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 ( and current editor of PragPub (http://, the electronic magazine for pragmatic programmers. You can reach him at


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Microsoft Office 2016 16.11 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 19.1.2 - Profess...
Photoshop CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Photoshop customer). Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, the industry standard... Read more
Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2018 -...
Dreamweaver CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Dreamweaver customer). Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2018 allows you to... Read more
Adobe Flash Player - 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
Drive Genius 5.2.0 - $79.00
Drive Genius features a comprehensive Malware Scan. Automate your malware protection. Protect your investment from any threat. The Malware Scan is part of the automated DrivePulse utility. DrivePulse... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.6 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
ffWorks 1.0.7 - Convert multimedia files...
ffWorks (was iFFmpeg), focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the... Read more
Dash 4.1.5 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Evernote 7.0.3 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
jAlbum Pro 15.3 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Oh hi nice reader, and thanks for popping in to check out our weekly round-up of all the stuff that you might have missed across the Steel Media network. Yeah, that's right, it's a big ol' network. Obviously 148Apps is the best, but there are some... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
It might not have been the greatest week for new releases on the App Store, but don't let that get you down, because there are some truly incredible games on sale for iPhone and iPad right now. Seriously, you could buy anything on this list and I... | Read more »
Everything You Need to Know About The Fo...
In just over a week, Epic Games has made a flurry of announcements. First, they revealed that Fortnite—their ultra-popular PUBG competitor—is coming to mobile. This was followed by brief sign-up period for interested beta testers before sending out... | Read more »
The best games that came out for iPhone...
It's not been the best week for games on the App Store. There are a few decent ones here and there, but nothing that's really going to make you throw down what you're doing and run to the nearest WiFi hotspot in order to download it. That's not to... | Read more »
Death Coming (Games)
Death Coming Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: (iTunes) Description: --- Background Story ---You Died. Pure and simple, but death was not the end. You have become an agent of Death: a... | Read more »
Hints, tips, and tricks for Empires and...
Empires and Puzzles is a slick match-stuff RPG that mixes in a bunch of city-building aspects to keep things fresh. And it's currently the Game of the Day over on the App Store. So, if you're picking it up for the first time today, we thought it'd... | Read more »
What You Need to Know About Sam Barlow’s...
Sam Barlow’s follow up to Her Story is #WarGames, an interactive video series that reimagines the 1983 film WarGames in a more present day context. It’s not exactly a game, but it’s definitely still interesting. Here are the top things you should... | Read more »
Pixel Plex Guide - How to Build Better T...
Pixel Plex is the latest city builder that has come to the App Store, and it takes a pretty different tact than the ones that came before it. Instead of being in charge of your own city by yourself, you have to work together with other players to... | Read more »
Fortnite Will Be Better Than PUBG on Mob...
Before last week, if you asked me which game I prefer between Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), I’d choose the latter just about 100% of the time. Now that we know that both games are primed to hit our mobile screens... | Read more »
Siege of Dragonspear (Games)
Siege of Dragonspear 2.5.12 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 2.5.12 (iTunes) Description: Experience the Siege of Dragonspear, an epic Baldur’s Gate tale, filled with with intrigue, magic, and monsters.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Sunday Sales: $200 off 13″ Touch Bar MacBook...
Amazon has new 2017 13″ 3.1GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale this weekend for $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A): $1599.99 $200 off... Read more
B&H drops prices on 15″ MacBook Pros up t...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on new 2017 15″ MacBook Pros, now up to $300 off MSRP and matching Adorama’s price drop yesterday. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished 2017 13″...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros for $200-$230 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, models receive new outer cases, and... Read more
13″ Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale...
Adorama has new 2017 13″ Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (... Read more
Best deal of the year on 15″ Apple MacBook Pr...
Adorama has New 2017 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $... Read more
Save $100-$150+ on 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros...
B&H Photo has 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $100-$150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro... Read more
Current deals on 27″ Apple iMacs, models up t...
B&H Photo has 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off MSRP – 27″ 3... Read more
Thursday Deal: 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pro for $11...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space... Read more
How to save $100-$190 on 10″ & 12″ iPad P...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Silver 12″ 1.3GHz MacBook on sale at B&H...
B&H Photo has the 2017 12″ 1.3GHz Silver MacBook on sale for $1399.99 including free shipping plus sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more

Jobs Board

Firmware Engineer - *Apple* Accessories - A...
# Firmware Engineer - Apple Accessories Job Number: 113452350 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 28-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
Automation and Performance Engineer, *Apple*...
# Automation and Performance Engineer, Apple Pay Job Number: 113557967 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 09-Mar-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Hardware Systems Architect - *Apple* Watch...
# Hardware Systems Architect - Apple Watch Job Number: 113565323 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 05-Mar-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Lead *Apple* Solution Consultant - Apple (U...
# Lead Apple Solution Consultant Chicago IL Job Number: 113560644 Chicago, Illinois, United States Posted: 10-Mar-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As a Lead Read more
Art Director, *Apple* Music + Beats1 Market...
# Art Director, Apple Music + Beats1 Marketing Design Job Number: 113258081 Culver City, California, United States Posted: 07-Mar-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.