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

calibre 3.14.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
HoudahSpot 4.3.4 - Advanced file-search...
HoudahSpot is a versatile desktop search tool. Use HoudahSpot to locate hard-to-find files and keep frequently used files within reach. HoudahSpot will immediately feel familiar. It works just the... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.3.10- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.3.10- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Paparazzi! 1.0b7 - Make user-defined siz...
Paparazzi! is a small utility for OS X that makes screenshots of webpages. This very simple tool takes screenshots of websites which do not fit on one screen. You specify the desired width, minimal... Read more
Amadeus Pro 2.4.4 - Multitrack sound rec...
Amadeus Pro lets you use your Mac for any audio-related task, such as live audio recording, digitizing tapes and records, converting between a variety of sound formats, etc. Thanks to its outstanding... Read more
Google Chrome 63.0.3239.108 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Apple Configurator 2.6 - Configure and d...
Apple Configurator makes it easy to deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices in your school or business. Use Apple Configurator to quickly configure large numbers of devices connected to... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.26 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Remotix 5.0.4 - Access all your computer...
Remotix is a fast and powerful application to easily access multiple Macs (and PCs) from your own Mac. Features Complete Apple Screen Sharing support - including Mac OS X login, clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

WWE Mayhem guide - beginner tips and tri...
WWE Mayhem brings all of the familiar faces from your favorite wrestling league to mobile in this exciting new fighting game. Build up a team of your favorite WWE superstars and fight your way to the championship title, or battle against your... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
We've made it through another week, so let's treat ourselves to some of the best new games to launch in the past few days. It was another exciting week with some long-awaited indie games making their debut, and some big console titles making the... | Read more »
Match blocks to pull off dance moves in...
Ferdinand: Unstoppabull is a brand new match three puzzler based on the animated movie of (almost) the same name. As you can expect, you have to match blocks together to complete a bunch of puzzling levels and earn a high score. [Read more] | Read more »
Lineage 2: Revolution’s end of year upda...
Now available in 54 countries worldwide, Lineage 2: Revolution is continuing its global quest to be the most popular mobile MMORPG by launching a jam-packed end of year update. Complete with many subtle tweaks to help improve users’ online... | Read more »
The 5 best Star Wars games on iOS
The time has almost come.Star Wars: The Last Jedifinally hits theaters in the cinematic event that might be bigger than Christmas. To celebrate, we're taking a look at the best--and only the best--Star Warsmobile games to date. [Read more] | Read more »
Life Is Strange (Games)
Life Is Strange 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Life Is Strange is a five part episodic game that sets out to revolutionize story-based choice and consequence games by... | Read more »
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty (Game...
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** PLEASE NOTE: Requires 3.6GB free space to install. Runs at variable resolutions based on device capabilities.... | Read more »
Gorogoa (Games)
Gorogoa 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Gorogoa is an elegant evolution of the puzzle genre, told through a beautifully hand-drawn story designed and illustrated by Jason... | Read more »
Why Guns of Boom will be big for mobile...
Earlier this week, Game Insight, the minds that brought you Guns of Boom, revealed plans for an esports mode in the popular FPS title, with big implications for the game's future. Guns of Boom has been quite popular for some time now, so it's... | Read more »
The best mobile games to play on lazy ho...
With the holidays in full swing, there's hopefully going to be a lot of time off work lazing around the house. With all of that free time, it's a perfect opportunity to catch up on some mobile games that you might have missed out on earlier this... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

B&H Holiday sale: MacBooks for up to $300...
B&H Photo has Apple MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and 12″ MacBooks on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only, and overnight... Read more
The lowest prices on Apple 13″ MacBook Pros t...
Save $300-$300 on the purchase of a 2017 13″ MacBook Pro this weekend with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. In many cases, Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model... Read more
Lowest prices of the Holiday season: 15″ Appl...
Save $360-$420 on the purchase of a 2017 15″ MacBook Pro with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. In many cases, Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any... Read more
Apple discounts Beats products by up to 30% t...
Apple has Beats by Dr. Dre (BeatsX, Powerbeats3 Wireless, and Beats Solo3 Wireless) on sale for up to 30% off their retail price from now until December 26th: – BeatsX: Was $149.95, now $99 –... Read more
Updated Price Trackers: Macs, iPads, iPhones,...
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: – 15″... Read more
How to preorder a new iMac Pro and pay zero s...
B&H Photo and Adorama are accepting preorders on multiple configurations of the new Apple iMac Pro. Both resellers charge sales tax for residents of NY & NJ only, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple Macs back in stock at Amazon with model...
Amazon has MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, MacBooks, and iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP as part of their Holiday/Christmas sale. Shipping is free. Note that stock of some Macs may come and go (and... Read more
Apple offering free overnight delivery on all...
Apple is now offering free overnight delivery on all in stock products until 3pm local time on December 22nd. This includes new as well as refurbished computers. Click here for more information. Read more
Beats Holiday sale at B&H, headphones and...
B&H Photo has Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, earphones, and speakers on sale for up to $80 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Expedited shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax to NY... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 2017 15″...
MacMall has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $220-$300 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2179, $220 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more

Jobs Board

*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 - 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 - 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.