch up with the IPad.
Alright, people will say that it's not the same. But I believe the barriers to entry to the table market is lower than that of phones since manufacturers do not really need carrier approval. Once Google refines the Android tablet OS, I can't wait to see what manufacturers can come up with.
Google (and manufacturers) need to move with their tablets and get them at prices people feel comfortable purchasing them fast. Otherwise, iPads will become the next "iPod" where your average consumer associates tablet/slate pcs with an iPad.
I'm pretty sure they aren't selling anything. Ask Detroit about making up for no profit on volume. Android is being propped up by Google search revenue.
A fair comparison would be if Apple licensed iOS for any manufacture to put on their phones. Then it would be an apples to apples comparison.
Right now people are comparing a licensed OS with an unlicensed one.
Data source comScore: http://www.comscoredatamine.com/2011/02/smartphone-operating...
That said, I actually encountered more WinMo6 devices than Symbian ones (read: not much). Really don't know where they hide. Lots of "dumb" (mostly old) Nokia phones though.
I see they've got an entry from yesterday about Android overtaking iPhone in January for the US market so it looks like their figures are talking about marketshare, not sales:
Meanwhile Apple just ignored the silly games and built their own end-to-end ecosystem.
It's not lack of competition that's killing the rest of the industry - it's lack of cooperation.
But you are right, in reality there is no competition. There are a lot of people out there who think competition is on specs alone - #slots, ports, ram, memory, etc. Because that's how it was in the PC era.
They are wrong.
Have you played with them before coming to these conclusions? Jumping to conclusions without actual experience & trusting the media is a fool's errand.
I've played with them all, some being not-quite-release models. I'd have to largely agree that they are jokes.
The Xoom comes closest to being an iPad competitor, but I'd still much rather have an iPad. However, I think that there's a sizable segment of the market who would prefer a Xoom over that of an iPad, and maybe that's good enough for Motorola. Apple is still at what? single digit percentages with the Mac? They seem happy enough.
The Xoom is available now.
The Xoom feels like a PC that has better specs than a Mac. Yes, the frame rate is higher but the game sucks.
I seriously wish that webOS is going to show Apple some real competition. It's not healthy for one company to be so far ahead. Power corrupts.
Have you actually tried a Xoom?
The relevance is that the apps are what provide the UI.
For the iPad there are 65,000 of them customized to utilize the full screen. For the Xoom, there are 16 customized for the full screen, and the rest are literally just blown up phone apps, many of which don't even rescale properly.
Google could stand to refine the UI for finding tablet apps, though in fairness to them, showing off 16 good ones on launch week was probably a reasonable move.
(Written on a tablet-adapted HN reader that isn't one of the 16, on a Xoom.)
This is silly, without apps what value does it offer?
Yes, everyone will have a different set of apps they use, but there's no realistic justification that "SearchEngines.ru Forum" (from the recent release page I just looked at) is adding much value to the platform. A lot of those 65,000 are apps like those. Realistically, if you have maybe 1500 of the most popular apps, you have enough to pretty well serve the market.
Yes, that's the point. It's just that iPad now has so many good quality apps compared to Android. It _may_ change in future, but for the time being iPad wins. (The total number of apps never matters, most of them are crap anyway)
"And here are the keys to your new car. By the way, the windshield wipers don't work, yet…"
That's not really true. While Apple has a huge lead, they've already begun to lose marketshare (95% down to 75% last quarter). With more and more competition coming soon, I don't think that Apple will be able to hold on. One only has to look at the success of Android phones -- which literally didn't exist at all when the original iPhone was released -- to see that such a lead is not insurmountable.
> Have you used one of the 'iPad killers'?
Have you? The Motorola Xoom gets very good reviews -- most praising the software as much as the hardware.
When you have to twist numbers to demonstrate a drop in Apple's market share, it's a good sign that Apple's market share is sitting pretty.
It's no surprise that Android phones have numbers. They're on multiple carriers compared to just one (now two). Tablets don't have carriers backing them like that--they must stand on their own.
Apple fought off "iPod killers" for 10 years, so they've proven they know how to keep a lead. I think there's a lot of wishful thinking from some people wanting Apple to fall. For some reason, Apple's constant success antagonizes them.
Is anyone else concerned about the way Apple is changing the way we think about computers, more as appliances than what we think of as computers now?
Maybe that's actually the more natural state, and the last few decades have been the anomaly. Makes me a bit sad, though, and concerned about the future.
Any other company would milk the original iPad for all it's worth. They'd get a device with the iPad's dimensions and call it good enough. They wouldn't push forward unless their competitors caught up. I can't imagine Motorola, Microsoft, Samsung, Google, or anyone else having the muscle to put a device like the iPad 2 out so soon.
Forget pro-Apple or anti-Apple. More companies need to strive harder to be better, whether or not they see someone hot on their tail.
On a related note, have you ever found weird that Apple doesn't have any women in a VP position? At least that is the impression it gives me. For such a liberal company, it seems to be mostly run by men (nothing wrong with that btw).
Even just changing processors, radio chips, adding gyro, camera in the exact same mechanical form factor is a non-trivial change. This is a completely different housing that needs to be integrated and tested. To the user, it's the "same size" device- a flat device with a glass screen, but make no mistake, this is a re-engineered device less than a year from the previous. (Yes, parallel development, etc. but still.)
Not revolutionary, but far from "milking the original".
If I were to run a tech company competing in this space, I would do the following:
1) Get rid of the nonsensical names. There's a good reason why car makers give their flagship cars a specific name and stick with it through the years e.g. Toyota Camry, Honda Accord. I don't know why these highly-paid marketers insist on giving their products a new name every quarter.
2) Show how sensible and easy it is to migrate away from a desktop-bound, expensive, heavy and loud computer. Show the customers how losing one's device doesn't mean the end of the world (cloud-backed storage etc), and how easy it is to migrate to a new device should the need ever arise.
3) Start a retail channel where my products can be experienced at the customer's own pace. Best Buy and all those stores are not the same thing because they are electronics retailers primarily interested in moving product and I cannot count on them to build a lasting relationship with my customer.
For an example, I bought a Sony Vaio laptop a few months ago. Great piece of kit and I love it, but trying to work out what to get was bewildering - there's 7 or 8 categories with single letter names - 'S-series, Y-series, Z-series, F-series' etc.
What do they mean? Which should I be looking at? I had to scour through comparing until I realised which one I should be looking at.
Compare that to Macbooks - you've got:
Macbook (the standard, economical)
Macbook Pro (high performance)
Macbook Air (portable)
It's pretty clear to most people interested in buying a Macbook which one they should look at. Also relevant is the fact that Apple don't put too many versions out keeping things in well defined clusters.
Apple, of course, refuses to play by the rules of its retailing partners.
I hate retail games like this.
Whereas computers are much more mysterious -- it's not always easy to tell which is better based on looking at it.
Also, cars are much more expensive, so a consumer is more willing to invest time in figuring out odd naming practices.
Still, I have to wonder whether even luxury auto makers would be better off with better naming.
When the iPad was announced last year, it appeared to be a somewhat risky move on Apple's part, lest it cannibalize Mac sales. Now, just a year later, Apple could take the Mac and shoot it and survive. This has to make the PC maker's blood run cold; Apple is selling a device with 95% of the usefulness of a Windows PC but only 5% of the hassle (to the casual computer user), and they've got nothing to lose if they cannibalize all of their laptop sales.
The breathtaking aspect of this is how just a year ago the Microsoft monopoly still looked unassailable, but now, to some, the iPad's position seems nearly unassailable and on track to capture a huge portion of the casual computer users of the world.
Why? I don't recall the first time I saw a phone that came with video editing software, but I'm pretty sure it was before 2007. So if someone had said "in a few years this software will be easier to use and can edit even higher resolution video than it can today", I would have replied, "well, that sounds obvious"
The chair is definitely part of Apple's genius when it comes to the iPad. It shows us that this isn't a laptop or a PC and the iPad doesn't fall into the paradigms we're used to. It's something new, meant for you to use when you're relaxing rather than working, and you haven't experienced anything like it. You won't get it until you try it.
As for the competitors, they do have a ways to go. But the Xoom is definitely a great step, especially with the higher-res, less awkward screen for watching video (the aspect ratio is an annoyance on the iPad).
This reminds me of my friends who've dated someone for many years, and then once they got the nerve to leave them, they end up marrying the next person they date, within 12 months.
When you spend time with something, you get really familiar with its weaknesses. Then something walks along that doesn't have any of those weaknesses, and because you are so obsessed with those specific traits, you perceive this new thing as perfect.
Of course nothing is perfect, and once the glow wears off, you see everything the old one was amazing at, and the new one sucks at.
Widescreen is good for watching movies. But you do a lot on a tablet that's not watching movies.
Games are still way behind the iPad, however, and I imagine that everybody needs at least one great long-tail app that's only available on the iPad right now.
Seeing a man who actually DESERVES every ounce of his celebrity, clearly enjoying it so much.
Nice piece by Gruber capturing the event, and my favorite flavor of Apple worship.
And where's the fun in that?
Apple thinks there will be 3.5 inch webpads, and 10 inch webpads and that they are two totally distinct markets, so it doesn't matter if you lose share in one of them. Everyone else thinks you can have 3.5, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 even 12 inch webpads and that they're made from 99% the same commodity hardware and software.
Android is in the process of returning Apple to single digit marketshare in the small webpad category, a story that tech churnalists have missed because they live in a rich, old, white, U.S.-centric, gadget-obsessed bubble. I'm fairly certain it'll happen even faster for the iPad.
I can tell for sure that Android will take most of the market, maybe even 60-70%, but this will not be because of quality or user experience, it will only be because of cheaper prices, low end products and trying to please mainstream. But I'm pretty sure that Apple will be happy with their part of the cake with high quality products, high margins and very loyal and happy costumers. Just brilliant from any point of view.
A forced 30% cut of all subscriptions to the iDevices.
"Good iPad apps can make the iPad feel not like a device running an app, but like an object that is the app. GarageBand isn’t a musical app running on an iPad. It turns an iPad into a musical instrument."
So true. But the most insightful quote is at the very end:
"But there are other things any competitor could copy, easily, but seemingly don’t even understand that they should, because such things aren’t technical."
That's it! In order to compete effectively, you need to fully understand your adversary's strengths, which I don't think Motorola, Samsung, and others fully grasp. They still brag about the dual core, and this or that technical detail. I have yet to see apps as polished as iPad's on Android. When they come (and when Android has a better app store), then Apple needs to be worried.
This is an illustration why product companies, however large, should still be led by a product-oriented CEO. Companies led by MBAs or finance people are not doing too well on innovation front. Microsoft is a prominent example of this observation. Sony during Nobuyuki Idei's tenure was another example.
Firstly, what does Steve Jobs mean by that? I believe simply that Apple is where "Technology meets Liberal Arts".
Gruber seems to think this means "better designed, has more developer support, and it’s cheaper", which is all stuff that competitors can't copy?
That seems to just be an overview of Apple's status in this and their status relative to others, not necessarily having to do anything with "Technology meeting Liberal Arts".
In addition, I don't believe Jobs is referring to their marketing model in this -- that the technology is part of a greater "experience".
Rather, and perhaps I'm wrong on this and assuming too much, but I see it as a plea for something greater beyond just the technology and the ingenious marketing scheme. I see the devices (most specifically the iPad) as a technology that is humankind-enhancing material beyond just making life a little bit easier. Sure other tablets are, or could be rather, and I hope will be, the same or better, but at the moment the iPad does hold a special slot here. With the immense backing that it has, that's a fact I would say.
Whether Apple has purposefully created it to be so exceptional in so many areas (partner in healthcare, schools, etc.) is something I don't know or if they just got lucky, but it is true that it is excellent(or at least a big step forward) in those areas. And for that reason alone I see the device as more than just a gimmicky piece of technology and rather more of a device that assists in the advancement of mankind.
It should be comfortable, and it should be more like $200 and out of copyright by now.
Where's the innovation in furniture that would make that chair look like technology from 1928?
I would say it very much looks like technology from 1928. Compare it with the minimalist forms of Gio Ponti's Superleggera Chair, or side-by-side against the sinuous curves of a Rio chaise by Oscar Niemeyer. The LC3 looks downright old & Bauhaus-y.
Re. the innovation: This is a fascinating topic. One difference might be a result of value retention. A furniture model from 2006 won't have compatibility issues with the latest upholstery. I'm being silly to a degree, but knowing my iPhone 3GS will soon run at the speed of snot does not endear the thing's design to me. So old style could stick around without seeming too outdated, reducing the need for innovation.
Second, related thought about design innovation (again, from my very non-authoritative perspective) Furniture design seems have two extremes in innovation: A) periods of minor & incremental developments, essentially stagnation. B) Radical developments based on changes in artists' context.
The long periods where innovation is noticeably absent generally parallel times when artisans have no new medium in which to elevate their craft. During these periods, they're generally relegated to small changes: modifications & cosmetic variations on mostly-optimized forms.
Same as in vehicle design or computer hardware, the real magic happens when you develop new materials for medium & new methods for construction. (Esp. when those materials that improve fundamentals, a material's increased load-bearing ability will radically enhance what is possible in chair design.)
A good example are the years after bentwood techniques are pioneered, where designers for firms such as Thonet and J.J. Kohn produced radical new forms - the organic curves of Thonet rocking chairs look decades ahead of their mid-1800s origins, and they anticipate Art Nouveau by more than a quarter-century.
The same innovation groundswell appeared when synthetic materials (Lucite, plastic laminate & other petro-products) are introduced to the consumer markets post-WWII. A generation of design names like Charles & Ray Eames, Verner Panton, Charles Hollis Jones & Ettore Sottsass seized on these materials, creating parallel expressions of the abstraction & geometry in post-war architecture.
Recommend reading on hotbeds of design innovation:
The Sevres Porcelain Manufactory: Alexandre Brongniart and the Triumph of Art and Industry, 1800-1847 pub. by Yale University Press for the Bard Graduate Center
Italian Lighting Design 1945-2000 by Alberto Bassi
P.S. Apologies for rambling.
This sentence alone is worth reading the entire post. Subtract the parts of the sentence having to do with iPad, change good to great, and you get a universal truth.
Great apps feel not like a device running an app, but like an object that is the app.
Apply this to your user's content/data. A great X app doesn't feel like a device running a X app, it feels like you're directly manipulating X. You can substitute pictures, reports, movies, invites, events, etc...
This is what I want to see, I don't own an iPad but I won't until there is genuine things on it that I cannot achieve on my laptop.
I feel it is easy for a device like this to become widespread as it feels magical to use, but for me as a computer scientist, and someone who uses his keyboard almost exclusively, I need something from the iPad that I can't get from any other device.
Its why I purchased a Kindle!
It's not about exclusivity.
The thing with the Kindle (I've only used one briefly) and the iPad (I love my 1st gen) is that they do some things better than a laptop.
Reading is better on a Kindle or an iPad - especially curled up on the sofa - than a laptop.
Sketching is better on an iPad than on a laptop.
Browsing in bed is better on an iPad than on a laptop.
Typing is much worse on an iPad than a laptop.
I'm particularly looking forward to Garageband (and I've spent a lot on music apps for the iPad) because it looks like it will be better than Garageband on a laptop (although I admit that's a prediction - one I'm willing to gamble five quid on).
and I don't disagree that there are things that the iPad ultimately does do things BETTER,
I just see would like to see more innovative uses (such as garageband) but I guess thats just a case of patience.
I can't even read his posts. They are simply too propaganda-like.
Seriously? Bigger and more important than the invention of the Internet and WWW?
Well, I just wish the Post-PC devices wouldn't come with a 30% (or 43%) surcharge for all subscription content.
Phones have been historically locked down by carriers. Taking a look at the alternatives from just 5 years ago, the iPhone looks pretty damn open. And there is a reason for that, and why consumers didn't care.
Consumers are used to phones being locked, but consumers are also used to doing whatever they want with the computers they've bought. And funny thing - this wasn't always the case. IBM-compatible PCs that you could extend with ISA cards, assemble your own, coming bundled with MS-DOS / Windows - weren't the first PCs available. Even Apple came after Atari. And those home computers back in those day were pretty locked.
What changed the scene is the simple fact that software is so much bigger and more profitable than hardware; and there are many forces in the market that want hardware to be an unlocked and cheap complementary to software. You can see that playing right now with the battle between Android / WinMo 7 / iOS / Blackberry.
That's the biggest reason why Microsoft won in the 90's - not only over Apple, but also over IBM's OS/2 - they made no discrimination when it came to hardware, they ensured backwards-compatibility for third-party software at all costs, they kept the SDK free of charge. Compared to IBM's OS/2 ; Windows was a piece of shit ... but it ran fine on 286 processors and was compatible with everything you wanted.
My phone has at least ten times the horsepower of my first computer. I had no expectations out of my Nokia 3310; as I only expected it to make phone calls.
Bottom line - computing doesn't move beyond the PC, but towards the PC.
And Apple is increasingly becoming aggressive because they'd like to keep the grip they have right now, but they also realize that they cannot do it. Want to bet that they'll lose costumers to Android if for example Kindle for iOS is shut down?
(Nitpick: I'm aware IBM compatibles weren't the first PCs available. Before them came, among others, the Apple II and the Commodore - both of which came with full schematics in the back of the manual. That's openness if you ask me.)
I mean, they could convince frickin' Microsoft to make IExplorer / Windows Media Player optional ... which makes no sense whatsoever :)
Didn't quite use to be that way. Computer users seemed to be at least a little geek, and wouldn't totally flip at installing a video card. At least in my experience.
So I say, screw the closed systems, I'll keep my PCs and read source code, I'll deep link to web sites from my blogs.
Well, Possibly. I think he's referring to tablet computing in general. It represents the fruition of progress toward a true household computing appliance, the kind of handheld "electronic book" that used to exist only in science fiction. Someday, the paradigm of the desktop PC and its required upkeep and complicated interfaces may be considered the short-term condition of a young industry.
However, while I think he's generally spot on with his Apple analysis, I can see how his detractors are turned off by the smidgeon of smugness in some of his articles.
It would be in his best interest to not anger Apple or they instantly cut off his access. See: Walt Mossberg.
But Gruber's significant articles (like this one) are based on information that is public available. Most people just sees a chair, they don't see the thinking behind the chair.
What Gruber does best is to explain how Apple thinks, I know of no journalists that comes anywhere close to understanding Apple.