Daily Archives: January 27, 2010

Thoughts on the iPad

Since the NYTimes.com has this: The Blogosphere Reacts to the Apple iPad, I thought: hey, I am part of the blogosphere, so I should react too! 🙂

  • The response in this article is different than what I have been seeing. One difference: in the article, people have access to the iPad. Perhaps this will make people more enthusiastic once they get it.
  • Overall, it doesn’t have the same Wow factor for me that other apple technology had. I remember the first iMac, iPod and others and thinking how special they were. This doesn’t seem that way. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can’t help.
  • In some ways, I am seeing people argue for it the same way I see people argue for Google Wave. If you have to argue that strongly in favour of something, that is a bad sign. It should be obvious to people why they want it. I don’t see that for the iPad.
  • It does remind me of a big iPhone / iTouch. That’s not too surprising: that is a classic design. But I would have been more impressed if they had done something more innovative in the overall physical form. Many times that alone gave other i devices their wow factor. Nothing about the iPad’s overall physical design excites me. It reminds me more of a new machine.
  • The iPad could go the way of the Air computer. A colleague of mine said this and I think there is a possibility this is true. There could be a minority of people who get it, but the vast majority may stick with other devices.
  • The size is relevant. I find I fuss alot with my Touch when I surf the web. With the iPad, there will be less of that.
  • I think it will hurt the Kindle, but how much remains to be seen. I think the iPhone is superior to most Blackberries as devices, but what makes the Blackberry powerful is the deep integration with backend systems. The Kindle’s deep connection to Amazon could help it achieve the same thing.
  • I know lots of people are joking about the name, but I think it is a good name. It is very close to iPod, and it is related to IBM’s ThinkPad.
  • People are complaining about its lack of features, for good reason, but I think the big thing that is going to happen is the unleashing of application developers on that platform. For that’s what the iPad is: a newer/better platform for developers. I expect the apps alone will eventually drive people to get one. People won’t get one to replace their other devices. They will get it because it has apps that you can’t get anywhere else.
  • iPad apps could allow Apple devices to get into businesses where they could never get in before. They could start appearing everywhere instead of a sheet of paper. There are already tons of big screen TVs everywhere in businesses now. I could see the same thing with iPads.
  • iPads are going to change the nature of mobile devices. Whoever makes the technology for Apple will eventually make it for HTC and others.
  • iPads could be the end of cellphones, even smart phones. If I have a bluetooth headset and a 3G iPad, the reason to have a phone diminishes greatly.
  • If I were a print publisher, I would be excited and nervous. Excited because I believe Apple will give them a lifeline, a rope, so to speak. And nervous because that rope might be used to tie them to Apple, just like the music industry is. It was interesting to see the emphasis of print media at the Apple demo. That will be the direction for 2010, but I think the apps will take over and take it in unexpected directions.
  • I like the lack of a keyboard. Honestly, keyboards and mice are very limited ways to interact with computers. Jobs recognized that with the first iPod and he has been pushing that as he goes forward. But I also think we need richer ways to interact with the computer. The iPad may give that to us.
  • I think the iPad will evolve to become a much more impressive platform. This is just the beginning.

“Winners” in politics

I wrote about “winners” in politics the other night: people who run only when they are confident they will win. There is another angle to this. Winners also will do what it take to win, even what it takes is outrageous or worse. In talking about Harold Ford at The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about such winner, people like John Malcolm Patterson, who

 ‘…defeated Wallace, and embraced the murderous (Ku Klux) Klan, (and who also!) backed Barack Obama for president in 2008, and said of his segregationist days:

“If you didn’t do that you wouldn’t get elected. You might as well go home and forget it.” Even after his election, the issue constrained him. “The law required that the schools be segregated,” Patterson says. “And the legislature was not about to change the law. If I had attempted to force some issue myself, the legislature might well have impeached me. Timing is everything. And the timing was not right to do anything about segregation.”

This is not to say that Patterson doesn’t regret the way he handled segregation, particularly the issue of voting rights. “We were denying black people all over the state, highly qualified folk, the right to vote,” Patterson says. “You’d see these country guys on these voting registration boards. They’d call in some guy with a doctorate from Columbia University teaching at Tuskegee and ask him questions about the constitution and turn him down because they weren’t satisfactory. This was ridiculous. It was outrageous.”‘

Patterson was a “winner”. As Julius Caesar says in Shakespeare’s play, such men, with lean and hungry looks, think too much and are dangerous. They are “winners”.