TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Swaine Manor: iPonder iPad

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 03
Column Tag: Swaine Manor

Swaine Manor: iPonder iPad

Everything that needs to be said about the iPad

by Michael Swaine

In the past month there have appeared a number of blogs and articles-and comments and tweets on those blogs and articles-on the subject of Apple's recently-announced iPad. You may have seen one or two of them.

But I think we can all agree that, despite all the opinions voiced on the tablet's merits or defects, there has not been enough bombastic pontificating about the iPad. I mean, how could there be? I'm sure you love bombastic pontificating as much as I do.

So I hereby present the only complete, comprehensive, and definitive analysis of the iPad you will ever need to read. I cover what Apple says is good about the device, what others say it lacks, and what Apple had darned well better do to the thing if they want to win over what should be their target audience: me.

You're welcome.

What's in the Box, According to Apple

Here's what Apple wants us to know about this device. The iPad gives you:

  • The Internet at your fingertips. And not just at your fingertips, but multitouchable by those fingertips. Think of it.

  • The ability to view and arrange video and photos shot on some other device.

  • The ability to buy things from Apple in still another extremely convenient way.

  • The ability not only to read and reply to your email, but to touch it, a feature you didn't know you were missing until now.

  • A display that always stays oriented with the planet's gravitational field, so that even if you're lying down and trying to read, the text will stay doggedly vertical.

  • One-touch access to absolutely everything on your iPad from your Home Screen, plus Spotlight Search, to find all the things that aren't accessible from your Home Screen.

  • And it's really thin. Not the frame, that's wide. It's huge. What a monster. No, the iPad itself is thin.

  • Um, and you can carry it anywhere. Not in your pocket, of course. No way. This thing's huge. But you can carry it. In your backpack, maybe. Or in a shopping bag. Did we mention that it's thin?

  • Up to 64GB of flash storage. 64 Gigs! No, not Flash, flash storage. Pay attention.

  • Rich connectivity. You can connect this thing to any iPad dock that Apple currently makes (capability subject to change without notice).

  • Accessories. OK, they're not in the box. They cost extra. But you'll need them.

What's Missing, According to the Pundits

You'd think that that would please anybody, but grumblings have been heard in the hinterlands of the punditocracy. Here are the elements that these whiners think Apple should have included in the iPad:

  • Multitasking. Many of the things people say they want multitasking for can be had without full multitasking, like allowing tunes to play while you check your mail. Notifications and persistence address a lot of the other needs. But still, how could Apple leave this out? Wah.

  • A USB port. Like for external storage, printing, general connectivity. It's not that you can't get there from here, but the road runs through Dongleville. OK, they have a point there.

  • Flash support. Apple thinks you'll consider the lack of Flash support a feature. Maybe they're right. We'll see soon enough.

  • Conventional computer file management. See Flash support.

  • A camera. This seems to be the big deal-breaker for a lot of commenters. Yeah, but maybe those people who are freaking out about the lack of a front-facing camera for videoconferencing should check with their friends. They might discover that they're overrating the demand for video of themselves. I'm just sayin'.

  • Phone functionality. Skype support. Tethering to iPhone. Alternatives to AT&T. I think these are real shortcomings, and that the heavy in this drama is exactly who you think it is.

  • A removable battery. Which implies disposable battery, as in you have to recycle the thing. With great power comes great responsibility, Peter.

  • Real GPS. I freely admit that the difference in quality between GPS and Assisted GPS is above my pay grade. Over my head. It's up there somewhere.

  • The App Store approval process and censorship and general arbitrariness and stupidity. Well, yeah.

What Apple Needs to Do, According to Me

OK, the whiners have some valid points. But now let me explain to Apple what they really need to do if they want me to love this thing.

  • Hire people who have experience with tablet devices. I see you hired Michael Tchao back. That's good; he'll understand how to market it. Now hire somebody who has the chops to create a great developer environment. There's this guy Walter Smith who knows all about that. He used to work for you. Hire him back.

  • It has to have handwriting recognition. Get Larry Yaeger to write it for you. I have his email address if you've lost it.

  • You've got the right idea with the black frame around the screen, but you didn't go far enough. Make the whole thing black. No matter what the fashionistas say, no other color is ever the new black. Black is always the coolest color. Black is the new black.

  • And skip the color screen; you'll cut costs and we don't need it. Go with the traditional black text on green screen. They're cheap and they're totally good enough. They're even retro, and how cool is that?

  • Speaking of cutting costs, make the thing smaller. A lot smaller. It needs to fit in a pocket. That small. Trust me, I'd buy a device like that. Check your sales records. You know I would.

  • That name. Change it. You're Apple, think of something related to your brand. Think of those great ads you did with the pictures of great independent thinkers. Name it after one of them. Some mega-genius from the 17th or 18th Century, one associated with an apple.

Do that, Apple, and I may have a chance of finally getting my money's worth out of that Newton Tool Kit you sold me back in 1999.


Michael Swaine is the former editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb's Journal (http://www.ddj.com) and current editor of PragPub (http:// www.pragprog.com/magazine), the electronic magazine for pragmatic programmers. You can reach him at mike@swaine.com.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Sketch 47.1 - Design app for UX/UI for i...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
Cocktail 11.0.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Path Finder 7.6.1 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder makes you a master of file management. Take full control over your file system. Save your time: compare and synchronize folders, view hidden files, use Dual Pane and full keyboard... Read more
Slack 2.8.2 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.8.2: A small release containing nothing but another Electron... Read more
Smultron 10.0.2 - Easy-to-use, powerful...
Smultron 10 is an elegant and powerful text editor that is easy to use. You can use Smultron 10 to create or edit any text document. Everything from a web page, a note or a script to any single piece... Read more
Capto 1.2.5 - $29.99
Capto (was Voila) is an easy-to-use app that takes capturing, recording, video and image editing to the next level. With an intelligent file manager and quick sharing options, Capto is perfect for... Read more
ScreenFlow 7.1.1 - Create screen recordi...
ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your... Read more
Xcode 9.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
TotalFinder 1.10.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Features... Read more
Adobe Flash Player 27.0.0.170 - Plug-in...
Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform, browser-based application runtime that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across browsers and operating systems.... Read more

Be the last person standing in Legacy of...
Yoozoo Games’ popular action MMO Legacy of Discord is getting a huge new update to celebrate its first anniversary. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of an exciting survival mode titled Last Guardian. This new survival mode will pit you... | Read more »
Home Street guide - how to make friends...
From the creators of Food Street comes Home Street, a new simulation game that tasks you with building a social network and designing a beautiful home. It's a bit like The Sims, but you won't have to worry about the daily chores involved (feeding,... | Read more »
Color Ballz guide - how to bounce to the...
Color Ballz is an addictive new arcade title from Ketchapp Studios. It takes old school mechanics from games like Brickles and puts a fun twist on it. Your job? To catch balls with a paddle and send them back into a chute to be carried back to... | Read more »
Q&A: A-33 Studio explains why Combat...
When it comes to mobile FPS, it’s often tricky to get the fundamentals right on a platform lacking a physical controller, large display and hefty RAM. With Combat Squad: Project Wednesday, A-33 Studio bravely took on the challenge of making a... | Read more »
Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter guide - ti...
Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter launched this week to players all over the world. It's a beautiful mobile MMORPG that blends elements of Eastern and Western fantasy. It reminds us of a mix between World of Warcraft and Jade Empire. MMO's can have a... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
Phew. It has been a week, but now it's time to relax, put your feet up, and enjoy some brand new mobile games. It was a bit of slow week, but there's still plenty of new titles to add to your collection. Here are four of our favorites. [Read... | Read more »
Yoink - Improved Drag and Drop (Product...
Yoink - Improved Drag and Drop 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Yoink for iPad and iPhone lets you easily and quickly store items you drag, copy or share, for later use... | Read more »
Cottage Garden (Games)
Cottage Garden 1.11 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.11 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Into the Dead 2 guide - how to survive t...
Into the Dead 2 is an endless gunner, of sorts, with a lot of grit and satisfying gunplay behind it. The game looks amazing, and tells an effective story to boot. Plus, it has some quality voice acting behind it to really bring the story to life... | Read more »
Smash Up - The Card Game (Games)
Smash Up - The Card Game 1.0.7 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.7 (iTunes) Description: ***“It’s a goofy theme with fun art and high replayability, but beneath that veneer of casual play is a great... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $120 off M...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook... Read more
15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off M...
B&H Photo has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2249, $150... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs,...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2017 21″ and 27″ iMacs available starting at $1019 and ranging up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free... Read more
Sale! 27″ 3.8GHz 5K iMac for $2098, save $201...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.8GHz 5K iMac (MNED2LL/A) on sale today for $2098 including free shipping. Their price is $201 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (Apple’s $1949... Read more
Sale! 10″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros for up to $100...
B&H Photo has 10.5″ WiFi iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Each iPad includes free shipping, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 10.5″ 64GB iPad Pro: $... Read more
Apple iMacs on sale for up to $130 off MSRP w...
B&H Photo has 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs in stock and on sale for up to $130 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2179 $... Read more
2017 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro on sale for $2799,...
B&H Photo has the 2017 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro (MD878LL/A) on sale today for $2799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only . Their price is $200 off MSRP. Read more
12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook on sale for $11...
Amazon has the 2017 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free: 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP Read more
Bare Bones Software Releases macOS High Sierr...
Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of BBEdit 12.0, a significant upgrade to its professional strength text and code editor. BBEdit 12 introduces a new foundation... Read more
Yale Announces Availability of Apple HomeKit-...
Yale Locks & Hardware has announced that Apple HomeKit support for its Assure Lock family is available this month. The new Yale iM1 Network Module, which provides support for the Apple Home app... Read more

Jobs Board

Lead *Apple* Solution Consultant - Apple In...
…develop a team of diverse partner employees focusing on excellence to deliver the Apple story. Even when you're not present, you will maintain a consistent influence Read more
watchOS Frameworks Engineering Manager, *App...
Job Summary Join the team that is shaping the future of software development for Apple Watch! Apple is looking for an exceptional software engineering leader to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Farmin...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.