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.

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X 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
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Baseball Battle Review
Baseball Battle Review By Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE HITTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple and cute, Baseball Battle is a fairly fun baseball game for those looking for something... | Read more »
Checkmark 2.1 Update Released, and it’s...
Checkmark 2.1 Update Released, and it’s on Sale for a Limited Time Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Labor Day Weekend MacBook Pro sale; 15-inch m...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Labor Day Weekend iPad mini sale; $50 to $100...
Best Buy has the iPad mini with Retina Display (WiFi models) on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store for Labor Day Weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $899,...
Adorama has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
It’s Official: Apple Issues Invitations To Se...
Apple has issued one of its characteristically cryptic press invitations for a special event to be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in hometown Cupertino on Sept. 9, 2014 at 10:00 am... Read more
Tablet Shipments To See First On-year Decline...
TrendForce analyst Caroline Chen notes that when the iPad launched in 2010, it was an instant hit and spurred a tablet PC revolution, with tablets so popular that that notebook PC sales stagnated and... Read more
SOBERLINK Releases Apple iOS Compatible Handh...
Cypress, California based SOBERLINK, Inc., creator of the first handheld Breathalyzer designed to improve recovery outcomes, continues to show prominence in the mobile alcohol monitoring space with... Read more
New 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale again for $999, s...
Best Buy has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for online orders only, in-... Read more
Smartphone Outlook Remains Strong for 2014, U...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014,... Read more
Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.