Tag Archives: iPad

Gimmickry…

Hello again, Friends!

I recently came across an eweek.com piece on what’s expected from the iPad 3.  I’ve made a habit not to talk about this kind of stuff, but feel significantly compelled to opine on this particular subject, not because of the topic (the new – rumored iPad 3), but because of the tone of piece, and the nearly juvenile and indecipherable difference between gimmickry and significance to stay relevant.

The piece can be found here:

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Networking/Apple-iPad-3-10-HighPriority-Features-We-Want-in-the-New-Tablet-739540/?kc=EWKNLEDP01252012A

Below I articulate my point of view on each of the items, and why they are irrelevant:

  1. This is effectively a no brainer.  Apple has made strides in creating a more integrated ecosystem, and therefore we’re likely to see this.
  2. This is not really a must have, and is just an attempt to articulate that for the iPad to remain relevant, it needs to have multiple screen size.  Should Apple introduce new (presumably smaller) sizes of the iPad, it will create lesser and lesser differentiation between the platforms, and effectively cannibalizing sales across the platform.  The iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch line, I believe, would overall not be affected as you’ll see a switching from one platform to the next by consumers
  3. 3D, IMHO, is a gimmick (for now).  A gimmick created by the TV set manufacturers to create more relevance for their increasingly irrelevant products.  It’s simply a way for them to boost sales during the recession.
  4. This I agree with.
  5. This is borderline gimmickry.  There’s no real issue with device, and because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  6. I’ll agree with this.
  7. Nice to have – not must have to remain relevant.  Are there problems with the iPad’s existing glass (in terms of break-ability)?
  8. While I would want that, I would still think it may be on the nice-to-have bordering on the must-have.  The only real benefits would be for high-res screen capture (for documents), or for movies.  A lot of app developers would need to redesign their interface to get to it, but that has not prevented Apple before.
  9. Gimmickry.  Basically a claim to turn an iPad into XBOX controller.
  10. NFC.  Yes that would be a good idea, not sure it’s critical.  I also believe that NFC may become obsolete (IMHO) as geofencing, and companies like LevelUp (thelevelup.com) continue to enter the marketplace of mobile payment.

Reviewing these results, I would argue that 1 is almost obvious, 4 and 6 are must have to remain a relevant product, and 8, and 10 are nice to have.  The rest… not sure…

This is not the first thing of the sort that I see on eweek.com, and frankly have found the writing to get less and less compelling (on par for a lot of ZD publications, IMHO).  This particularly piece reads as a child like wish list, not the product of a professional publication.

In Praise of the iPad

A few days have gone by since Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s new iPad at the special event of January 27th. Since then a lot has been written about the new device, and most of it has been a lukewarm reception. I admit, as I watched the live blogs on January 27th my spirits quickly went from exhilaration of the potential at the start of day, to a sense of emptiness by the time the session was over.

My intent with this blog has never been to write about technology directly, I’ll leave that up to the likes of David Pogue, Leo Laporte and the number of other great journalists who make it their livelihood to do so. I’m choosing to make an exception today, because I sense that the criticism of the iPad is a little over the top.

To summarize the chief complaints about the iPad are as follows:
– Lack of camera (still or video),
– Lack of e-ink screen,
– Lack of multi-tasking,
– Potentially awkward dimensions,
– Weak OS (iPhone OS vs. OS X)
– Lack of publishers
– Ongoing support of AT&T for 3G

In thinking of how a tablet device can augment the functionality that one already has available and, to paraphrase Steve Jobs, do something that neither the laptop nor the iPhone can do, it has to be able to do the three following things:
– Gaming
– Media consumption, and
– Collaboration.

The iPad, covers 2 of those 3 areas, and the strongest criticism that should leveled against it is its weakness in providing collaborative functionality by the simple fact that it doesn’t have a camera. All other complaints, in my opinion are either misguided or capricious.

– Lack of e-ink screen: This may be the most valid other complaint about the iPad, but in Apple’s defense, the screen on the iPhone is actually quite good, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the quality and readability of text on the iPad wouldn’t be excellent. I have read chapters out of O’Reilly books on my iPhone, and the biggest problem was not eye strain, but the small screen size (which the iPad solves).

– Lack of multi-tasking: This is one of the more capricious complaints against the iPad. Assuming that we all need multi-tasking (a bit of a hype there too), multi-tasking is something that can be enabled through the Operating System, and we should except the iPhone OS 3.2 later this quarter (by the time the iPad ships it looks like), and I would expect that while it won’t be there then, it should be part of iPhone OS 4, which I believe would come out during the summer of 2010.

– Potentially awkward dimensions: This is generally tied to the 4 by 3 proportion of the iPad screen. This may very well be a justified complaint, one that I don’t think we will realize whether it’s a real problem until start using it.

– Weak OS: I would categorize this in the

– Lack of Publishers: This too has some potential legs, but one has to remember that the iPhone can (and thus the iPad will) run various ebook applications including Kindle’s, Barnes and Noble’s, and even O’Reilly’s. This doesn’t account for the waterfall effect caused once other publishers come online. One silver lining that I think many have missed is the fact that it may also create a forum for authors who otherwise may not get published to be able to gain some exposure.

– Ongoing support of AT&T for 3G: This is one that people love to gripe about, and frankly is simply capricious at this point. Yes, AT&T doesn’t have as good coverage as Verizon and other companies, but Apple is clearly making the push to open up the platform beyond AT&T. It hasn’t happened yet, but may very well happen this year (some rumors are already spreading about that).

So what will make or break the iPad. Well I think it’s the Apps. There is a fantastic community of developers for the iPhone OS, and I expect that they will seize on this opportunity to develop new and innovative apps across the gaming, media consumption and collaboration spectrum.

So I’m eager to get my iPad and tinker with it.