That being said... No doubt 99% of the comments will be repeating the same speculation, leaks, and purported confirmations going around for the last month. I’m interested in the remaining 1%: How will this “change everything?” What markets could this disrupt? What (if any) new kinds of software would a retina display (for example) make possible that were non-starters on an iPad 2?
Everything they do is relevant in some way, and there's nothing wrong with covering them in a one-line story on a software discussion site like this.
Although "News" is in its name, I think HN would be far more interesting without it. News includes industry gossip - and HN has more and more of that. And pg's guidelines don't actually mention news. http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html Certainly, the iPad 3 is covered on TV news.
Don't get me wrong: I'm interested in it, but I can get this news everywhere. e.g. http://www.reddit.com/r/apple
"Siri, turn on the bedroom lights"
"Siri, set the oven to 400 degrees"
"Siri, put on HBO at 9:30pm tonight"
"Siri, set the temp to 70 degrees"
THIS is what I want.
Shit - who on HN wants to work on this?
I expect so much better from you, sir raganwald.
This is a reply to you but it's addressed to HN's growing number of pedantic, obnoxious content police at large. At the time of this posting, 38 people disagree with your assessment. You've got the flag tool to register your opinion.
What is contributed to the discussion by griping about content the community obviously believes is worthy of the front page? Who benefits from this?
From a completely practical perspective, this particular post is useful because it suggests very strongly that the Retina display rumors are true. For those who are building content for iOS, the head-start on getting iPad Retina graphics ready is likely much appreciated. (It certainly is by me.)
That was precisely what I was looking for. As you can see from my comment, after grouching, I got down to business and appealed for something interesting in the way of commentary.
As a general rule, if you can read it in the general media, it doesn’t belong here. If you can read the post in the general media but the comments here have a unique perspective, that’s a worthy exception. If you can read it in the general media and the comments here are indistinguishable from comments everywhere else, I would absolutely flag the post.
My comment was intended to inspire us to avoid the trap of rehashing the same things that have already whizzed through the blogosphere and twitterverse 42 times in quick succession.
I certainly have nowhere else to discuss this announcement sensibly and in depth.
Is there anything wrong with a little speculation beforehand? While not exactly 'science' this kind of discussion does allow us to test our prediction skills, debate our understanding of our industry, exchange ideas on related topics and come up with interesting (and sometimes inspiring) insight about where our industry is going.
After all, the iPad 3 has the potential to effect (in both positive and negative ways) every startup associated to HN.
Not change so much, but if 'touch' refers to some sort of localized haptic feedback mechanism (eg you can close your eyes and feel the position of individual icons/controls as if the screen were slightly bumpy) then it will cement the iPad's dominance as a musical performance tool. Imagine, for example, being able to strum a virtual guitar and feel approximately where the strings are, rather than receiving different messages from your fingers and your eyes. It doesn't have to be perfect, just suggestive and consistent, which will provide enough novelty to keep people busy until the iPad 4 appears :-)
I have a strong hunch that that Apple has stolen a march on the competition here. When I first picked up an iPad, one thing I looked at was some sort of space shooter game (Galaxy on Fire or something). I played for 2 or 3 minutes, and was impressed by both the graphics and the vibration every time my ship took a hit, like the controller for a videogame console. Later I got an Android Honeycomb tablet, and one day I noticed the same game was available, so I installed it. Everything was fine, except that there was no vibration. It seems that since large tablets are not phones, few, if any, manufacturers saw a need to include a vibration feature and so Apple has had several years to develop both the technology and a coherent set of UI conventions to employ it.
I know virtually nothing about haptic technology, but I have a guess about how it might work. Imagine two vibrating motors at right angles to each other, whose periods are fixed and proportional to the ratio of the device's width:height. Now imagine a second motor for each of the pair, which vibrates at up to double the speed of the first; by varying the speed of the second motor in each of 2 dimensions, interference patterns are created in similar fashion to the beating that occurs between two sine waves of different frequencies. Where the periods of sinusoidal sound waves stand in neat integer relationships to each other, you get the familiar notes of the musical scale (warning: drastic oversimplification of musical tuning theory). I speculate that people are so intuitively used to this - sound being just a more sensitive version of touch - that it may allow a tactile illusion of up to 12 identifiable 'zones' in each screen dimension, resulting in a grid of up to 144 'touxels'.
If I turn out to be more than half-right about this, then I feel it ought to be worth some sort of nominally compensated blue-sky consulting gig :-)
EDIT: of course you could go on and on with the other applications. A lightweight keyboard for blind people, new models of games interaction, interactive multidimensional graphing/modelling tools where constraints are proxied by 'resistance' and so on.
If you look at products like iPhone or iPad for example, most of their features had a first, proof of concept not-too-usable bare-bones implementation on other systems years ago (iCloud, Facetime, Siri, App store, iTunes, pre-iPhone touch screen devices that almost worked... ). This has lead many to complain that Apple unjustly implies that they invented these. What they often do instead, is take existing technologies and add Apple magic sauce to make it "just work". That's what they are good at.
I just don't see them releasing something experimental that has even a small chance of not working as advertised.
EDIT: As linked below, http://senseg.com/ seems to suggest that this technology is more mature than I've anticipated. Still, if this at least half works I'd first expect to see it first on an Android tablet and a year later on an iPad.
The main things that we've seen on other platforms which Apple might conceivably copy are wireless charging systems (like WebOS had) or handling NFC payments (like a few Android phones had)
except GUI's, The Mouse, Click Wheels, Multitouch Screens, Thunderbolt, Firewire, Laser Printers, SIRI and Personal Computers.
iPad 3 Event Announcement Propels Apple market cap to half a trillion dollars
consoles - although we might need to wait for the next generation for matching GPU power
A more pertinent discussion is on how Apple manages to whip up the media into a frenzy before each one of these iterative product launches that if coming from any other company would be an absolute snooze-fest. They certainly perfected the art of conjuring up some sexy behind normally nerdy events.
If Apple ever got in the habit of giving demos that weren't legitimately newsworthy, they'd stop getting news coverage.
But at the end of the day isn't it just another gadget? Smartphones and tablets have been mainstream for a few years now and can you honestly say that our lives are so drastically different/better in any meaningful way? They do have a large amount of goodwill coming from their customer but they don't create that goodwill by building anything significantly different from all the other hardware manufacturers. They do it by packaging it very nicely and making the keynotes into events that are very consumable by the media as well as Joe Shmoe the consumer.
It certainly doesn't hurt that these events don't have to appeal to h/w distributors at all since Apple has all the distribution channels by the balls way before their products are even announced.
The current haptic feedback that some devices offer is really inadequate. To give you actual controls that you can feel would be a leap forward.
Also, if you think about the way Apple typically does these things, it would be a huge advantage if they got there first. Apple has a tendency to buy years worth of production from a given vendor, if they could tie up access to this technology for a year or two while production ramps to accomodate demand, they could gain a huge lead (well, larger than they already have).
I've got something in my front pocket, for you.
Why don't you reach in, and see what it is?...
That said, I hope you're right and I'm wrong! : P
Not to mention the inherent problem of a capacitive button that lives on a bezel that people use to grasp the device. There'd be no grazing the home button while turning or moving your hand positions without possibly-activating that button. Absent some bullet-proof pressure-sensing technology, it would be incredibly frustrating.
So mark me down for hoping that the "touch" bit is either an allusion to some haptic feedback technology, or some pressure-sensing technology, or even just an ad-copy play off "see" that people are reading too much into.
What if the home button moves depending on screen orientation? i.e. the home button is always at the center of the bottom-most bezel edge? It's not a particularly usable solution without the best capacitive button ever made, but it's interesting to think about.
In all likelihood, multitasking is probably a 'swipe up' gesture from the bottom of the screen now, similar to what Apple is doing with the trackpad in Mountain Lion's notification system.
I'm imagining a WebOS-style gesture, but the swipe action is from the screen edge, not the bezel.
I agree, though. Capacitive buttons are awful, especially on an iPad where there's so much room for an accidental press.
Edit: and I think four-finger pinch takes you back to the home screen. The only real use for the Home button on an iPad now is for taking screenshots (remapping double-click the Power button could probably replace this)
They would, if showing it in portrait mode would have spoiled a design innovation.
And after studying my own iPad, I concur. It's definitely closer in portrait than landscape, but there are still enough differences that clearly more variables are in play. (The wallpaper has likely changed, the dock's background image has likely changed, the spacing has changed, etc.)
Edit: I guess in that case, there'd be a camera there, assuming it hasn't moved.
Unless you're a developer, it doesn't make a lick of difference to you whether it's 300dpi or 302dpi. What matters is that the display is either "pixelly" or "not pixelly". "Retina" may be a silly-sounding name, but I think the idea is just fine.
I just don't understand the desire on the part of Apple fans to embrace what are transparent attempts at rebranding generic components. In a non-technical environment sure. But on Hacker News? Really?
I'm not sure whether you were originally taking offense at the first, the second, or both; how would you feel if instead of talking about 'retina displays' people just said that the iPad 3 would have a 'higher-density screen'?
(as a sidenote, Android technically does have an equivalent shorthand for the various pixel densities the OS supports, but I don't know of any Android manufacturers who actively advertise a "XHDPI" display)
See the damage this nonsense can do? And you'd never buy into it from any vendor except Apple, where for reasons I can't understand otherwise smart people get suckered into thinking Apple designs innovative CPUs and LCD panels.
I'd be happy to be corrected, though.
Color me doubtful, though I'd love to be proven wrong. Lots of devices already do a good job with gesture-only interaction, but it requires redefining large chunks of the iOS vocabulary.
The iPad already supports gestures. Three gestures replace all you need the home button for (one or two small and insignificant exceptions, but those would be easy enough to add).
Those gestures already declutter the interaction considerably. They make for a much smoother experience than that clusterfuck which is the home button.
It’s a nice fallback, so I’m not sure whether it’s a good idea to remove it, but I haven’t touched it in ages (it’s always not where I expect it to be, anyway).
I love the system Apple is building. The gestures built into iOS 5 make it faster and easier for me to use everyday. But gestures are like keyboard shortcuts - they require instruction and they're not discoverable. I think having a so-called "Panic" button exist on the device is important for the way it functions for consumers (not to mention integral to Siri's interface if that makes its way to the iPad). Will it be a physical button? Maybe, maybe not. Removing the only physical button on the device requires a more fundamental change than "three gestures replace all you need the home button for" though.
I never considered the home button a problem until I saw him using the iPad. Fascinating really.
Google Map for 'Where', Calendar for 'When', Keynote for 'How' and iPad itself for 'What'. Just missing the Apple logo for 'Who'~
The "Let's Talk iPhone" invitation used the Calendar/Clock/Maps/Phone application icons to present the same concept: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/03/apples-lets-talk-iphone-e...
Please at least spare a thought for those around the world who are too busy trying to stay alive on this day to worry about a new monolith to worship.
I like technology, but I'm a human first.
Tell me which bit of my post was not factual?
Under your rationale, if you always think of who has it worse than you, you could never have a valid complaint. "Man, I will be so disappointed if the iPad 3 doesn't have LTE." "Don't you think about starving children in Africa?"