Strong opinions, weakly held

Tag: iPad

John Gruber’s iPad review

If you (like me) don’t own and haven’t used an iPad, you may enjoy John Gruber’s lengthy review.

I think this bit is exactly right:

Kindle has a better chance of long-term success as a software platform than a hardware one.

From day one I have wondered whether Amazon.com intended to make money on the Kindle or whether it was a proof-of-concept designed to spur the market for e-books. They’ve been aggressive about porting the Kindle reader to other platforms, and Amazon.com seems to be doing quite well selling digital music even though they don’t sell a music player. I imagine their margins are very good on e-books, regardless of whether or not the buyer purchased a Kindle.

The value of the iPad

This is the most interesting sentence I’ve read in all of the iPad reactions I’ve seen over the past 24 hours.

While I will bring it on some trips, most of all it feels too valuable to take very far from the house.

It’s from Tyler Cowen’s mini-review.

The iPad commeth

People are going to start receiving their iPads tomorrow, and to mark the occasion we’re seeing one more spasm of iPad punditry. Tomorrow the hypothetical iPad dies and the real life iPad arrives, probably dashing the hopes of dozens of media companies who think that the iPad is their one way ticket to massive subscription revenue. (Danny O’Brien has a good post on that.)

Cory Doctorow took one more shot at the iPad today, making some good points in an argument that didn’t hold together particularly well. His strongest arguments are those meant to deter people from building native iPhone applications. And I do think that if you care about ubiquity and openness, you should avoid the iPhone platform and stick with building Web applications. Everything seems to indicate that they’ll run beautifully on the iPad, just as they run beautifully on your Netbook, or your Mac, or your Windows PC.

The piece I really wanted to link to, though, is Greg Knauss writing about the iPad future. Or, more generally, a future that involves simpler devices that require less expertise and maintenance than today’s personal computer. Greg argues that this future is inevitable, and that furthermore, it’s a pretty great future. I think that’s probably the best way to look at it.

As I write in my earlier piece on the iPad, we’re going to have to look somewhere other than our desktop for open platforms in the future.

Needed perspective on iPad hype

I’m excited about the iPad. Not enough to have pre-ordered one or anything, but I think it’s going to be a cool device, and I find it easy to imagine myself reading stuff on one during a flight or using it to post to Twitter while I’m watching TV. It’d be nice to have a device for surfing the Web with a decent-sized screen that doesn’t get hot enough to fry an egg.

Gadget afficionados are licking their chops, but what shocks me is the degree to which media businesses are head over heels over the iPad, thinking that somehow a new form factor is going to reinvigorate their business. News Corp is going to charge more for an iPad subscription to the Wall Street Journal than they charge for a Web-only subscription, more than they charge to deliver the paper to your house, and even more than a subscription that includes both.

Scott Rosenberg compares the media’s reaction to the iPad to its obsession with CD-ROMS back in 1994. Media businesses want a ticket back to the good old days, and the iPad, purely through the virtue of being something untried, looks like that ticket. These guys are drunk on the possibilities of the iPad today, but the hangover is going to be a miserable thing to see. If I were more clever, I’d have already learned to program for that platform, and now I would be out charging insane hourly rates to build doomed apps for desperate publishers. Maybe next time.

Smart iPad writing

There’s a ton of interesting writing about the iPad floating around that you may have already seen.

Steven Frank writes about Old World and New World computing, and explains that the exemplars of the new world are the iPhone and the iPad (and their competitors from other companies). I agree. The first thing I thought when I saw the iPad was that it would be the perfect device for my wife. She uses her computer to read email, surf the Web, and do some basic productivity stuff. She hates laptops, and she’s not a fan of the complexity of desktop computer operating systems. She’s ready for New World computing. (I, on the other hand, want a 27″ iMac and the opportunity to steal the iPad when she’s not looking.) Steven’s piece is really great, full of astute observations. You should read it.

Alex Payne is disturbed by the iPad because he sees (as I do) that it is the beginning of the end of computers for people who tinker.

Adam Pash says that forcing people to choose between open and user friendly creates a false dichotomy. This is one of those things that I wish were true, but that I’m not sure actually is true.

Fraser Speirs posts the positive take:

If the iPad and its successor devices free these people to focus on what they do best, it will dramatically change people’s perceptions of computing from something to fear to something to engage enthusiastically with. I find it hard to believe that the loss of background processing isn’t a price worth paying to have a computer that isn’t frightening anymore.

If you’re interested in the iPad itself rather than its implications for the future of computing, you have plenty of options. Stephen Fry is incredibly impressed. John Gruber talks about how fast it is and the chip Apple has built to make it so fast. He posted more hands on details yesterday. Usability expert Luke Wroblewski talks about the new user interface interactions introduced in the iPad presentation.

And finally, I agree with Roger Ebert — they should have called it the iTab.

My take on the long term implications of the iPad is here.

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